2019 Intl. Army Games to kick off today with tank biathlon event in Russia

TEHRAN, Aug. 03 (MNA) – The 2019 edition of International Army Games will start today in Russia with 25 countries, including Iran, attending the tank biathlon competition.

The opening ceremony will be held today with high-ranking military officials of many countries in attendance, including Russian defense minister Sergey Shoygu.

Second Brigadier General Hossein Soleimani, Iran’s tank biathlon team manager, said that the team enjoys great spirit and readiness, hoping for good results after around one year of training.

He went on to say that 25 countries are participating in the event which will last for 14 days in three stages.

Soleimani noted that the Iranian team, comprised of an IRGC Ground Forces unit, is seeded along with teams from Russia, China, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Mongolia, Venezuela, Armenia, Serbia, Syria, and Kyrgyzstan.

Tank biathlon is a military sports event promoted by Russia and first held in 2013. The competition, which has similarities with the winter sport of biathlon, tank crews have to show their skills in passing different terrains and opening accurate fires.

According to Tass News Agency, "The 2019 Army Games will include 32 competitions on the territory of 10 countries (Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Iran, India, China, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Uzbekistan). Over 5,000 servicemen from over 200 teams will take part in the games," the defense ministry said.

Russia will host 15 competitions, including five in the Moscow region — "Tank Biathlon", "Field Kitchen" for military cooks, "Guardians of the Order" for military police, "Emergency Area" for rescuers, and "Faithful Fried" for military working dog handlers. "Marine landing" competition will be held in the Kaliningrad region.

The 2019 International Army Games will be held on August 3-17.

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