By Vugar Khalilov
Azerbaijan's naval forces have participated in NEL2 (NATO Evaluation Level 2) drills held in Turkey, The Defence Ministry has reported.
The drills of the Azerbaijani army's naval search team declared into the OCC Pool of Forces were held within the framework of the NATO Operational Capabilities Concept (OCC) Programme during the Eastern Mediterranean Multinational Naval Exercise - 2021 conducted in Turkey, the report added.
The Azerbaijani naval search team passed the second-level assessment under NATO's OCC. The multinational judge team, along with the NATO command observer mission evaluated the Azerbaijani ship search team.
As part of the drills, the team effectively and accurately carried out the tasks such as the rapid approach to the ship captured by an imaginary terrorist group, neutralization of terrorists, the rescue of the ship and safe evacuation of the crew.
The drills aimed to verify the combat readiness, actions, and equipment of the units declared into the OCC Pool of Forces in line with the NATO standards.
Azerbaijan' relations with NATO started in 1992 when Azerbaijan joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council. This forum for dialogue was succeeded in 1997 by the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, which brings together all Allies and partner countries in the Euro-Atlantic area.
Bilateral cooperation began when Azerbaijan joined the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program in 1994. Thanks to regular participation in PfP activities, Azerbaijan has been able to contribute actively to Euro-Atlantic security by supporting NATO-led peace-support operations.
Azerbaijan’s participation in the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) since 1997 has allowed NATO and individual Allies to assist Azerbaijan in developing selected units to improve interoperability with those of the Allies.
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