By LuoShunyu, Pan Kai, Zhang Haijing
URALS, RUSSIA, Aug. 27 (ChinaMil) -- Lieutenant General Alexander Rabin, director general of the joint director department and commander of the Russia’s Central Military District, announced the start of "Peace Mission 2018" joint anti-terrorism military exercise of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and delivered a welcome speech during an opening ceremony on Aug. 24.
Subsequently, seven representatives from participating troops, including Senior Colonel Ma Qixian, Chinese director of the joint director department and assistant of the chief of staff of the Joint Staff Department under the Chinese PLA Western Theater Command, also delivered speeches respectively.
Thereafter, a military parade was held and all participating troops took part in the parade.
Senior Colonel Ma Qixian said in his speech that the "Peace Mission 2018" is a crucial exercise held amid an increasingly complex international and regional anti-terrorism situation and an important part of the SCO's deepening cooperation in the field of defense and security, and it serves as an important platform reflecting the mutual trust and cooperation among SCO member states.
It will play a positive role in enhancing the ability of all member states to work together to cope with new threats and challenges, promoting the SCO's defense and security cooperation to go further both in substance and depth, and safeguarding regional peace and stability, Ma Qixian added.
The "Peace Mission 2018" exercise is the seventh joint anti-terrorism military exercise under the SCO framework. It is also the first joint military exercise organized by all member states of the SCO.
The main type of the exercise is "Mountain Joint Anti-Terrorism Action", containing three stages: strategic consultation, joint anti-terrorism operations preparation and war implementation.
The exercise, involving a total of over 3,000 troops, will use more than 500 weapons and equipment, including fighters, helicopters, tanks, Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs), self-propelled weapons systems and so on.
The first joint training was held after the opening ceremony and the whole exercise will finish on August 29, 2018.