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YEKATERINBURG, September 14. /TASS/. Russia launched this year’s largest exercises - Centre-2015 in the Central Military District on Monday, the Defense Ministry’s press service told TASS, adding that the drill involves about 95,000 troops, more than 7,000 pieces of military equipment, up to 170 warplanes and 20 ships.
The exercise is held in the Urals area, as well as in the country’s European part - at the Totski and Donguz ranges where up to 12,000 thousand troops, 470 armored vehicles, about 90 tanks, 250 infantry fighting vehicles, 130 armored personnel carriers, as well as about 20 artillery systems and multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) are involved."The Center-2015 strategic command-and-staff exercise is the final stage of the Armed Forces’ operational and combat training in 2015, as well as the joint combat training events of the armed forces of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member states," the Defense Ministry said.
The maneuvers will check readiness of the military command and control bodies of the CSTO member states’ armed forces to manage the coalition force groupings in the localisation of an international armed conflict, blocking and destruction of illegal armed groups in the course of joint special operations.
Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces - First Deputy Defense Minister, General Valery Gerasimov is in command of the exercise.
The drills involve military command structures and troops of the Central Military District, the Caspian Flotilla, the Airborne Forces, long-distance, and military transport aviation, as well as the control bodies and units of the Interior Ministry, Emergency Situations Ministry, Federal Security Service (FSB), Federal Protective Service (FSO) and the Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN) of Russia, the task force and units of the armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan that are part of the CSTO collective rapid reaction force.
In addition, the troops’ mobilization readiness and actions will be checked during drills for the deployment and defense actions aimed at the protection of important state facilities within the framework of the Center-2015 maneuvers in the Republic of Bashkortostan, in the Novosibirsk, Samara and Chelyabinsk regions.
Previously, troops of the Central Military District, the Caspian Flotilla, Airborne Forces, Military Transport Aviation, as well as aviation units of other military districts were alerted within a snap combat readiness check during which they moved to the staging areas, conducted combined marches with the use of trains and military transport aviation planes.
The Center-2015 drills will last till September 20.
Commander of Central Military District (CMD) Colonel General Vladimir Zarudnitsky told journalists that the command post exercise will train localizing an international armed conflict on the Central Asian strategic direction.
"The main phase of Center-2015 strategic command post exercise starts today," Zarudnitsky said at the Main Control Center of CMD headquarters. "This is the main phase of operational and combat training for CMD forces in 2015. The forces of the district received training combat tasks on localizing an international armed conflict on the Central Asian strategic direction," he added.
Earlier, the troops re-grouped by different means - on foot, by railroad and by air transport - to a distance of up to five kilometers, Zarudnitsky noted. "We created groups in different places of exercise, set up command posts, systems of control, communication and automation, as well as all types of maintenance for groups at upcoming drills. Apart from that, we practiced tasks of mobilization and territorial defense," he continued.