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Within the test of the combat readiness of forces based in the western and central military districts, army aircraft of the Western Military District are redeployed to operational airfields located more than 500 kilometres from the permanent deployment bases, the press service said, adding the air force was moving in squadrons in combat formations.
According to the Defence Ministry, pilots received lists of assignments with indicated route destinations right before the takeoff.
Later, the crews will participate in search and rescue operations in the designated areas. In the training, pilots will also search for and destroy "enemy" forces and armoured objects on unfamiliar grounds, the press service said.
The urgent drill to test the combat readiness of the western and central military districts and the command of the airborne troops started on February 26 under the Russian president's order. It involves about 150,000 personnel of various kinds of troops and military control structures and up to 90 planes, more than 120 helicopters, up to 880 tanks, more than 1,200 military vehicles and up to 80 ships.