Israeli specialists help Kazakhstan to fight terrorism

By Alexander Bogatik

Kazakhstani special forces participate in counter-terrorism exercises September 23 in Almaty Province. [KTK TV channel footage obtained by Alexander Bogatik]

Kazakhstani special forces participate in counter-terrorism exercises September 23 in Almaty Province. [KTK TV channel footage obtained by Alexander Bogatik]

ASTANA -- Kazakhstan and Israel have organised several joint events last month to strengthen co-operation between the two countries.

The Almaty Counterterrorism Headquarters jointly with the Israeli Embassy held counter-terror exercises September 23.

Separately, emergency situations' management experts, doctors, and counter-terror special forces' commanders from Israel and Kazakhstan discussed anti-terror infrastructure in cities and co-operation between security and emergency rescue agencies at conferences in Almaty (September 23) and Astana (September 15-16).

The two conferences in Astana and Almaty Province were organised by Baza-V, a tactical outfitter that supplies munitions, gear, optical sights, world class body armor, and modernised weapons from 50 manufacturers from across the globe to Kazakhstani security agencies.

"The increased threat of terror attacks in Kazakhstan means that we must know how to quickly and effectively provide on-site emergency medical care to injured citizens, as well as injured MVD [Ministry of International Affairs] and counterterror officials," Baza-V's website reads. "Conference participants raised many important issues, such as how ready the infrastructure of major cities is for terror attacks, and how Israeli companies in Kazakhstan can co-operate and manufacture innovative products."

Co-operation between civilian and security organisations

This is the first time when such conferences are hold in an open format, where security agencies and civilian organisations had an opportunity to work together and share experience, Baza-V General Director Vitaliy Kolesnitskiy told Caravanserai.

According to him, all conference participants were very interested in Israeli experience and technology. After the Astana conference, organisers held trainings for Kazakhstani state security agencies, he said.

"This is a large-scale effort which is necessary for those who risk their lives nearly every day to provide us with peace and security," Kolesnitskiy said.

Experts noted about the importance of co-operation among various agencies during emergencies, as well as developing prehospital medical emergency care.

"Unifying all organisations, especially civilian and military ones, can help save many people's lives," retired combat medic and Chief Medical Officer of the Israel Defence Forces Gary Grosman told Kazakhstani KTK TV channel September 23.

"Kazakhstan needs to adopt medical innovations and conduct trainings," said Grosman, who is also a co-founder of the international company Global Medical Services, which trains paramedics across the globe. "We will gladly share our experience with you."

Kairbek Nurgaliyev, deputy director of the provincial hospital in Taldykorgan, agreed, saying that Kazakhstan needs to open special centres to teach people how to provide emergency medical care.

Experts stressed that law enforcement officials must be appropriately trained to provide first aid. They also discussed providing emergency medical care to special forces during counterterror operations.

Learning from cutting-edge Israeli experience

Kolesnitskiy said Kazakhstan has been working with Israeli companies for many years and integrating their experience into law enforcement agencies.

"All things considered, Israeli experience and technology are as good as, and in many ways surpass, other countries," he said. "Due to their constant wars, many leading manufacturers have long used Israel as a proving ground where they can try out their anti-terror technology and practices in real-world conditions almost every day."

"Israel has been fending off terror attacks for several decades now. They've gained enormous experience unlike any other country in the world in conducting anti-terror operations and providing emergency medical help," Armed Forces veteran Aleksey Zhuravov of Shymkent told Caravanserai.

Kolesnitskiy said Israeli experts are prepared to share all of their experience they obtained over their 30 years to save the lives of Kazakhstani people.

"They only share solutions that truly work and are effective, without any experimental programmes for developing countries. And we've already become convinced of that," he said.

Kolesnitskiy said his organisation is planning several training sessions for security agencies in October and will also prepare a special course for journalists working in combat zones.

Developing military co-operation

"Security is a basic condition for any state to develop," Kazakhstani Defence Minister Imangali Tasmagambetov said during an official visit to Tel-Aviv August 22. "We are interested in developing defence relations with Israel."

"The Kazakhstani army is moving toward developing the mobility and effectiveness of its combat training," the Defence Ministry press service reported. "Studying Israeli experience in applying special forces presents a unique platform for realising the goals we set. Another important field is exchanging information on security."

Both sides agreed to train the Kazakhstani military in an Israeli training centre and exchange security information.

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Everything is clear concerning Israel. It has a lot to guard, and people to guard it from. What is Mingly-El guarding? Nazarbayev's criminal clique? Well, then I am a terrorist.