MOSCOW, March 29 (Itar-Tass) — The Russian Air Force completed successfully the withdrawal of the Russian aviation squadron from South Sudan. Russian aviation group was participating in a UN peacekeeping operation in Sudan.
“A military transport airplane Il-76, which landed at 10:20 Moscow time at the Migalovo airport in the city of Tver, brought from South Sudan the last group of about 20 Russian servicemen headed by commander Col. Viktor Delyaev and about 16 tonnes of aviation technical property,” spokesman for the Russian Air Force Col. Vladimir Drik told Itar-Tass on Thursday.
“The operation to withdraw Russian peacekeepers to the homeland was carried out in the organized way in full compliance with the plan and the time schedule. The crews of the warplanes Il-76 and An-124 acted synchronically, the aircraft operated as scheduled, no incidents were reported. All servicemen from the Russian aviation group are healthy, the command of the Russian Air Force thanks them for the exemplary fulfilment of their missions during the UN peacekeeping operation in Sudan,” Drik noted.
“During the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from February 19 to March 29 the Il-76 airplane has made 19 flights from the Juba airfield, South Sudan, and the An-124 Ruslan airplane has made one flight from the airfield Entebbe in Uganda. These flights brought 122 servicemen, more than 400 tonnes of property, military hardware and equipment, four helicopters Mi-8MTV with weaponry to Russia by these flights,” the spokesman concluded.
Since April 2006 the Russian aviation group has fulfilled the missions for the helicopter support of the rapid deployment forces, the transfer of airmobile reserves, round-the-clock medical and evacuation measures, air surveillance, search-and-rescue operations, the delivery of UN cargoes and staff to the places of deployment in Sudan.
The rotation of Russian servicemen was made as scheduled each six months.
The crews of four Russian helicopters were permanently involved in the missions in Sudan. Since 2006 they spent over 12,000 hours of flights, made over 15,000 flights, transported about 100,000 passengers and 1,500 tonnes of various cargoes.