National Guardsmen participate in Regional Cooperation 22 Published Aug. 15, 2022 By Sgt. 1st Class Terra Gatti, Virginia National Guard DUSHANBE, Tajikistan — The annual military exercise “Regional Cooperation 22”, hosted by Tajikistan and National Guardsmen from Arizona, Massachusetts, Virginia and Montana, held its opening ceremony Aug. 10. Participants from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia and Pakistan are involved in a six-day command post and field training exercise designed to enhance regional security and stability, increase national capabilities and commitment to preventing weapons of mass destruction, terrorist elements, and narcotics. Additionally, exercises like “Regional Cooperation 22” will help develop and enhance the interoperability of the regional defense and U.S. forces in international peace operations and information sharing. “It is an unparalleled opportunity to strengthen partnerships and strengthen our capacity for working together,“ said Ambassador John Mark Pommersheim, the U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Tajikistan, during the exercise. Throughout the exercise, the multi-national team of approximately 350 U.S. and partner nation service members will develop a combined military response to several potential scenarios. Training began with three days of academics focused on the Military Decision-Making Process and will be followed by six days of scenario-driven training. The exercise will allow participants to improve proficiency in operational military planning while strengthening relationships between the U.S. and regional partners. U.S. and Central and South Asian nations have been involved in the annual R.C. exercise since 2004, and 2022 marks the sixth time Tajikistan has hosted the event.