ROSTOV-ON-DON, May 12. /TASS/. The crews of the Black Sea Fleet’s combat ships stepped up their naval presence by a quarter over NATO warships’ activity in the region, Southern Military District Commander Army General Aleksandr Dvornikov said in an interview with the Southern Russia Military Herald newspaper on Wednesday.
"The Black Sea Fleet’s surface combatants and boats held their training in the past period under the conditions of intensive opposition to NATO warships operating in the Black Sea. In particular, it was aimed at training standalone ships for accomplishing basic combat designation tasks… The time spent by the crews of the Fleet’s ships and vessels at sea increased by 26% in terms of vessel-running days in the winter training period compared to the same period in 2020 and this figure for submarines climbed 5%," the general said.
The entry of the Graivoron missile corvette into the service of the Fleet’s constant alert forces also contributed to boosting the time spent by the crews at sea, he added.
"Overall, the total time spent by the Black Sea Fleet’s ships and boats at sea amounts to over 1,200 vessel-running days or more than 100,000 running miles," Dvornikov specified.
Speaking about the recent large-scale drills in Crimea, the Southern Military District commander praised the inter-fleet transit of a tactical taskforce of three artillery and eight amphibious assault ships from the Caspian to the Black Sea and back as ‘a remarkable event.’
The active phase of drills at the Opuk practice range in Crimea and in the Black Sea involved over 10,000 troops and 1,200 weapon systems, including 40 naval ships and boats and 20 support vessels and up to 200 aircraft, among them 40 military transport planes of Russia’s Aerospace Force.