Turkish military to hold 3 major drills in May - M5 Dergi
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Turkish military to hold 3 major drills in May

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The army, navy and air force will be testing their limits, stretching operational capabilities and bolstering their readiness with participation from Türkiye’s international allies

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) will conduct three major exercises this month.

The International Anatolian Phoenix Exercise will be held on May 6-17, the Seawolf-II Exercise on May 7-18, and the EFES Exercise in two phases: the Computer-Assisted Command Post phase from April 25 to May 8 and the Live-Firing Field phase on May 9-30.

The International Anatolian Phoenix-2024 Exercise, involving Azerbaijan, Qatar, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia and Türkiye, is scheduled at the 3rd Main Jet Base Command in Konya.

The exercise aims to enhance command and control as part of the personnel rescue operation, improve interoperability among task force elements and identify areas for cooperation.

Seawolf-II, a large-scale Turkish military exercise involving over 15,000 personnel, will be held in coastal Marmaris, a district of western Muğla province. Its purpose is to test the operational capabilities of the navy, air force and coast guard in a simulated war environment.

The exercise includes live-fire drills, port visits and demonstrations of new weaponry.

The EFES-2024 Exercise, led by the Aegean Army Command in Türkiye, includes a Computer-Assist Command Post Exercise from April 25 to May 8 and a Live-Firing Field Exercise on May 9-30.

It aims to enhance joint military capabilities and readiness levels with participation from numerous countries. This exercise marks the largest participation in the EFES series to date, with involvement from 49 countries.

The Sea Wolf II exercise, one of the biggest of its kind involving the Turkish navy, kicked off on Tuesday with the participation of 100 ships, eight submarines, 39 aircraft, 16 helicopters, 28 uncrewed aerial vehicles and seven uncrewed surface vehicles.

Additionally, a defense industry exhibition will be held on May 28 in Izmir, and an elite observer day for the Live-Fire Field Exercise will take place on May 29-30.

Türkiye, in recent years, has poured millions of liras into bolstering the TSK with indigenous and national defense products, namely armed drones, fighter jets and warships.

“It is indispensable to have a strong, modern and disciplined army with high deterrence,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan often says.

Last month, Ankara announced it was preparing for its largest-ever domestic aircraft carrier that would surpass the TCG Anadolu, a landing helicopter dock (LHD)-type multipurpose amphibious assault ship commissioned last year.

Turkish troops and warplanes are also stationed in overseas missions like Libya, where Türkiye backed the internationally recognized government fighting against putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar. Aided by Turkish military advisers, Libya’s army inflicted heavy damage on Haftar’s militias, captured the capital, Tripoli and led to a period of stability.

The Turkish military boasts “visible” accomplishments in northern Iraq and northern Syria, as well, including Idlib, where it has conducted counterterrorism operations and helped stabilize the region.

Turkish cross-border operations in northern Iraq have been targeting the PKK terrorist group, mostly through air-backed campaigns. As for northern Syria, Türkiye’s military has prevented the formation of a “terrorist corridor” by the YPG/PKK and blocked its efforts to infiltrate regions liberated from terrorists.

In its more than 40-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the U.S., the U.K. and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

The YPG is its Syrian offshoot that has occupied much of the civil war-torn country’s northern regions since 2015 with the help of the United States.

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