Multinational Military Exercise Ends in Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine -- The multinational military exercise, dubbed Peace Shield 2005, concluded in the Crimean peninsula in southern Ukraine on Friday, the Ukrainian National Information Agency said.

Soldiers from Peace Shield 2005

About 500 troops from Ukraine, the United States, Georgia and Azerbaijan, who participated in the second stage of the drill, are ready to return to their own barracks, the agency said.

The troops fulfilled all designated tasks despite adverse weather conditions, said Major General Ilya Chaly, deputy chief of staff of the Ukrainian navy who directed the second stage of the exercise.

The exercise has improved coordination among the troops in peacekeeping operations and strengthened their understanding and cooperation, Chaly said at the press center of the exercise.

The officer reiterated that the exercise was aimed at promoting the armies' capability in peacekeeping.

A training center for peacekeeping troops from countries in the Black Sea region will be set up at the Stary Krym exercise field to train marine corps for safeguarding peace and stability in the region, he added.

The first stage of the exercise held from July 13 to July 25 in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev involved a computer-simulated war game in which staff officers from 22 countries practiced a peacekeeping operation based on the current situation in Iraq.

The second stage of the exercise, which started on Aug. 3, was based on an actual war scenario. Military observers from 10 countries watched the drill.

The annual Peace Shield joint exercise is held within the framework of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization partnership program. It is also part of the bilateral military cooperation program between Ukraine and the United States.

Source: Xinhua