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18 Sep 2017

Belarusian helicopters support ground troops in Zapad 2017 army exercise

MINSK, 18 September (BelTA) – Belarusian army helicopters provided support to troops on the ground as the latter were busy defeating the imaginary enemy in the course of the Belarusian-Russian strategic army exercise Zapad 2017 on 18 September, BelTA learned from Vladimir Makarov, Head of the Information Office, Press Secretary of the Central Office for Ideology of the Belarusian Defense Ministry, on 18 September.

In the Lepelsky exercise area army units practiced finding, blocking, and eliminating illegal armed groups with assistance of Belarusian army helicopters, which reconnoitered the area and helped eliminate sabotage and reconnaissance forces of the imaginary enemy and illegal armed groups.

In the Borisovsky exercise area Belarusian and Russian army units worked together in a defensive battle. Actions of combined arms forces were supported by artillery fire and air strikes. Su-24MR aircraft were deployed to provide reconnaissance, control, and targeting for Air Force units. Air defense units took care of defending command posts, fire emplacements, and areas of defense.

Special operations forces in the exercise areas Losvido and Dretun were busy searching for camps and setting up ambushes on possible lines of advance of saboteurs and illegal armed groups. Measures were taken to block and destroy them using air support.

In the Domanovo exercise area air defense units perfected their skills of taking preparations for and marching to new positions while fighting off an attack by sabotage and reconnaissance forces of the imaginary enemy on the move.

In Glubokoye District, Vitebsk Oblast territorial defense forces continued maintaining martial law, protecting vital infrastructure, repulsing attacks by sabotage and reconnaissance forces, and stabilizing the situation.

Belarusian and Russian army units practiced waging a defensive operation and staging a counterattack. Units of the 120th Independent Mechanized Brigade of the Northwestern Operative Command of the Belarusian army and the 423rd Motorized Infantry Regiment of the Russian army fought off an attack against their defensive positions while enjoying air support. Shortly after that they staged a counterattack in order to regain lost positions. A tactical air drop was arranged to destroy the enemy’s reserves.

The Belarusian-Russian strategic army exercise Zapad 2017 began on 14 September to end on 20 September. In Belarus the regular army exercise areas Lepelsky, Borisovsky, Losvido, Osipovichsky, and the Air Force exercise areas Ruzhansky and Domanovo are used for the exercise in addition to two regular sectors of terrain in Vitebsk Oblast — Dretun and Glubokoye. In Russia the army exercise areas Luzhsky, Strugi Krasnyye, and Pravdinsky in Kaliningrad Oblast, Leningrad Oblast, and Pskov Oblast are used for the exercise.

Some 12,700 military personnel are taking part in the Zapad 2017 exercise. About 10,200 personnel are deployed in Belarus (slightly more than 7,000 people from Belarus and about 3,000 troops from Russia). The Belarusian part of the exercise will also involve a total of 370 armored vehicles, including about 140 combat tanks. Up to 150 artillery units and multiple-launch rocket systems, over 40 aircraft and helicopters will be deployed as well.


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