First military units of Central and Western Military Districts involved in surprise military exercises came back to permanent deployment bases from the area of drills, the press service of the Defense Ministry told Itar-Tass.
“Some part of formations from the Central Military District of motor rifle brigades of the 2nd Army and vanguard units of a separate engineering brigade and a brigade of radiation, chemical and biological security from the Western Military District came back to their bases,” the press service said. “Aircraft involved in surprise drills returned to their permanent airfields, warships of the Baltic Fleet and formations of coast guard forces came to a naval base from the maritime range,” the press service added.
Defense Minister General Sergey Shoigu set March 7 as the final date for return of military staff to their bases.
“Trains are bringing tank units back to their bases. Several military units are on marches, military transport aviation has brought military units at a far distance back to their bases. Warships of the Northern Fleet are sailing to their anchorage site,” the press service reported.
Surprise military exercises have been held since February 26. The order to bring military units back to their bases was given by Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Putin.
Flaws and problems found during surprise military exercises of troops must be examined as quickly as possible. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu gave the order to this effect to the chief of the Russian General Staff.
“The chief of the General Staff must examine results of the surprise drills, flaws and problems found at the military exercises as quickly as possible. Upon results of check you must produce a report to me with concrete proposals to eliminate them,” he said at a telecom conference.
The defense minister noted that the latest surprise drills had improved noticeably as compared with previous drills. Shoigu ordered to bring back troops participating in the surprise drills to permanent bases before March 7. “I demand you must fulfil this task in an organized way, must not violate security requirements and must not put out of order weapons and military hardware,” the minister ordered, noting that only 18 pieces of military hardware turned for repair from around 3,000 pieces of military hardware involved in the surprise drills. “This is a good work for our formations to maintain technical order of weapons and military hardware,” Shoigu added.
He recalled that around 150,000 servicemen, 90 warplanes, more than 120 helicopters, more than 880 tanks, around 1,200 pieces of military hardware and up to 80 warships and vessels were involved in the surprise exercises. Russia has fulfilled strictly provisions of the 2011 Vienna Document over numerical strength of the Ground Troops, Airborne Troops and marines involved in the military exercises.
Eight trains were used for delivery of military staff and military hardware, the minister said. A total of six multiservice firing ranges and five maritime firing grounds were used in the Barents Sea and the Baltic Sea. “Aviation was transferred to operational airfields with mid-air refuelling. A total of 47 warplanes and 43 helicopters were moved,” the defense minister noted.
Anti-terrorism measures had been taken at all military townships in the Western Military District, he added.