Under an agreement reached during a visit by US Secretary of Defense Ronald Rumsfeld, Uzbekistan is allowing US forces to use Soviet-era military bases to support Operation Enduring Freedom. President Islam Karimov received security assurances, and an implied US commitment to ignorecomplaints about human rights violations in the country. The agreement distanced the country from its powerful neighbor, Russia. By early October 2001 TV crews had staked out three Uzbek bases.
By late September 2001 it was reported that American helicopters [used earlier in joint exercises between Uzbekistan and NATO forces], were stationed in Chirchik, 40 kilometers from Tashkent. The combined air/ground base in Chirchik is more than 250 miles from the border with Afghanistan.
Exercise Central Asian Battalion '97 involved more than 900 military personnel from Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan who are training with over 500 U.S. military troops to hone their skills in peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance. The exercise will enhance regional cooperation and increase interoperability training among NATO and Partnership for Peace nations. The exercise was held in Shymkent, Kazakhstan, and Chirchik, Uzbekistan.
Approximately 160 soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division traveled to Central Asia in September 1998 to represent the United States in a multinational peacekeeping exercise. Dubbed CENTRAZBAT '98, the operation brought together the United States and its NATO ally Turkey with Russia and five former Soviet republics. Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan hosted parts of the exercise on their soil. The other three participants were Azerbaijan, Georgia and Kazakhstan. The exercise had two phases. During the first phase, in Uzbekistan, the soldiers practiced situational training exercises in an area near the town of Chirchik.
Chirchik [pronounced chirchEk'], is a city with a  population of over 155,000. This suburb of Toshkent is an industrial center with large fertilizer plants and machinery factories. The capital of Uzbekistan, Tashkent is located in the Chirchik Valley of Central Asia. There is a chain of hydroelectric stations on the Chirchik River. Chirchik per se is a comparatively young town, but the valley of the river Chirchik, where the town is situated, is in the number of the oldest places of the Uzbekistan settled husbandry culture. The Chirchik-Tashkent oasis is one of the largest regions of the east Uzbekistan.
The date of birth of Chirchik town is considered the 1st May 1932, when the president of the Uzbek SSR Mr. Yuldash Akhunbabaev put the first brick in to the wall of the first building of Chirchik. Chirchik industrial technical school is in it now. But for some reasons in the connection with the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the town they decided to change the date of its birth and to fix it as 1st May 1934.
Chirchik one of the largest industrial cities in Usbekistan with a population of 150000 people. There are living representatives of more than 100 nationalities. The essential part of the population works at the large industrial concerns, like PO "Electrochimprom", which is producing sulphur- and nitrogen acid and mineral fertilisation; Open joint-stock company "Transformator" which is producing different electrical and technical devices for industrial and home use; Open joint-stock company "Usbekchimasch" with different equipment for chemical industry; Open joint-stock company "Chirchikselmasch", producing equipment and aggregats for the agricultural industry; the Usbek Works for refractory and heat-resistant materials, wolfram-wire, and light bulbs.
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