Russia's defense chief: naval and air drills to be held in Mediterranean on permanent basis

 Russia's defense chief: naval and air drills to be held in Mediterranean on permanent basis

Large scale naval and air exercises Ocean Shield will be held in the Mediterranean on the permanent basis, Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

The minister noted that a large inter-fleet naval group had been created in the Mediterranean "for independently coping with a wide range of tasks in a changing situation."

"The command of the exercise was carried out from St. Petersburg and the support facility in Syria’s Tartus," TASS cited Shoigu as saying.

This year the Ocean Shield exercise was held for the first time. On September 1-8, a total of 26 ships, including 2 submarines and 34 aircraft of the Navy and the Aerospace Force conducted a joint exercise in the Mediterranean. 

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