Turkey hosts international military drills to test personnel in harsh winter conditions

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 21.02.2019 16:22
Updated 21.02.2019 21:57
Turkish army helicopters fire on mock enemy positions during army's annual Winter-2019 exercises in a mountainous area near Kars, eastern Turkey, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. (Reuters Photo)
Turkish army helicopters fire on mock enemy positions during army's annual Winter-2019 exercises in a mountainous area near Kars, eastern Turkey, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. (Reuters Photo)

Turkish military's Winter-2019 exercise continued Thursday in the eastern province of Kars.

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK)'s annual drills started Feb. 4 and will end Friday.

More than 2,000 Turkish soldiers, 13 helicopters, 4 fighter jets, 2 planes and 402 vehicles are participating in the exercise.

Some 251 personnel from "15 friendly and allied countries" are taking part in Winter-2019, the TSK said. Army personnel from Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and Uzbekistan joined their Turkish counterparts in the drills.

According to the Turkish military, aims of the exercise include ensuring cooperation and coordination in combined operation, testing combat capabilities of troops, enhancing synchronization of fire and maneuvering, training troops on key subjects such as deployment, quartering, food servicing, clothing, supply and maintenance activities and survivability, and operating command control system in snow and harsh winter conditions.

Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler arrived in Kars on Thursday to observe the drills in person.

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