Kazakhstan - Regional Commands
On 07 May 2003 the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N.A. Nazarbaev issued a Decree “On measures on further improvement of the Armed Forces structure”. Military commands were reorganized into regional commands “Astana”, “East”, “West” and “South”.
The new structure introduced in 2003 comprised two corps-level regional commands (Southern and Eastern), two division-level regional commands (Western and Central), the Airmobile Forces, and the Missile Troops and Artillery. These changes reflected the political willingness to engage with Western partners in the War on Terror by making the armed forces more efficient. However, these structural reforms also confirmed that the existing structures were inadequate for the task of countering terrorism; essentially lacking in rapid deployment capabilities.
The four regional commands included one mechanized division (comprising three tank regiments and one artillery regiment), one motor rifle division (comprising one tank brigade, two motor rifle regiments, and one artillery regiment), one training center with two motor rifle regiments, one motor rifle training regiment, one tank training regiment and one artillery regiment, three independent motor rifle brigades, two artillery brigades, and one engineer brigade. The regional commands are subordinate to the Commander-in-Chief Ground Forces. It is unclear, however, that the new structure is an improvement, probably representing an external reform designed to make the forces appear more akin to Western militaries.
Regional command "Astana" was formed in 2003. It is stationed in administrative boundaries of Akmolinskaya, Karagandinskaya, Kostanaiskaya and North-Kazakhstan oblasts. Staff of the command is situated in Karaganda. The regional command includes military units which are situated within limits of territorial boundaries excepting units ofcentral subordination and Air defense forces. Regional command “Astana” is the reserve of General Headquarters of the Armed Forces.
Regional command "Zapad" [West] was formed in 2003. It is stationed in administrative boundaries of the West-Kazakhstan, Aktubinskaya, Atyrauskaya and Mangystauskaya oblasts. Staff of the command is situated in Atyrau. Regional command includes military units which are situated within territorial boundaries, excepting units of central subordination and Air Defence Forces. The main task of the regional command is to provide inviolability of state border, territorial integrity, sovereign and economic interests of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Kazakhstan sector of the Caspian Sea.
Regional command "Yug" [South] was formed in 2003. It is stationed in administrative boundaries of Almatinskaya, Zhambylskaya, South-Kazakhstan and Kyzylordinskaya oblasts. Staff of the command is situated in Taraz. Regional command includes military units which are situated within territorial boundaries, excepting units of central subordination and Air Defence Forces. The main task of the regional command is to provide security on the south-east borders of the country.
Brigade tactical exercise of the Land Forces was held in the south of the republic in February 2012. It involved units of the "South" regional command. Motorized infantry, armored and artillery units moved towards the Guards Garrison of Zhambyl region by combined method: serials along the railway and by vehicle. The contingent of troops of more than two and a half thousand people were focused in the area of exercise.
Regional command "Vostok" [East] formed in 2003. It is stationed in administrative boundaries of the East-Kazakhstan and Pavlodar oblasts. Staff of the command is situated in Semei. The regional command includes military units situating within the limits of territorial boundaries, excepting units of central subordination and Air defense forces. The main mission is safety of eastern boundaries of the country.
The training of commanding officers of battalions, divisions and their deputies began in February 2012 in eastern Kazakhstan on the basis of one of the military units of the "Vostok" Regional Command outside Ust-Kamenogorsk city. Within ten days battalion commanding officers of all units of eastern troops studied technical and logistical issues, have tactical, special and intelligence training. Arrangement and order of tactical exercises, firings and field ingress was an integral part of the training.
Negotiations between representatives of the Land Forces of the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan and Russia about the forthcoming operational and tactical command and staff exercise "Aldaspan 2012” were ended in Almaty in April 2012. The Russian side agreed with the plans and calculations concerning the exercise that had been developed by staff officers of Directorate of Commander-in-chief of the Land Forces of Kazakhstan.
Exercise "Aldaspan-2012" was to take place in the summer of 2012 in the south-eastern region of Kazakhstan. Units of the Regional Command of troops "Yug", air assault brigade of Airmobile Forces, Air Force and logistics units will be involved from the Kazakhstan Armed Forces. It was planned that the Russian air assault unit will land in the area of exercise after a nonstop flight from Ulyanovsk. Aviation of the Russian Armed Forces will be presented by military transport aircraft Il-76 and the flight of Mi-8 which will take off from the air base "Kant", the Kyrgyz Republic.
More over units of Internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Emergency Situations and the Frontier Service of the Committee of National Security of Kazakhstan will be involved into the exercise "Aldaspan-2012". General control over the exercise would be carried out by Commander-in-chief of Land Forces of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan Lieutenant general Murat Maikeyev.
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