The soldiers of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Turkey have begun joint training exercises in accordance with the Strategic Partnership and Mutual Assistance Agreement between the two nations. The first of the drills is the “Joint Commando Operation,” which began on 6 September and will end on 10 September in the Lachin district in Azerbaijan, with the Azerbaijan Marine Infantry Team and the TSK Commando Branch participating.
A statement on the exercises released by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense said:
“The main purpose of the exercises with the participation of Azerbaijani and Turkish soldiers is to improve the interoperability of the troops of the two countries’ armies during combat operations, to improve the military decision-making skills of the commanders and their ability to control the troops”
Turkish soldiers received pistol and rifle shooting instruction, combat and close combat training in residential areas, and additionally, Azerbaijan Armed Forces personnel received “Advanced Air Controller Training” from the Turkish Air Force Command, within the framework of Close Air Support activities, as part of the continuing exercise in Azerbaijan.
The Turkish Navy special forces, along with soldiers from Azerbaijan, conducted combat drills to plan the operation, neutralize the conventional enemy terrorist group, and destroy their temporary bases in the next phase of the exercise. The conventional enemy’s targets were destroyed during the drills in which the boats took part, and the missions were completed successfully.
The Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in a statement that the joint exercise staged by Azerbaijan and Turkey near the Armenian border in Berdzor (Lachin) did not conform with the tripartite agreement of November 10, 2020, and harmed efforts to establish peace and security in the region. In response to this statement, Leyla Abdullayeva, the spokesperson for the Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a written statement:
“It is the sovereign right of every state to carry out various exercises within its international borders. Azerbaijan has carried out many military exercises, including joint exercises with the participation of partner countries, on its territory to this day. The tactical training that began in the Lachin region is a similar step and serves to stabilize the region.”
Another exercise, TURAZ Şahini-2021 Exercise hosted by Turkey, began on 6 September with the participation of the Azerbaijan Air Force and is presently ongoing at the 3rd Main Jet Base Command in Konya, is expected to last until 17 September. On 1 September, two Azerbaijan Air Force MiG-29 fighter jets, two Su-25 fighter jets, and 78 Azerbaijan Air Force personnel who will participate in the drills flew to Turkey. Azerbaijani forces received joint tactical flight training prior to the start of the exercise.
The purpose of the exercise, according to a statement released by the Turkish Ministry of Defense is, “[To] advance the flight training initiated with the Azerbaijan Air Force Command, to demonstrate the application of international exercise procedures and terminologies, to share information and experience on different platforms, weapon systems and electronic warfare, and to develop mutual military training/cooperation”.
Colonel Mushfig Mammadov, Azerbaijani military attaché, also met with Azerbaijani personnel participating in the drills in Turkey on 8 September. Colonel Mushfig Mammadov stressed the necessity of a broad exchange of experience between the military forces of the two countries throughout these exercises during his meeting with the airbase commander, Major General Önder Şensöz. In addition, the Turkish Ministry of National Defense announced the launch of the “Kardeş Tugay” (Brother Brigade) project to ensure interoperability between Turkey and Azerbaijan, as well as to synchronize training planning, administration, and execution principles, in the midst of these ongoing exercises.