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Russian helicopters airlift tactical force during drills in Tajikistan’s mountains

Overall, the one-day exercise involved about 1,000 troops
Mi-8 military transport helicopter Mikhail Solunin/TASS
Mi-8 military transport helicopter
© Mikhail Solunin/TASS

MOSCOW, January 24. /TASS/. The crews of Mi-8 military transport helicopters from Russia’s 201st military base airlifted a tactical assault force and supported it with fire during drills in high mountains of Tajikistan, the press office of the Central Military District reported on Friday.

"Under the drills’ scenario, an illegal armed formation advanced towards Russian military facilities with the aim of seizing them to replenish food and ammunition supplies. The helicopter crews promptly airlifted mountainous motor rifle units to the presumed area of the enemy’s stay," the press office said in a statement.

The crews of Mi-8 helicopters also conducted air reconnaissance and destroyed the notional enemy’s installations. The pilots practiced the technique of piloting in overcoming mountain passes and gorges and sharpened their skills of landing helicopters on unequipped limited-size high mountainous sections.

"The complexity of these flights is that during such climbs the air becomes more rarified, a temperature drop occurs, weather conditions change and turbulence appears. At such altitudes, the operation of radio equipment deteriorates while aircraft control becomes more difficult," the press office quoted Commander of the 201st military base’s Air Group Major Viktor Khasanov as saying.

Overall, the one-day exercise involved about 1,000 troops.

The 201st military base stationed in Tajikistan is Russia’s largest military facility outside its borders. The military base is located in the cities of Dushanbe and Bokhtar. The military base’s armament includes T-72 tanks, BTR-82A armored personnel carriers, Grad multiple launch rocket systems, Gvozdika and Akatsiya artillery systems.

Under an agreement signed in October 2012, Russia’s military base in Tajikistan will remain until 2042.