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OPUK PROVING GROUND /Crimea/, March 22. /TASS/. A routine large-scale command and staff exercise of Russia’s airborne troops has begun in Crimea with some forces of the Black Sea Fleet, the 4th Air Force Army and Air Defense Army of the Southern military district taking part, the Airborne Force’s Deputy Commander, Lieutenant-General Vyaznikov told the media.
"In the final phase of the exercise the forces involved will carry out firing and fire control practices during defense and offensive operations. Involved in the exercise are forces of the Novorossiysk Mountain Air Assault Division, Kamyshin and Ulan-Ude airborne assault brigades. They will attack the hypothetical enemy with self-propelled artillery pieces 2S9 Nona, airborne assault vehicles BMD-2KU, D-30 howitzers and all types of small arms," Vyaznikov said.
The 4th Air Force and Air Defense Army will provide support with army and frontline aviation, such as Sukhoi-27 fighters, Sukhoi-24 bombers, Sukhoi-25 fighter-bombers and Mi-24 helicopter gunships, he added.
"Counterattacks from the sea and from areas inside the peninsula are expected to wipe out the enemy forces and preserve control of critically important areas," Vyaznikov concluded.
The Russian Armed Forces’ first-ever large-scale airborne force exercise also involving the Aerospace Force and the Black Sea Fleet began in Crimea on March 20. A total force of 2,500 paratroops and 600 pieces of equipment were brought to the area on March 13-19 by motor, railway, air and sea transport.