Turkey holds military drill with US, Saudi forces

Turkey holds military drill with US, Saudi forces

Turkey holds military drill with US, Saudi forces

AA photo

A comprehensive military drill held by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has brought together 860 military personnel from eight countries, including the United States and Saudi Arabia, as part of the annual Efes-2016 combined joint military exercise along Turkey’s Aegean costal area. 

It is the first time that the Efes-2016 exercise brings allied and friendly countries in a military drill, which began on May 4 and will resume on June 4 in Turkey’s Western Anatolia and mid-Aegean regions as well as İzmir Bay and the Doğanbey military zone, the army said in a written statement on May 25. 

Along with Turkey’s land, air, naval and gendarmerie forces, military units from Germany, the U.S., Azerbaijan, United Kingdom, Qatar, Pakistan, Poland and Saudi Arabia have also been participating in the drill, it said. The objective of the exercise is to improve the ability of participant countries to work together as part of a combined and joint operation. Military observers from 74 countries have been invited to the exercise as well.  

In the first phase of the exercise, an air assault drill was successfully accomplished, Anadolu Agency reported on May 25. Sixteen Cougar, one Skorsky and UH-1 choppers participated in the air raid training with military personnel from other countries whose objective was to deploy troops to areas under the control of hostile forces. Helicopters also dropped multiple rocket launchers and artilleries in the same area while an evacuation of a wounded private was also carried out. 

In the meantime, Turkey’s 1st division commando brigade based in Kayseri conducted a successful airborne exercise in the annual Erciyes-2016 military drill, Anadolu reported on May 25.  

Some 120 paratroopers conducted the airborne operation from C-130 and C-160 transport aircraft late May 24, the report said. Paratroopers carried out an operation on the combat center of hostile forces as part of the scenario of the drill, which involved the detonation of two bridges and a combat center as well. 

Land Forces Commander Gen. Salih Zeki Çolak observed the drill, said the report.