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MOSCOW, September 10. /TASS/. About 40 warships and auxiliary vessels of the Caspian fleet have put out to sea within the framework of the surprise combat readiness check in Russia’s Central Military District, the press service of the Russian defence ministry said on Thursday.
"The naval force and coastal troops of the Caspian fleet have been put on combat alert to drill interaction skills," the press service said. "Crews of about 40 warships and auxiliary vessels have sailed off from their bases in Astrakhan and Makhachkala to the ship dispersal area in the Caspian Sea."
"In all, about 3,000 servicemen and more than 120 weapons units of the Caspian fleet take part in the drills within the surprise check," the press service said.
The task of the exercises is to drill skills in handling mines and rebuffing subversive actions, in defending navy bases, protecting infrastructure facilities and areas of sea economic activities, and in supporting land troops.
Apart from that, units of marine corps have been switched to training grounds near Astrakhan and in Dagestan to drill skills in repelling attacks on defence facilities.
"In all, about 3,000 servicemen and more than 120 units of military hardware of the Caspian fleet are involved in the surprise check," the defence ministry said.
The surprise combat readiness check in the Central Military District began on Monday at the order from the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces, President Vladimir Putin, and will last till September 12. The drills involves about 95,000 servicemen, more than 7,000 weapons and military hardware and about 170 warplanes.