The International Army Games is like the Olympics for military drills and this year’s competition kicked off in Russia on Saturday with over 3,000 military personnel from 20 countries participating.
It is an annual event which tests the mettle of the military of various countries against battlefield situations that officials may encounter in real life ops.
Russian Defense Minister General Sergei Shoigu inaugurated the event for this year which started with a tank biathlon competition, and will continue until August 13.
This year’s International Army Games is taking place in two countries — Russia and Kazakhstan — and includes 23 events in field, air and marine training.
The Russian defense ministry says that the competition will feature 121 teams from Russia and 19 other countries across the European, Asian, African and Latin American continents.
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They also report that “The Chinese military will participate in 22 competitions, and the teams from Kazakhstan — in 21. The Russian team will participate in all the 23 competitions.”
In addition to the countries that are being represented, 11 other countries have sent over representatives to simply observe the competitions that are expected to test the combat readiness of tanks, fighter jets, snipers and many other disciplines.
Of the 23 competitions slotted for participation, 17 contests are for the Army, two for the Navy and three for the Air Force. Five African countries; Angola, Egypt, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Morocco, are taking part in the International Army Games. Algeria and Namibia sent representatives to observe the games.
Egypt which is the African country participating in the most number of competitions, six to be precise, will engage in;
- Field kitchen: Competition among food service specialists
- Masters of armored vehicles: Competition among armored vessel crews
- Clear sky: Competition among AD units
- Safe route: Competition among units of engineering crews
- Airborne platoon: Competition among airborne platoons
- Safe environment: Competition among Nuclear, Biological, Chemical (NBC) personnel
Angola is participating in five of the competitions, Zimbabwe in four, South Africa and Morocco in one each.