MINSK, 18 September (BelTA) – The active phase of the Belarusian-Russian tactical army exercise Union Shield 2019 has been finished, BelTA has learned.
During this phase the army units practiced fighting to defend their positions, repulsing aerial assaults, launching an airborne assault, providing aerial support to defending troops, and stabilizing the situation.
According to Chief of the General Staff, Belarusian First Deputy Defense Minister Oleg Belokonev, a dynamic rapidly changing situation was created, which forced commanding officers to make prompt decisions, unordinary decisions, which cannot be found in any guides. “We are moving away from primers towards actions that allow reaching designated goals in the best manner possible,” the officer said.
In his words, the command and control system demonstrated a high level of resilience in the course of the exercise. “Different assets and forces were deployed. The control process was rather complicated. But the command system demonstrated a rather high level of resilience despite strong radioelectronic interference and suppression. The 19th Mechanized Brigade has been subordinated to the first tank army and the army chief is in control of this unit. Since we speak the same language and have the same hardware, we encounter no problems,” Oleg Belokonev said.
The officer praised the combat skills the military personnel demonstrated during the exercise. “I would like to thank the personnel, who are taking part in the exercise for their skills, abilities and of course outstanding results, which they demonstrate here. I would like to thank Russian colleagues for providing a unique training ground where we carry out missions in daytime and at night,” he added.
BelTA reported earlier that the Belarusian-Russian army exercise Union Shield 2019 began in the Mulino exercise area in Russia's Nizhny Novgorod Oblast on 13 September. Some 12,000 military personnel, up to 950 units of military hardware, up to 70 aircraft and helicopters are taking part in the exercise. OSCE member states have been notified about it in line with the 2011 Vienna Document on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures. The Belarusian army is represented by over 4,000 military personnel, more than 30 tanks, 80 armored fighting vehicles, about 50 MLRS, artillery, and mortar units as well as aircraft and helicopters.