Rossiyskaya Gazeta, August 29, 2016, p. 5
The sudden check of combat readiness of troops started on Thursday continues in the Russian army. In the course of big-scale exercises generals move entire military units and formations from one part of the country to the other. The main goal is not to make servicemen fatigues by multi-kilometer marches but to check how combat ready they are on an absolutely unfamiliar terrain.
UNITS OF THE AIRBORNE FORCES AND MARINES WERE MOVED TO CRIMEA AND KRASNODAR TERRITORY
The sudden check of combat readiness of troops started on Thursday continues in the Russian army. In the course of big-scale exercises generals move entire military units and formations from one part of the country to the other. The main goal is not to make servicemen tired by multi-kilometer marches but to check how combat ready they are on an absolutely unfamiliar terrain. The Defense Ministry reported, “According to the plan of the exercises, military units will have to fulfill combat training tasks in new basic areas and working out of the tasks will be hindered by presence on unfamiliar terrain and in little known situation.”
On Sunday, it became known that several airborne assault brigades of the Airborne Forces and marines of the Caspian Flotilla were moved to unfamiliar training ranges in Crimea and Krasnodar Territory.
The Defense Ministry reported, “Units of the Airborne Forces formation from Volgograd Region performed a march of 1,200 kilometers long and arrived to Opuk training range on the Crimean Peninsula. There they started engineering equipment, organization of guarding and defense of the new concentration area and preparation for fulfillment of combat training tasks.”
Along with this, having performed a multi-kilometer march (on foot, at automobiles and at trains), the marine brigade was moved to Raevsky training range in Krasnodar Territory.
Representatives of the Defense Ministry explained that in the course of the marches paratroopers and marines worked out the matters of loading and unloading of the personnel, military hardware and materiel at sea ferryboats and on railway platforms of near-port stations in Novorossiysk and Kerch in practice.
Crews of airplanes of the Krasnodar higher military aviation school, as well as units of special forces brigades of the Western and Central military districts were also moved to the military airfields of the south of Russia. Combat training airplanes Yak-130 and L-39 participated in the events. The crews will perform flights at the lowest possible and medium altitudes, at single airplanes and within a group making the possibility to detect air targets more difficult to the maximal extent.
Units of special forces will have to fulfill tasks of reconnaissance and search and anti-saboteur operations.
In turn, in the course of the sudden check minesweeping groups of the Black Sea Fleet successfully fulfilled tasks of search for and liquidation of sea mines by shipborne hydroacoustic means and provided for coming of antisubmarine forces to the appointed areas.
A minesweeping group of the Novorossiysk naval base that consisted of sea minesweepers Valentin Pikul and Mineralnye Vody participated in fulfillment of anti-mine defense tasks. Representatives of the Defense Ministry explained, “About ten maritime, harbor and coastal minesweepers and antisubmarine ships of the Black Sea Fleet participated in the exercises in total.”
It is necessary to say that the sudden check has been expectedly and traditionally disliked by NATO representatives. NATO started speaking about a “Russian threat” again.
Permanent representative of Russia to NATO Alexander Grushko commented on the situation, “With regard to some statements that exercises in Russia allegedly demonstrate its belligerent aspirations, I would not react to all statements on the part of NATO about our practice of sudden checks at least because this practice is well known and it is absolutely transparent for them.”
Grushko pointed out, “On the voluntary basis we provide notifications through the communication network of the OSCE about organization of exercises of such kind. Military attaches are notified in Moscow. We provide information about the areas of concentration, quantity and composition of participating forces and tasks that are fulfilled. It is possible to see all this in mass media because there are more unrealistic apprehensions related to such practice there.”
The diplomat also explains that for our country with its size this is one of the most optimal ways to ensure combat readiness of troops.
The sudden check of combat readiness of the Russian army with participation of troops of three military districts, Northern Fleet, as well as Airborne Forces and Airspace Forces will be completed on August 31. According to military officials, it will be a kind of last rehearsal of big-scale exercises Caucasus-2016 to be conducted in September.