MOSCOW, October 15 (Itar-Tass) - The Russian Pacific Fleet’s special commission has been recruiting crews to operate the French-built Mistral-type helicopter carriers, the Pacific Fleet’s official Captain First Rank Roman Martov told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.
In December 2010, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev approved the purchase of two Mistral-type amphibious assault ships, which was a radical step made by Russia which had not bought foreign ships for a long time.
The crews of the Vladivostok and Sevastopol helicopter carriers are to number more than 200 and will mostly consist of officers, warrant officers and sailors under a contract, the Martov said. A special commission of the Pacific Fleet which recruits the crews is paying special attention to the applicants' level of education and the results of psychological tests of the candidates. The aircraft crews and the technical staff of the helicopter carriers will also be thoroughly screened, the Martov said.
After the hull of the first amphibious assault ship is commissioned the recruited crews will receive special training in St. Petersburg and then will go to France to take over the ships. The formation of the ships crews will be completed in November, the spokesman said.
The first Mistral-type helicopter carrier built for Russia - the Vladivostok, will be commissioned in the city of St. Nazaire on the Atlantic coast on Tuesday.