Feature Stories

NEWS | April 8, 2015

US partners with UK, Kazakhstan for Exercise Steppe Eagle

By Maj. Angel Jackson U.S. Army Central

Soldiers from the U.S., U.K. and Kazakhstan are joining forces here for Exercise Steppe Eagle, a two-phase training event designed to refine peacekeeping and peace support operations tasks, while improving interoperability and military cooperation with key partner nations.

The first phase of the exercise began Monday with a ceremony at the Ilisky Training Area.

In its 13th iteration, Steppe Eagle provides multilateral forces with the opportunity to promote cooperation among participating forces, practice crisis management, and enhance readiness through realistic, modern-day interactive scenarios.

Gen. Maj. Daulet Ospanov, commander of the Kazakhstan Airmobile Forces, recognized the importance of the exercise.

“The experience gained by our soldiers is very valuable,” said the general. He added that with their partners, the Kazakhstanis would work on enhancing interoperability and readiness in order to participate in joint peacekeeping operations with partner nations.

Col. Andrew Berrier, U.S. defense attaché, noted Steppe Eagle is growing more important as partner nations get closer to deploying on UN peacekeeping missions.

“All partners in Steppe Eagle share a unifying vision of contributing to peace and stability around the world, and to ease the suffering of those less fortunate,” said Berrier. “It is this common commitment to U.N. principles that sets Steppe Eagle apart as a unique venue for cooperation.”

Soldiers from U.S. Army Central, the Arizona National Guard and the 50th Military Engagement Team are among those participating in the exercise. Phase two of Steppe Eagle is set to begin in June.

To follow this year’s event, go to www.facebook.com/steppe.eagle.