Source Pravda.Ru

US to provide Kazakhstan with military hardware

The United States is set to provide Kazakhstan with $2.5 million worth of military hardware shortly, Bolan Sembinov, head of the administration of the Kazakh Defense Ministry, and Greg Brandt, professor with a Pentagon think tank on international defense cooperation programs, who led the US delegation to the country, announced to a press briefing Monday.

Sembinov and Brandt had opened a seminar in Almaty on implementation of US international defense cooperation programs on financing and education, jointly organized by US and Kazakh military establishments. The seminar was an opportunity for talks between the two delegations.

Sembinov announced that a deal had been reached with his US counterparts whereby "mobile forces will be re-equipped first." They will be provided with a consignment of Hammer utility vehicles. Airborne forces were designated as another priority and will be equipped with Bell Textron-made helicopter gunships.

Brandt said the Pentagon would appropriate $2.5 million for that part of the cooperation program.

If these projects are successfully implemented, the United States will feel it could rely on Kazakh military in the fight against terrorism and in peacekeeping operations in other countries, Brandt said, adding that was part of a larger goal of America's international defense cooperation programs.

$3 million more might be appropriated for re-equipment of Kazakh armed forces in the future, he went on. Furthermore, $1.8 million is to be spent on a Kazakh officer training program in US defense education institutions, which may start accepting trainees as early as next year.

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