Repr of far-abroad countries to watch CIS air defense exercise

MOSCOW, August 10 (Itar-Tass) —— Representatives of Algeria, India and Syria will watch for the first time the Comradeship-in-Arms 2011 exercise of the Air Forces and Air Defense Troops of the CIS member states, Colonel Vladimir Drik, the spokesman for the Air Force of the Russian Federation, told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

“The Comradeship-in-Arms 2011 joint exercise with live firing will be held from August to September 2011,” he said. “Servicemen from Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan will participate in the exercise. Representatives of Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Moldova and Uzbekistan will be present as observers. Representatives of far-abroad states Algeria, India and Syria will watch the active phase of the exercise,” he said.

“The aim of the upcoming exercise is to prepare and drill the functioning of groups of air defense forces of CIS member states in collective security areas in anti-terrorist operations and during armed conflicts,” Drik noted.

“The total of over 2,000 troops will participate in the exercise. Over 25 units of air defense troops will be equipped with S-300, S-200, S-75, S-125, Krug and Buk anti-aircraft rocket complexes. More than 50 Mig-29, MiG-31, Su-27, Tu-22M3, Su-34, Su-25 and Su-24 planes will be used,” the spokesman said. “Targets of 15 kinds will be installed at the ranges in Ashuluk, the Astrakhan region, and Sary-Shagan, Kazakhstan,” he said.

“The exercise began on August 3 and will last till October 5, 2011. It and will held in tree stages. The first stage, to last from August 3 to 7, has the aim to alert the troops in the places of their permanent deployment. The troop movement to ranges and setting up a coalition group of air force and air defense units in the region of a hypothetical armed conflict will be the aims of the second stage,” Drik said.

“The third stage will last from September 6 to October 5 and will consist of two parts. During the first part, air force and air defense units of five Commonwealth countries will function jointly during an anti-terrorist operation and in an armed conflict on the border. The use of units of Kazakhstan’s air force and air defense in the Central Asian region of collective security will be drilled at the Sary-Shagan range from September 15 to October 5,” Drik said.

Colonel-General Alexander Zelin, the Russian Air Force commander-in-chief, will supervise the operations in the third stage of the exercise.

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