Foreign soldiers expressed their pleasure at participating in Turkiye's large-scale international winter military exercise in the eastern Kars province, Anadolu News Agency reports.
Starting on 18 January, Winter Exercise-2023 had 16 participants from friendly and allied countries, including Azerbaijan, Georgia, Germany and the UK. The exercise officially ended on Friday.
A total of 2,113 personnel took part in the exercise, and over 650 vehicles and 860 weapons were used.
One of the soldiers participating in the exercise from Kazakhstan said he was happy and proud to be in friendly Turkiye, and to work with the Turkish soldiers.
"I saw that the Turkish headquarters officers were very hardworking and very advanced," the Kazakh soldier said, who cannot be named due to security reasons.
Turkish National Defence Ministry on Friday shared footage of the exercise, where soldiers can be seen practicing in severe winter conditions.
The exercise also hosted Kosovar father and son, who worked together as mortar men.
"We came to the Winter Exercise-2023 from the Kosovo. We work here with the Turkish army. We learn a lot from them. We are here with my father. We work together in the same place," the last was quoted as saying in the video shared by the Ministry.
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A soldier from Bosnia and Herzegovina said it is very important for the country to attend this exercise. "We are happy to be shoulder to shoulder with the Turkish Armed Forces, once again, in a large exercise," he said.
An Azerbaijani soldier said it was an honour for them to participate in the exercise, adding: "I hope the brotherhood between Azerbaijan and Turkiye will continue forever."
The aim of the exercise was to ensure cooperation and coordination in the execution of combined and joint operations, test the combat capabilities of the units, including firing in deep snow and severe cold, and improve the synchronisation of firing and manoeuvring by simulating the battlefield in all its dimensions.
Other purposes included improving the level of training in settlements, shelter, subsistence, supply and maintenance activities in the field and boosting survival capability in winter conditions, and ensuring the operation of command and control systems in winter conditions.
The exercise aimed to develop individual and collective training, provide commanders with the opportunity to lead and manage their units in winter conditions and improve joint training of the troops with the Forces.
The Winter Exercises in Kars are held every two years.