In photos: Kazakhstani, Kyrgyz military sappers hone skills together

By Alexander Bogatik

Sappers are shown drilling at the Otar military base. The exercise called for them to remove mines planted by hypothetical terrorists in several towns and on those towns' outskirts. [Kazakhstani Defence Ministry]

A sapper is shown at the Otar military base. The joint exercises marked "the first time [Kazakhstani and Kyrgyz sappers used] bomb-sniffing dogs and electronic jammers to block remote-controlled detonation of land mines," Kazakhstani Col. Murat Jusupov told Caravanserai. [Kazakhstani Defence Ministry]

"Exchanging knowledge with my Kyrgyz colleagues and working with them in simulations ... of a crisis have been a very valuable experience," a Kazakhstani sapper from unit no. 75263 who requested anonymity told Caravanserai. Sappers are shown at the Otar military base. [Kazakhstani Defence Ministry]

Sappers' tasks include de-mining an area so that special forces can storm in and wipe out terrorists, said the Kazakhstani sapper. The troops (shown at the Otar military base) "used portable mine detectors .. and radio signal jammers" in their training, he said.[Kazakhstani Defence Ministry]

Kazakhstani sapper commanders had their own exercise at the Bereg training ground in Almaty Province August 22. Two sappers operate a truck. [Kazakhstani Defence Ministry]

"The primary goals of the [training] were to study explosives and ways to destroy them, how to clear an area and buildings of bombs, and how to clean up after fires and explosions at munitions depots," said the Kazakhstani Defence Ministry. A sapper is shown at the Bereg training ground August 22. [Kazakhstani Defence Ministry]

"Terrorists who have undergone training in special camps and who have gained combat experience in Syria have the skills to make IEDs or to use ammunition," Shymkent veteran Aleksei Juravov told Caravanserai. "Sappers [shown at the Bereg training ground] ... can save hundreds of people from death or severe injuries." [Kazakhstani Defence Ministry]

Kazakhstani sapper unit commanders (shown during classroom training at the Bereg training ground) face a special responsibility, added Juravov. [Kazakhstani Defence Ministry]

ZHAMBYL PROVINCE -- Kazakhstani and Kyrgyz sappers came together in Kazakhstan at the end of August to hone their land mine-clearing skills.

Kazakhstan regularly runs training exercises for its sappers.

The joint "Friendship of the Sappers" exercise took place August 21-25 at the 40th Otar Military Base in Zhambyl Province, according to the Kazakhstani Defence Ministry. Kazakhstani sapper commanders had separate training at the Bereg training ground in Almaty Province August 22.

Participating units from Kazakhstan included the engineer and sapper battalion of military unit no. 75263 and the engineering company of military unit no. 21450. Kyrgyzstan sent an engineering and sapper platoon.


Kazakhstan regularly conducts training exercises for sappers. A sapper is shown at the Bereg training ground. [Kazakhstani Defence Ministry]

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