The Russian and U.S. air forces held a joint practice for crews and ground services in case their aircraft in Syria come dangerously close, said Col. Gen. Andrei Kartapolov, the head of the Main Operative Directorate of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff.
Cooperation with U.S. colleagues is developing successfully as part of interaction with the international anti-terror coalition and the regional countries, aimed at preventing air incidents to ensure safety above Syria, Kartapolov said.
"As we already reported, last week the Russian and U.S. defense ministries signed the relevant memorandum. This morning, at 11 a.m. Moscow time, the Russian and U.S. air forces held a joint practice of actions by crews and ground services in the event of a dangerous proximity between aircraft," Kartapolov said.
The troops practiced notification, organization and coordination, data-sharing between the staffs of operative groups and the control and command posts of the Russian Air Force at the Hmeimim airbase and the strategic U.S. air operations center in Qatar, and alerting one another about dangerous military activities in the Syrian airspace.
"Russian Air Force and international coalition crews conducted a near-miss within a minimally safe distance of three nautical miles in a specially designated area, set up communication on a pre-set frequency and exchanged messages about their flight parameters in Russian and in English," the general said.
After the aircraft returned to their airbases, the flights were analyzed via direct line of communication set up between the command posts of the Russian Aerospace Force in Hmeimim and the U.S. Air Force in Qatar.
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