Russian-American military exercise begins in Russia's Far East

Russian and American personnel have started drills in the practical stage of the Vigilant Eagle training exercise to last until August 30 in Russia and in the United States, the Russian Defense Ministry's press service said on Tuesday

Russian and American personnel have started drills in the practical stage of the Vigilant Eagle training exercise to last until August 30 in Russia and in the United States, the Russian Defense Ministry's press service said on Tuesday.

"The Vigilant Eagle is the most significant event on the plan of Russian-American military cooperation for 2013. During 2+2 talks in early August Russian and American top military officials Sergei Shoigu and Chuck Hagel reaffirmed their mutual interest to broaden cooperation, and they set themselves the task of making international military cooperation more effective by achieving results of practical importance in tackling present-day challenges and threats," Maj. Gen. Yevgeny Ilyin, deputy head of the Defense Ministry's Main Department for International Military Cooperation, was quoted as saying.

Combating air terrorism remains a pressing issue, he said. "Cooperation with American partners in this area will help enhance the level of flight security in the interests of both countries," the general said.

Russian and American specialists have tested communication means that will link up the command posts in Khabarovsk, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Anchorage and Colorado Springs, he said. The next stage involves computer simulations of air operations and information exchanges between Russian and American command posts.

Russian and American crews will fly missions from airfields in Kamchatka and Alaska on August 28 and 29. The planes will simulate the flight of a plane hijacked by terrorists, and an interceptor that will force it to land.

"We expect that the training exercise will help Russian and American air crews perfect interaction procedures during emergencies," Ilyin said.

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