Russian defense minister arrives in Crimea for key stage of Caucasus-2016 drills
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has arrived in Crimea that is due to host one of key stages of the Caucasus-2016 strategic command and staff drills on Friday, Russia's Defense Ministry official spokesman Igor Konashenkov told reporters, according to Russian news agency TASS.
"The defense ministry's head will personally inspect the actions of staff and forces during the Caucasus-2016 strategic drills," Konashenkov said, as reported by TASS.
During the drills the joint force grouping will train to repel attacks of a simulated enemy at the Opuk firing ground of the Southern military district, the spokesman said. "All types and branches of forces involved in the exercises will be engaged during this stage of maneuvers," he added.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Caucasus-2016 exercise has allowed the army commanders to practice the organization of interaction with other security forces in special operations. "The maneuvers have made it possible to assess the readiness of the military command and control bodies to manage joint force groupings," Konashenkov said.
Read alsoMFA Ukraine: Russia’s Caucasus 2016 drills constitute increasing military threatDuring the exercise, the formations of the First Tank Army, 20th Combined Arms Army of the Western Military District, the Second Combined Arms Army of the Central Military District, as well as units of formations of special forces of the country's military districts and Airborne Forces in the shortest possible time have carried out redeployment covering a distance of more than 2,000 kilometers. Aviation of the military districts performed flights within the range of up to 4,000 kilometers.
The Caucasus-2016 exercise is held in the territory of Russia's Southern Military District from September 5 to 10 under the command of Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov. The maneuvers involve command and control bodies and troops (forces) of the Southern Military District, part of forces of the Central Military District and Western Military District, the Northern Fleet, Aerospace Forces and Airborne Forces, warships and auxiliary vessels of the Black Sea Fleet and the Caspian Flotilla.