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MOSCOW, August 3. /TASS/. Russia’s Defense Ministry conducted in July a total of three surprise combat readiness inspections of troops - the Aerospace Defense Forces, checks in the Eastern Military District and the Northern Fleet, Defense Minister General Sergey Shoigu said on Monday.
"In July, there were three various surprise inspections of troops in the Western, Eastern and Arctic regions of the country," the minister said at a meeting devoted to the results of the drills.
"They were aimed at improving the troops’ combat readiness and checking their ability to respond to changing circumstances and emerging threats to the country’s security," Shoigu said. According to him, the purpose of the July snap checks was to "develop new concepts of the Armed Forces’ use in a rapidly changing environment, and drill troops’ timely response to possible threats to state security."
In particular, the inspections in the country’s West "checked cohesiveness of the Aerospace Defense Forces’ command and control" and their readiness for the formation of the Aerospace Forces, Shoigu said. Earlier on Monday, he announced the creation of a new branch of the Russian Armed Forces - the Aerospace Forces, established by merging the Air Force and the Aerospace Defense Forces. Colonel General Viktor Bondarev has been appointed as the commander-in-chief of the new armed service. "The creation of the new branch of the Armed Forces is prompted by a shift in the center of gravity of the armed struggle towards the air and space sphere and is dictated by the objective need to unite all means and forces responsible for ensuring Russia’s air and space security in a single command," the Defense Ministry’s press service reported.
The first team of the new armed service’s control centre was put on combat duty on August 1.
As for the Arctic, the checks there focused "on the Northern Fleet’s command structures and forces’ readiness to respond to potential crises caused by emergencies at military facilities, possible technological and epidemiological disasters in the region, as well as the fight against terrorism," the minister said.