Drills of Russia's Airborne, Aerospace Forces and Black Sea Fleet begin in Crime

Drills involving three large units of Russia’s Airborne Forces, Aerospace Forces and the Black Sea Fleet began in Crimea’s Opuk firing range on Monday, Airborne Force Commander Colonel-General Andrei Serdyukov, who is in charge of the manoeuvres, said.

"For the first time in the Russian army’s history the Airborne Forces’ three large units were simultaneously alerted as part of the drills and partly redeployed to Crimea with weapons and equipment," Serdyukov said, adding that more than 2500 paratroopers and some 600 pieces of equipment are involved in the drills.

According to him, the troops will train to conduct operations "as part of a group of rapid reaction forces" against terrorists and regular forces of a simulated enemy.

"The exercises are held in the new format in Crimea due to the increased terrorist threat and also a broad range of use of the Airborne Forces as rapid reaction forces to solve crises in various regions of the world," TASS cited him as saying.

The servicemen will be tasked to take under control crucial facilities, practice amphibious landing and airdrops, and also firing during the offensive and defensive operations.

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