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NATO’s 16-country military manoeuvres begin in Slovakia

September 30, 2014, 4:50 UTC+3 BRATISLAVA
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BRATISLAVA, September 29. /ITAR-TASS/. Fourteen NATO countries and two allied states began air defence manouevres, MACE XVI, in Slovakia on Monday.

The main purpose of the exercise is to check common procedures for planning and deploying tactical aviation within the air defence system, the Slovak Defence Ministry said.

It said the use of aviation was critical in modern armed conflicts and the exercise was not just about training pilots but also about honing air defence skills.

A total of 660 troops are taking part in the manoeuvres which also involve F-16 jet fighters from Belgium, Denmark and Norway, a German Learjet 40, a French RAFALE, a Swedish Gripen, a C-130J Super Hercules from Denmark and an EA 18G from the United States.

Slovakia is hosting the exercise for the second time. The previous one was held in 2012.

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