Russia’s high brass air-drops 2,500 paratroopers in Crimea drills

SIMFEROPOL, July 11. /TASS/. About 2,500 paratroopers from the Novorossiysk airborne assault division landed in east Crimea as part of the joint drills of the Airborne Force and military transport aviation, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Thursday.

“During the joint tactical flight drills of the Airborne Force and military transport aviation, more than 2,400 personnel of the Novorossiysk airborne assault large unit flew from the takeoff aerodromes of Ivanovo-Severny and Ulyanovsk-Vostochny to large distances aboard 40 Il-76 planes of military transport aviation and landed on the landing sites of Naimanskaya and Okhchi-Oba in Crimea,” the ministry said in a statement.

The paratroopers were air-dropped at an altitude of 600 meters from 40 Il-76 planes in two parallel flows. Under the drills’ scenario, after their landing, the personnel seized a notional enemy’s installations and eliminated an illegal armed formation.

“During the main stage of the drills, we air-dropped more than 2,400 servicemen for the first time on the territory of Crimea, after which we practiced tactical assignments with the large unit’s personnel to amass on the landing site, seize and destroy a notional enemy’s facilities and illegal armed formations, and also to capture an airfield for landing military transport aviation aircraft,” Deputy Chief of the Airborne Force Staff Major-General Alexei Naumets told reporters.

The drills demonstrated coherent and professional actions by the crews of Il-76 planes of military transport aviation and Airborne Force units, the Russian general said.

“Considering that the landing sites are among the most complex as they are located close to the sea and also that the paratroopers were air-dropped in two parallel flows of 20 planes each, at minimal distances between them, these factors required more serious preparations from the commanders and the personnel to practice landing in these conditions,” the general stressed.

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