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Russia’s naval task force back home after successful operation off Syria's coast

It was Russian Navy’s first-ever large-scale voyage to the Mediterranean in which naval aircraft were used in combat

SEVEROMORSK, February 9. /TASS/. Russia’s aircraft carrier-led task force has completed its successful operation in Syria - in the air, on the high seas and under water, the Navy’s Commander-in-Chief, Vladimir Korolyov, said on Thursday.

"The history of the Russian Navy is a long chronicle of victories, big and small. I am certain that the just-ended mission of the aircraft carrier-led task force is a special chapter in the combat history of the Russian Navy. In the operation against the terrorists you displayed unity, courage, determination and loyalty to the St. Andrew’s Flag. Each mile you left behind was used most effectively. The personnel operated with success in all media - in the air, on the sea surface and under water," Korolyov said at a special welcome ceremony on board the aircraft carrier The Admiral Kuznetsov.

The Admiral Kuznetsov and The Pyotr Veliki battlecruiser are now at anchor off Severomorsk in the Kola Bay. Both arrived there on February 8.

"As far as the serious losses inflicted upon the enemy and the invaluable experience the Navy’s air pilots have gained are concerned, they are a tangible argument in response to the skeptics who were calling in question the Navy’s combat ability and readiness," he said.

"We will closely study the lessons to be derived from this mission. Undoubtedly we will review our plans for future operations by naval groups and fleets and adjust training accordingly. The results of the voyage will be included in the curricula or our naval academies," Korolyov said.

It was the Russian Navy’s first-ever large-scale voyage to the Mediterranean in which naval aircraft were used in combat. The naval task force consisting of The Admiral Kuznetsov, the heavy nuclear-powered battle cruiser The Pyotr Veliki, two anti-submarine chasers The Severomorsk and the Vice-Admiral Kulakov, as well as auxiliary ships left for the Mediterranean on October 15, 2016.