Russia’s Northern Fleet Looks Ahead to International Drills

MOSCOW, January 4 (RIA Novosti) – Servicemen with Russia’s Northern Fleet will take part in a series of joint international exercises in 2013, an official spokesperson for the fleet confirmed on Friday.

“In 2013, Northern Fleet vessels will take part in major international exercises – the Barents, Pomor, and FRUKUS – carried out jointly with vessels from the Navies of other states in the Barents and Norwegian Seas and in the Atlantic Ocean,” the fleet’s spokesman, Captain Vadim Serga said.

The Barents and Pomor drills usually take place in the Barents and Norwegian seas.

This year, as in previous years, Serga said, the Barents exercises will feature scenarios aiming to increase interoperability between the Russian and Norwegian search and rescue services. These scenarios range from simulated search and rescue situations, to responding to environmental disasters such as oil spills at sea, Serga added.

The Pomor-2013 drills in May will see one of the Northern Fleet’s large antisubmarine ships join forces with the Norwegian Navy in a series of scenarios including “joint air defense exercises involving aircraft from both states … coming to the assistance of a vessel in distress, rescuing people in the water, and joint maneuvers during the day and night,” Serga said.

Russia and Norway have carried out the annual Pomor naval drills since 2010 to practice interoperability in the environmentally fragile Arctic area.

However, the FRUKUS drills are to be the highlight, Serga noted: four Russian vessels will join the navies of France, Norway and the United States in annual exercises held under the Partnership for Peace program.

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