MOSCOW, July 17. /TASS/. About 150,000 troops, over 26,000 weapon systems, 414 aircraft and 106 warships are involved a snap combat readiness check that kicked off for Russia’s Southern and Western Military Districts, the Airborne Force and marine infantry of the Northern and Pacific Fleets, Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu announced on Friday.
"The check stipulates holding 56 tactical exercises with the troops. A total of 35 training grounds and camps and 17 naval ranges in the Black and Caspian Seas will be involved. Overall, the surprise check has brought together 149,755 personnel, 26,820 items of armament and military hardware, 414 aircraft and 106 warships and support vessels," Shoigu said at a meeting with military commanders.
The defense minister issued instructions to implement the programs of troops’ combat training and cohesion during the drills and qualification exercises.
"The results of training measures held should be taken into account in assessing the level of the preparedness of military large units and formations for taking part in the Kavkaz-2020 [Caucasus-2020] strategic exercise [scheduled for September]," the defense chief said.
Snap combat readiness check held on Putin’s order
The surprise combat readiness check for the troops of the Southern and Western Military Districts, marine infantry of the Northern and Pacific Fleets and some units of the Central Command and also for the Airborne Force started on order from Russia’s Supreme Commander-in-Chief President Vladimir Putin, the defense minister said.
"In compliance with a decision by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces, a snap check has begun for the troops of the Southern and Western Military Districts, some large units of the Central Command, the Airborne Force and marine infantry of the Northern and Pacific Fleets," Shoigu said.
The drills are meant to assess the troops’ ability to provide military security in Russia’s southwest where serious terrorist threats persist and to prepare for the Kavkaz-2020 strategic command and staff exercise, the defense minister said.
For the purpose of fulfilling the tasks set by the supreme commander-in-chief, Shoigu has ordered the General Staff to organize the check and control of the troops’ operations. Working groups will be set up to check military command centers, troops and forces involved in the drills.
The deputy defense ministers have been assigned the tasks to ensure control of the fulfilment of assignments by subordinate military command centers and troops involved in the snap check in their relevant areas of activity.
The commanders-in-chief of the military branches of the Russian Armed Forces, the commander of the Airborne Force and the heads of military command centers will direct the preparations of military large units and formations for accomplishing combat training assignments.