Ministry of Defence Collegium
Nov 30. MFA
Review of progress in developing Armed Forces
Last week, Kazakhstan’s Defense Minister, Adilbek Dzhaksybekov, presided over a Collegium of the Ministry of Defence, which conducted a comprehensive review of the country’s Armed Forces, held in the garrison of Gvardeyskiy in southeastern Kazakhstan.
The Collegium reviewed the activities of the Armed Forces during 2012, as well as logistical support for the forces, the quality of preparation and level of combat readiness and reforms in the areas of military discipline and law and order. Progress in all of these areas was benchmarked against the goals set out in the Military Doctrine signed by President Nazarbayev in 2011.
When Kazakhstan declared independence in 1991, it had to create national defense forces under its control. During the first 20 years of Kazakhstan’s independence, the focus has been on developing Armed Forces fit for the purpose of maintaining and defending the country. Today, the Armed Forces comprise 46,800 troops across four military districts and three branches: Ground Troops, Air Force and Navy.
The 2011 Military Doctrine sets out a plan for the further development of lean, but technologically advanced and highly mobile Armed Forces. It defines the role of the armed forces as defensive and stresses that Kazakhstan pursues good neighbourly relations, does not interfere in the domestic affairs of neighbouring states and works towards the peaceful resolution of international disputes, in cooperation with international organizations such as the Customs Union, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and NATO’s Partnership for Peace Programme.
This week’s Collegium heard that in 2012, over 80 military exercises were completed, with the aim of equipping the Armed Forces to deal with every possible scenario and to adapt to different conditions of terrain and weather. The capacity of the forces was tested by moving troops to unfamiliar regions to engage in simulated combat tasks. The Defence Minister told the assembled military and naval commanders that the forces had achieved satisfactory results in the areas of attack and navigation training and that the focus going forward will be on the quality of military preparation.
For 2013, the Armed Forces will adopt a new slogan for combat events, which signifies the next stage of their development: “A Strong Army for a Strong Kazakhstan”. The Minister set out the main objectives for the coming year, which include: improving field training, increasing combat readiness and the quality of military cadres, developing the infrastructure for garrisons, and continuing to support Kazakhstan’s defence-industry complex by introducing new production technologies and the service maintenance of weapons and military technology.
The day before the Collegium, the commanding officers of the Armed Forces, Generals and officers alike, completed a series of tests of physical fitness, weapons proficiency and ability to drive military vehicles and carry equipment on challenging routes. The Defence Minister praised the results and emphasized the importance of commanders setting a good example to their troops in these practical abilities as well as in leadership.
On December 1 – the Day of the First President of Kazakhstan – the latest batch of new recruits to the Armed Forces will be sworn in. The Collegium discussed plans to build up military reserves by drafting reserve officers in universities and higher education institutions.