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DoD photo by Staff Sergeant Paul R. Caron, U.S. Air Force. United States, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan Army personnel line up to board a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III at Pope Air Force Base, N.C., for a parachute drop over the Sicily dropzone at Fort Bragg, N.C., on Sept. 11, 1997. The soldiers are rehearsing to take part in the longest distance airborne operation in history during Exercise Central Asian Battalion '97. Exercise Central Asian Battalion '97 involves more than 900 military personnel from Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan who are training with over 500 U.S. military troops to hone their skills in peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance. The exercise will enhance regional cooperation and increase interoperability training among NATO and Partnership for Peace nations. The exercise is being held in Shymkent, Kazakhstan, and Chirchik, Uzbekistan. The Globemaster is from the 14th Airlift Squadron, Charleston Air Force Base, S.C.   DoD photo by Staff Sergeant Paul R. Caron, U.S. Air Force.

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