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KHABAROVSK, May 15. /TASS/. The development of the military towns’ infrastructure on Cape Schmidt and Wrangel Island in the Arctic zone of Russia’s Eastern Military District will be completed in 2015, the military district spokesman Alexander Gordeyev said on Friday.
"The second phase of military facilities’ construction has started in the military camps of the Arctic zone during which it is planned to complete the infrastructure development on Cape Schmidt and Wrangel Island - equipping of the combat duty positions and life support systems will be completed. It is also planned to restore the airfield on Cape Schmidt," the spokesman said. According to him, construction equipment and building materials have already been unloaded in the area of Bukhta Rodzhersa Bay on Wrangel Island and Vostochnaya Bay on Cape Schmidt.
To protect Russia’s interests in the Arctic, the Joint Strategic Command was formed in 2014 in the polar zone on the basis of the Northern Fleet. Force groupings, combined in the Joint Task Force, have already been formed on the Novaya Zemlya, New Siberian Islands, Wrangel Island and Cape Schmidt. The "North" Joint Strategic Command responsibility area includes the North Pole. The Defence Ministry is building a total of 6 military towns in the Arctic, including on the Chukchi Sea coast and in the area of the Amderma settlement, which will make it possible to control the Northern Sea Route. Head of the Russian National Defence Control Centre Mikhail Mizintsev said previously that Russia is building in the Arctic 13 airfields, 1 aviation range and 10 positions of radar units and air guidance stations.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said previously that the formation of the Northern Fleet Joint Strategic Command has enhanced security in the Arctic, promoting modernisation of military infrastructure in this important for Russia region.
The Arctic Joint Strategic Command was launched on December 1, 2014. It was formed on the basis of the Northern Fleet. A Russian Defence Ministry source told TASS previously that a self-sufficient troops group would be formed in the region by 2018. It will comprise, in particular, an air force and antiaircraft defence army the creation of which was announced by Chief of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov. In addition, two separate motorised infantry brigades are being formed. The new command, based on the Northern Fleet and headquartered at Severomorsk, will acquire military, naval surface and strategic nuclear subsurface, air force and aerospace defence units, assets, and bases transferred from Russia's Western, Central, and Southern (but not Eastern) Military Districts, with which it will, importantly, be on a par. The creation of the new command was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin on 24 November. The Northern Fleet will be absorbed in its entirety into the command, together with substantial elements of the 1st Air Force and Air Defence Command.