US, Russia to hold joint drill in May, says report

US, Russia to hold joint drill in May, says report

BEIJING - Agence France-Presse
Russian and American airborne forces will hold joint drills for the first time in the United States, Russia Today reported yesterday.

The anti-terrorism exercises, scheduled for May 2012, will get off to a flying start with a tactical landing operation and “terrorist” camp raid, the report said. “This is the first time such an event is being held,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Aleksandr Kucherenko said, announcing the plan. “The Russian Airborne Command will contribute a special task group that will practice with U.S. special service weapons.”

The drills were arranged by the Russian Airborne Command and a U.S. military delegation in Moscow last December, according to the report. Russian soldiers will receive preparatory training at Colorado’s Fort Carson with the U.S. weaponry and equipment they are to use during the operation. The drills include parachuting, operation planning, reconnaissance, assault operations and evacuations by helicopter.

China warns Philippines

“According to the exercise scenario, soldiers from the two countries will conduct a tactical airborne operation, including reconnaissance of an imaginary terrorists’ camp and a raid,” Colonel Kucherenko said. The drills will take place between May 24 and 31.

Meanwhile, China warned the Philippines yesterday not to “internationalize” the two countries’ simmering territorial dispute in the South China Sea, as U.S. and Philippine forces staged war games in the area. “Internationalizing this issue will only complicate and magnify the situation,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said.