The CSTO Joint Staff is 20 years old28.04.2023
20 years ago, on April 28, 2003, in Dushanbe, the Collective Security Council of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, inspired by the need to create a military staff body responsible for implementing the objectives of the military component of the Collective Security Treaty, decided to create a permanent working body - the CSTO Joint Staff.
The CSTO Secretary General Imangali Tasmagambetov took part in a ceremony dedicated to the anniversary of the Staff.
The Joint Staff, a unique multinational military collective comprised of generals and officers from the Republics of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and the Russian Federation, is charged with forming, operating and using the Troops (Collective Forces), preparing and conducting, together with the defense agencies of the member states of the Organization joint activities of operational and combat training, military-technical cooperation, coordination of joint training of personnel and specialists for the armed forces of the member states, as well as the organization of the CSTO Crisis Response Center.
The main efforts in the activities of the CSTO Joint Staff, headed by Colonel General Anatoly Sidorov, are focused on the organization of the implementation of decisions of the heads of the CSTO member states and the heads of defense agencies on the development of the military component of the Organization.
For all these years, the CSTO Joint Staff has played and continues to play an important organizing and coordinating role in the creation, development, planning and preparation for the implementation of tasks on purpose of the forces and means of collective security of the Organization, capable of responding effectively to contemporary challenges and threats to military security in the Eastern European, Caucasus and Central Asian regions.
With the organizational and coordinating role of the Joint Staff, the Collective Rapid Deployment Forces of the Central Asian region, the Collective Rapid Reaction Forces, the Peacekeeping Forces, and the Collective CSTO Air Force are being further developed. In 2022, in connection with the emergence of threats to biological security, a joint formation of NBC protection and medical support was established.
A great deal of attention in the Joint Staff is paid to improving the CSTO crisis response mechanisms. The capabilities of the Crisis Response Centre are used every year to conduct strategic command and staff trainings and joint business games, coordinate the regrouping of national contingents and conduct joint command and staff trainings and special trainings in the CSTO format, as well as other joint training activities for the CSTO Troops (Collective Forces).
Joint operational and combat training of the forces and means of the collective security system is one of the priority tasks of the CSTO Joint Staff. A whole series of joint and special trainings are conducted on an annual basis in the CSTO collective security regions, including "Rubezh" with the CRDF CAR (conducted since 2004); the "Interaction" with the CSTO CRRF (since 2009); "Indestructible Brotherhood" with the CSTO Peacekeeping Forces (since 2012); “Search” with the forces and means of intelligence units and services (since 2016); "Echelon" with the forces and means of logistical support (since 2019). This year, a special training is planned with the joint formation of the NBC protection and medical support "Barrier-2023".
Since 2017, the highest form of joint training in the CSTO format is a joint operational and strategic training "Combat Brotherhood", which is conducted in one or more regions of collective security simultaneously and includes a set of joint activities that are interconnected by objectives, tasks, place, time in a single politico-military and military-strategic environment.
In preparation for and during the trainings, a large amount of research work is organized and conducted jointly with defense agencies on the most pressing problematic issues in the development of the military component of the Organization, involving the relevant specialists of the basic training and research organizations, including the organization of intelligence, air defense, the use of the aviation component, and other issues.
At present, on the initiative of the Joint Staff, by decisions of the CSTO bodies, the status of basic educational and methodological organizations has been granted to 11 military educational institutions that provide training in the following specialties: combined arms, air defense, missile forces and artillery, military air defense, communications, logistics, information security, electronic warfare, training of the CSTO Peacekeeping Forces, medical and pharmaceutical specialties, as well as training of personnel responsible for ensuring the national security and defense capabilities of the Organization member states, and the status of basic research organizations has been granted to 7 specialized scientific and educational organizations.
In 2022, the system was supplemented by a basic mine clearance organization - the International Mine Action Center of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, designed for training, retraining and advanced training of mine clearance specialists for the CSTO member states, as well as to perform mine clearance tasks in the CSTO area of responsibility, including as part of combined international units.
In the academic year 2022/2023, in the format of joint training of the CSTO, enrolment is organized at military educational institutions in the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation. Military personnel are being trained in 827 specialties at 59 educational institutions. In all, over the years of cooperation, around 24,000 military personnel have undergone joint training at the military educational establishments of the CSTO member states.
Over 20 years, the CSTO Joint Staff has developed into a capable and efficient body solving a wide range of tasks at the interstate level and rapidly preparing coordinated proposals and draft decisions for the military-political leadership. Speaking about the twentieth anniversary, Colonel General Anatoliy Sidorov noted that "in modern conditions of increasing challenges and threats to collective security and in the distant future the Joint Staff as a major element of the CSTO collective security system will do its best to ensure readiness of the Organization to respond adequately and effectively to possible crisis situations, continue to successfully solve tasks of developing the CSTO Troops (Collective Forces) and ensuring sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Organization member states”.