Second phase of joint cruise starts on Caspian Sea

The second phase of the 15-day joint cruise of the Caspian Flotilla starts in the Caspian Sea on Thursday. The theoretical part of the naval exercises - the naval headquarters game with the use of maps and computers - was conducted on August 1 to 7 in the headquarters of the Caspian Flotilla in the city of Astrakhan, where the main cruise control center is located.

The active phase of the joint cruise will last from August 8 to August 15. Taking part in it, apart from army units, will be practically all power agencies in the region, and also units of the Federal Border Service, the railway and interior troops, the Federal Security Service, the Emergency Situations Ministry, and some departments of the federal Transport Ministry. The Astrakhan Expedition Team of special-purpose diving operations, whose job is to help in accidents at offshore oil production sites, will also take part in the exercises. This team is unique in that it performs missions on the sea and on the ground in the interests of all Caspian states.

The exercises will be joined by combat units of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. In some episodes four Su-27 planes of the Kazakhstan Air Force and a few Azeri warships and launches will take part.

But it will be the Russian Navy that will demonstrate the greatest might. Over 10,000 people, 60 ships of various classes and over 30 aircraft will take part on the Russian side.

The chief purpose of the exercises is to check the preparedness of Russian seamen for performing their missions in conditions of a threat posed by international terrorism, their readiness for interaction with the other Caspian states in blocking illegal arms and drug trafficking, in countering poaching and piracy and providing security for navigation and production activities on the Caspian Sea.