New threats require higher combat capacities of strategic group in northern sector - Shoigu

Russian Supreme Commander in Chief Vladimir Putin has decided to check the readiness of Northern Fleet units and to assess the possibility of their reinforcement from central districts of Russia for operations under complex climatic conditions, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at the National Defense Center.

Russian Supreme Commander in Chief Vladimir Putin has decided to check the readiness of Northern Fleet units and to assess the possibility of their reinforcement from central districts of Russia for operations under complex climatic conditions, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at the National Defense Center.

"The new challenges and threats to military security require the ongoing improvement of combat capacities of the Armed Forces and special attention to the recently formed strategic group operating in the northern sector," the minister said.

Russian Supreme Commander in Chief Vladimir Putin ordered the full combat readiness of the Northern Fleet and some units of the Western Military District and the Airborne Forces at 8 a.m. Moscow time on Monday for a surprise check, he said.

"The check will last for six days, from March 16 till March 21, 2015," the defense minister noted.

"It is tasked to assess the capacities of Northern Fleet units to protect military security of Russia in the Arctic region," the minister said.

Shoigu has ordered to check on the first day of the inspection the troops' compliance with combat preparedness time standards. "After that the fleet units will be moved to practice areas [ranges] for fire exercises by use of standard weapons and tactical drills consistent with their missions," he said.

The minister also ordered to practice the reinforcement of a group deployed to the Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land islands, the relocation of special-purpose units to long distances away, the protection of the Russian state border in the air and at sea, the protection of the state border on land in the Extreme North territories, the deployment of a system supporting the combined-arms group, and the deterrence of a naval force and reconnaissance and sabotage groups of a simulated enemy.

A strategic command-and-staff drill of central military command bodies will begin on March 17, Shoigu said. He demanded that the General Staff hold the drill in the context of real operations of the Northern Fleet.

The surprise check of the Northern Fleet and some units of the Western Military District and the Airborne Forces involves 38,000 servicemen, 3,360 units of military hardware, 41 ships, 15 submarines, and 110 planes and helicopters, Shoigu said.

 

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