Exercise Friendship-2020, the fifth edition of a joint Pakistani-Russian military exercise is taking place in Pakistan this November. The joint exercises feature participation from more than 150 military personnel from both countries.

More than 70 Russian soldiers from a special purpose unit of the 49th Southern Military District combined arms army, stationed in Stavropol, are taking part in the exercise.

Exercise Friendship-2020 is being conducted at the Pakistan Army Special Forces (SF) Training Centre located in Tarbela (50 km northwest of Islamabad) and the National Counter-Terrorism Center in Pabbi.

“This is the third joint military exercise conducted in Pakistan…..the Friendship Exercise gives us the opportunity to strengthen relations between the military personnel of the two countries,” said Major General Nayer Nasser, the Pakistan Army’s Head of Combat Training.

Russian army units also completed joint combat assignments during training exercises, using Pakistani Army armament, equipment and communication gear for the first time.

Pakistani and Russian servicemen are training on quick disembarkation from helicopters at Tarbela.

Over the course of these exercises, SF units from both nations descended by rope from Mi-17 helicopters hovering at an altitude of approximately 20 meters. Once on the ground the soldiers practised organizing the defence of the landing area of units, fire ambushes and repelling an attack of conditional terrorists in the specified area.

Prior to the commencement of the exercise, Pakistani military personnel demonstrated their underwater scuba diver's equipment, underwater scooter-towing vehicle, communications equipment, parachute systems of various types. More than 100 weapons were exhibited. including SMG and MP5SD submachine guns, M4 assault rifles of various modifications, tactical flashlights, etc.