DUSHANBE, May 21, 2015 Asia-Plus - A joint military exercise with a final phase featuring live-fire mission has been conducted for units of the Tajik national army and the 201st Russian military base in the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO), Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported on May 21.

More than 500 servicemen and about 100 units of military hardware have been involved in the exercise.  Helicopters Mi-8s and Mi-24s of Russian Air Force as well as unmanned aerial vehicles “Granat,” “Zastava,” and “Forpost” have reportedly provided air reconnaissance and support.

In connection with the possible deterioration of the situation in Afghanistan, Russia pays a special attention to strengthening its borders with Central Asia’s nations and helps train personnel for the national armies of the Central Asian countries, the Russian Central Military District press center was cited by RIA Novosti as saying.

The Russian military base deployed in Tajikistan is Russia''s largest non-naval military facility outside the country.  It was officially opened in Tajikistan in 2004 under a previous agreement, which was signed in 1993, and hosts Russia’s largest military contingent deployed abroad.

A total of some 7,000 Russian troops are stationed at three military facilities collectively known as the 201st military base - in Dushanbe, Qurghon Teppa, some 100 kilometers from Dushanbe, and Kulob, about 200 kilometers southwest of Dushanbe.