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First stage of Belarusian-Russian army exercise Union Shield 2019 over

Society 16.09.2019 | 15:55
Oleg Belokonev. Photo courtesy of the Defense Ministry
Oleg Belokonev. Photo courtesy of the Defense Ministry

MINSK, 16 September (BelTA) – The first stage of the Belarusian-Russian tactical army exercise Union Shield 2019 has been finished. Command and control units demonstrated their excellent ability to control subordinate units in order to accomplish missions in a complicated environment, representatives of the Belarusian Defense Ministry told BelTA.

The army units rather confidently took steps to find, blockade, and eliminate militants and sabotage and reconnaissance parties in addition to stabilizing the situation in the assigned responsibility areas. A lot of live ammunition was fired, mostly at night. The units had to march across unknown terrain, engage the enemy on the move, and take decisions while marching or when missions were assigned.

Chief of the General Staff, Belarusian First Deputy Defense Minister Oleg Belokonev, who is in charge of overseeing the exercise, said: “Today we've started the second stage of the exercise, which will focus on practical actions, on the implementation of the decisions and steps we made during the first stage. The army units will have to practice defensive action in assigned positions, continue stabilizing the situation, organizing interaction, support, and logistics. Command and control units will continue giving orders to subordinate units in a complicated environment. I believe the main goal of the event will be reached. We will get some practice of working together with the Armed Forces of Russia to ensure the military security of the Union State of Belarus and Russia.”

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.

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