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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 543-00
September 08, 2000

U.S. SERVICEMEMBERS SET TO DEPLOY FOR EXERCISE CENTRASBAT 2000

Servicemembers from the U.S. Central Command will join forces with Central Asian military services in Almaty, Kazakhstan, from Sept. 10 through 18, 2000 where they will participate in peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance field exercise CENTRASBAT 2000.

CENTRASBAT (an acronym for Central Asian Peacekeeping Battalion) focuses on strengthening military-to-military relationships and regional security between Central Asian and U.S. militaries. Military units from the national peacekeeping battalions of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, and a U.S. battalion will use this exercise to increase interoperability and improve U.S. forces' abilities to conduct basic peacekeeping and humanitarian operations.

U.S. participants will include about 300 soldiers from the Army's 82d Airborne Division. Other participants in the exercise include forces from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Mongolia, Russia and the United Kingdom. France and Ukraine will attend as observers.

CENTRASBAT 2000 will consist of four phases: deployment operations, unit planning processes and preparations, a tactical field training exercise and redeployment operations. The units will form a combined exercise coalition of four battalions under the control of a combined brigade. The culmination of CENTRASBAT 2000 will be a three-day tactical field training exercise that will focus on many aspects of typical humanitarian and peacekeeping missions such as refugee control, checkpoint operations, patrolling and security.

The exercise is being conducted in Central Asia to support these states' desires to develop and build a cooperative relationship between the respective states and to assist in laying the foundation for future peacekeeping operations.

For more information on this exercise, call Air Force Maj. Joe LaMarca in Almaty, Kazakhstan at 011-7-327-581-1234. In the United States contact Navy Lt. Cmdr. Ernest Duplessis at the U.S. Central Command Public Affairs Office at (813) 828-6393/5894. A coalition media center will open in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Sept. 9. Additional information on CENTRASBAT 2000 can be found as a hot link on the CENTCOM homepage at http://www.centcom.mil/operations/Previous%20Exercises/centrasbat/centrasbat00/start.html .