MINSK, January 16. /TASS/. The flight drills of the Russia-Belarus regional battlegroup that kicked off on Belarusian soil on January 16 envisage landing a tactical assault force, the republic’s Defense Ministry reported on Monday.
"The drills are set to practice a broad range of objectives, in particular, conducting air reconnaissance, carrying out joint aerial patrols along the state border, providing air support for combat teams, landing a tactical assault force, delivering cargo and evacuating casualties," the ministry said in a statement.
The Russian-Belarusian joint tactical flight drills are aimed at "boosting operational compatibility in jointly fulfilling combat training objectives," the Belarusian Defense Ministry emphasized.
Belarusian top brass announced on January 8 that an aviation component of the Russian Aerospace Forces had arrived in the republic to participate in the joint regional battlegroup’s tactical flight drills scheduled for January 16 - February 1. The drills will involve all of the airfields and training grounds of the Belarusian Air Force and Air Defense troops, the ministry specified.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announced on October 10, 2022 that Belarus and Russia had begun deploying a regional group of forces mostly consisting of Belarusian military personnel. As the Belarusian leader pointed out, the decision to deploy the joint group of forces had been made during talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and was prompted by the escalation on the western borders of the Belarus-Russia Union State.
The Belarusian Defense Ministry announced on October 15, 2022, the arrival of the first military trains with Russian troops in the republic. As the ministry specified, the Russian military contingent in the joint regional group of forces would total about 9,000 personnel and there were plans to deploy about 170 tanks, as many as 200 armored combat vehicles and 100 artillery guns and mortars to Belarus from Russia.
President Putin announced on December 19, 2022, following talks with his Belarusian counterpart Lukashenko in the capital of Belarus that Moscow and Minsk would continue the practice of joint drills and other combat training measures, including as part of the joint group of forces.
The Belarusian Defense Ministry reported in early January 2023 that measures continued to beef up the regional group of forces and the designated troops were ready for accomplishing the objectives of defending the Belarus-Russia Union State.