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18 Sep 2017

Defensive combat practiced as part of Belarusian-Russian strategic army exercise Zapad 2017

MINSK, 18 September (BelTA) – Defensive combat is practiced today as part of the Belarusian-Russian strategic army exercise Zapad 2017, representatives of the Belarusian Defense Ministry told BelTA.

Belarusian and Russian units from the regional military force practiced a defensive battle in the Borisovsky exercise area on 18 September. “Live fire is part of the event. Combined arms forces will be supported by artillery fire and air strikes. Su-24MR aircraft will be used to search for the enemy and coordinate fire. Air defense units will protect command posts, fire emplacements, defensive positions of army units,” said the source.

In the Osipovichsky exercise area combined arms forces will have to stop an assault of the enemy. Air force units will have to support the defending troops from the air. Mechanized infantry and tanks are supported by air strikes. Helicopters are busy supporting defending troops, delivering tactical air drops and providing cover fire.

In the Lepelsky exercise area army units are busy finding, blocking, and eliminating illegal armed groups with assistance of air force units. Belarusian helicopters are helping find and destroy saboteurs and illegal armed groups.

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

In the Domanovo exercise area air defense units will have to march to new positions and repulse an attack by sabotage and reconnaissance forces of the imaginary enemy.

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

Apart from that, new and upgraded weapon systems and special equipment of Belarusian make and Belarusian-Russian make continue being tested in action.

The day before the Belarusian-Russian strategic army exercise Zapad 2017 entered its active phase. During the second stage of the exercise staffs of various levels continue practicing control over troops in a rapidly changing defensive situation. New army regulations of Belarus and Russia are being tested. Results of the work will become the core of research into ways and forms of further improving the use of the regional military force.

The Belarusian-Russian strategic army exercise Zapad 2017 will 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, with Belarus contributing slightly more than 7,000 people and Russia supplying about 3,000 troops. 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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