Armed Forces of the Kyrgyz Republic

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Armed Forces of the Kyrgyz Republic
Кыргыз Республикасынын Куралдуу Күчтөрү (Kyrgyz)
Qırğız Respublikasının Quralduu Küçtörü
Armed Forces of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan.svg
Seal of the Kyrgyz Armed Forces
Military Ensign of Kyrgyz Armed Forces (Kyrgyz).svg
Ensign of Kyrgyz Armed Forces
MottoМилдет, Намыс, Ата-Мекен (Duty, Honor, and Fatherland)
FoundedMay 29, 1992[1]
Service branchesPatch of Kyrgyz Armed Forces.svg Kyrgyz Army
Roundel of Kyrgyzstan.svg Kyrgyz Air Force
Kyrgyz National Guard Patch.jpg Kyrgyz National Guard
Kyrgyzstan Border Service Flag Obverse.svg Kyrgyz Frontier Force
HeadquartersMinistry of Defence, Bishkek
Commander in ChiefFlag of the President of Kyrgyzstan.svg Sadyr Japarov (Acting)
Chairman of the State Committee for Defense AffairsMinistry of Defense Kyrgyzstan seal.svg Colonel Erlis Terdikbayev
Chief of the General StaffMilitary Ensign of Kyrgyz Armed Forces (Kyrgyz).svg Major General Taalaibek Omuraliev
Military age18
Conscription12 months (high school graduates)
9 months (university graduates)
Available for
military service
1,234,457 (2002 est.), age 15–49
Fit for
military service
1,001,274 (2002 est.), age 15–49
Reaching military
age annually
50,590 (2002 est.)
Active personnel15,500 (IISS 2007)
Reserve personnel10,000
Budget1.4 billion soms (IISS 2007)
Foreign suppliers Russia[2]
 United States
 United Kingdom
Related articles
RanksMilitary ranks of Kyrgyzstan

The Armed Forces of the Kyrgyz Republic,[3] originally formed from former Soviet forces of the Turkestan Military District stationed in newly independent Kyrgyzstan, includes the Army, the Air Force, the Northern and Southern Groups of Forces, Internal Troops, Agency of National Security and Border Troops.

In terms of foreign presence, the U.S.-led Operation Enduring Freedom coalition used the Manas Air Base (Bishkek's international airport) until June 2014. In response, Russia set up the 999th Air Base at Kant to counter the American military presence in the former Soviet state. Moscow is believed to have promised Bishkek $1.1 billion for modernising its army. Agreements to this effect were reached during the visits to Bishkek by Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov in August and President Vladimir Putin in September 2012.[4]

Kyrgyzstan hosted the Second CIS Military Sports Games in 2017 in Balykchy town. The games included various competition in shooting, fighting, etc.[5]


The Armed Forces were formed on 29 May 1992 when President of the Kyrgyz SSR Askar Akayev signed a decree which effectively consolidated all the formations and units of the Soviet Army deployed in the territory of the new republic under the jurisdiction of Bishkek and not Moscow.[6] Until 1988, these troops were part of the Central Asian Military District. 29 May is today celebrated as the Day of the Armed Forces.[7] In 1993, the State Defense Committee was renamed to the Ministry of Defense on the basis of the headquarters of the 17th Army Corps. In 1998, the 1st Koy Tash, 2nd Osh, and 3rd Balykchinsk Infantry Brigades were created on the basis of the 8th Guards Motor Rifle Division. In August 1999, the Batken Conflict occurred in southwestern Kyrgyzstan, during which militants of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) made incursions of into Uzbek and Kyrgyz territory from their camps in Tajikistan.

In 2006, the Air Force and Air Defense Forces were combined to form the Kyrgyz Air Force. The same year, the term of service was reduced from 18 to 12 months (1 year). Since May 1992, Kyrgyzstan has been a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. In February 2014, the Armed Forces General Staff was expanded to have complete control over the military apparatus, with the ministry of defense becoming a state defense committee which plays a smaller and more administrative role.[8] Despite this arrangement, many former military/security officials such as Taalaibek Omuraliev and Adyl Kurbanov were in favor of returning the military to its former organization.[9]


Military guard of honor near a monument in Bishkek's main square

For much of the Soviet period, since 1967, the 8th Guards 'Panfilov' Motor Rifle Division was the main military force in the country. In 1967 the division had been moved to Bishkek from the Baltic Military District, where it had previously been based. It was only disbanded in January 2003.[10] However, in 2011 reports said the division had been reformed with its headquarters in Tokmak.

The Army of Kyrgyzstan includes the 1st Motor Rifle Brigade (Mountain) at Osh, a brigade at Koy-Tash, in the Bishkek area, the 25th Special Forces Brigade, independent battalions at Karakol and Naryn, a brigade at Balykchi, and other units.

Two Groups of Forces, the Southern, and more recently the Northern, have been active during Kyrgyzstan's history. In 2004, the Northern Group of Forces was reported as consisting of the Balykchynsky brigade, the brigade deployed in suburb of Bishkek, separate battalions in Karakol and Naryn, and other army units.[11]


Kyrgyz Armed Forces have inherited conscription from the Armed Forces of USSR. The length of conscription was reduced to 12 from initial 18 in 2006. Today, Kyrgyz Armed Forces employ a policy of reducing the service period for university graduates to 9 months. [12]

Alternative service exists, however, it is only offered to conscripts who belong to certain religious groups. [13]


Kyrgyz soldiers participate in Exercise Regional Cooperation 2012


Name Origin Type In service Notes
Armored fighting vehicle
T-72 Soviet Union Main battle tank 150[14]
BTR-80 Soviet Union Amphibious APC 10[14]
BTR-70 Soviet Union Amphibious APC 25[14]
BRDM-2 Soviet Union Amphibious APC 30[14]
BMP-1 Russia Infantry fighting vehicle 230[14]
BMP-2 Russia Infantry fighting vehicle 90[14]
122mm howitzer D-30 Soviet Union Howitzer 107[14] 35 are the M-30 standard.
152mm howitzer D-1 Soviet Union Howitzer 16[14]
100mm field gun BS-3 Soviet Union Field gun 18[14]
T-12 antitank gun Soviet Union Field gun 18[14] 100mm round
Self-propelled artillery
2S1 Soviet Union Self-propelled howitzer 18[14]
2S9 Anona Soviet Union Self-propelled howitzer 12[15]
Multiple rocket launchers
BM-21 Grad Soviet Union Multiple rocket launcher 15[14]
BM-27 Uragan Soviet Union Multiple rocket launcher 6[14]

Special Forces[edit]

Subordinated to the Ministry of Defence[edit]

Members of the 25th Special Force Brigade Scorpion in 2013
  • 25th Special Force Brigade Scorpion. This brigade was formed in 1994. It began as the 525th Special Company, and now Scorpion is the best brigade in the country. Soldiers of this brigade use modern weapons and equipment.
  • "Ilbirs" brigade. Ilbirs means snow leopard in the Kyrgyz language. It was formed in April 1999. At that period it was the 24th Special Forces Battalion.

National Guard Special Forces[edit]

  • The National Guard of Kyrgyzstan has an Airborne Battalion, Panther.
  • Bars (Барс) and Edelweiss units.

State Committee for National Security[edit]

  • Alfa is an anti-terrorist unit. Almost all former Soviet countries' National Security Agencies have special teams called "Alfa". "Alfa" is a top-secret unit; there is no information available about it.

Ministry of the Interior[edit]

  • "SOBR" (СОБР) is a special team, similar to the American SWAT teams. SOBR also exists in Russia and many other post-Soviet countries.

In August 2010, the Kyrgyz MOD received 45 Ford Ranger pickups and 44 Polaris quads from the U.S. Embassy's Office of Military Cooperation to increase the mobility of Kyrgyz counterterrorism units, particularly in mountainous regions.[16]

Air Force[edit]

In downtown Bishkek. The sign says, "National Guard"

Kyrgyzstan's air arm was inherited from the central Soviet air force training school. This presented the nation a fleet of nearly 70 L-39s, dismantled MiG-21's and several Mi-8's and Mi-24's. However, only a few L-39s and the helicopters are capable of flight. All Kyrgyz military aircraft are reportedly based at Kant, alongside the Russian 999th Air Base.[17] Because of expense and military doctrine, Kyrgyzstan has not developed its air capability; a large number of the MiG-21 interceptors that it borrowed from Russia were returned in 1993, although a number of former Soviet air bases remain available. In 1996 about 100 decommissioned MiG-21s remained in Kyrgyzstan, as of 2017 only 29 MiG-21s are in working order, in service along with ninety-six L-39 trainers and sixty-five helicopters. The air defence forces have received aid from Russia, which has sent military advisory units to establish a defence system. The Russians also help patrol Kyrgyz airspace as part of the Joint CIS Air Defence System. Presently Kyrgyzstan has twenty-six SA-2 and SA-3 surface-to-air missiles in its air defence arsenal. In 2002 the Kyrgyzstan government allowed the United States to use Manas air base for support operations in the War on terror. This agreement lasted till June 2014.[18][19]

Military education[edit]

The main military educational institutions include:

Cadets of the institute during a victory day parade in central Moscow in 2020.

Training centers[edit]

The Center for Advanced Training of Officers and NCOs of the Defense Ministry was opened in early 2007. It was designed to offer one month professional training courses. In 2005, the NCO Training School of the Combined Arms Training Center of the Armed Forces was opened at the base of the 2nd Independent Motorized Rifle Brigade.[20] In 2013, the border guard opened classes at more than 100 secondary schools.[21]

High schools[edit]

The Kyrgyz State National Military Lyceum and MVD High School are secondary schools that trains middle-tier commanders in the armed forces.

Kyrgyz State Medical Academy Faculty[edit]

The Military Faculty of Kyrgyz State Medical Academy was created in the beginning of the Second World War, specifically in October 1941 when there was a shortage of medical personnel in the medical service. Originally it was the Sanitary Department of Defence, and in 1942 it was renamed to the Department of Military and Health Training, and has since 1944 been known as the Department of Military Medical Training. It currently engages in the military training of students of medical, pediatric, dental, sanitary and pharmaceutical departments of the armed forces.[22]

References and links[edit]

  1. ^ "As it turns out, May 29th marks the anniversary of the creation of the Kyrgyz Military". 2014-05-29.
  2. ^ "Peace Research Institute". Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  3. ^ Kyrgyz: Кыргыз Республикасынын Куpaлдуу Kүчтөpү, Qırğız Respublikasının Quralduu Küçtörü
  4. ^ "Russia Gives $1.5 bln to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan for Military Expenditure". The Gazette of Central Asia. Satrapia. 19 November 2012.
  5. ^ "Second Military Sports Games of CIS kick off in Kyrgyzstan".
  6. ^ Вооруженные силы — Государство — О Киргизии — Добро пожаловать в Киргизию!
  7. ^ AnydayGuide. "Armed Forces Day in Kyrgyzstan / May 29, 2017". AnydayGuide. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
  8. ^ "В Кыргызстане создан Генеральный штаб вооруженных сил". 2014-02-04. Retrieved 2019-05-22.
  9. ^ "Реформа Вооруженных сил Кыргызстана. Сплошные парадоксы". 2018-09-28.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-12-15. Retrieved 2007-01-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) - accessed Aug 2007 and Jan 2008
  11. ^ Vad777, accessed July 2008, reporting - 2004, a dead link
  12. ^ 1. Conscription
  13. ^ 2. Conscientious objection
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Kyrgyzstan Army Equipment Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  15. ^ Jane's Armour and Artillery 1997-98 ISBN 0-7106-1542-6
  16. ^ "Press release - Embassy of the United States Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic". Archived from the original on 24 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  17. ^ "World Air Forces 2000 pg. 73". Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  18. ^ "World Air Forces 2004 pg. 70". Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  19. ^ Joshua Kucera. "U.S. Formally Closes Its Kyrgyzstan Air Base". Eurasianet. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Almanac: Kyrgyzstan, Republic of • Military Medicine Worldwide". Retrieved 2020-05-24.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]