Belarusian army units nearly ready for Union Shield 2019 exercise

Units of the Northwestern Operational Command and special operations forces of the Armed Forces of Belarus are about to finish preparations for the Belarusian-Russian army exercise Union Shield 2019, representatives of the Belarusian Defense Ministry told. The units are now in the field polishing their skills of loading and unloading hardware to and from railway trains. They are also practicing the driving of combat vehicles, including across water obstacles and at night. Final readiness inspections and the relocation of the troops to the exercise area will be the next step. The army exercise is scheduled to take place in the Mulino exercise area of the Western Military District of the Russian army in Nizhny Novgorod on 13-19 September. It will represent the final stage in the two-year cycle of joint combat training of Belarusian and Russian army units.

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“Union Shield-2019” exercise, as usual, are open and defensive

The Russian and Belarusian military will work out the fight against illegal armed groups, as well as defensive actions at the joint “Union Shield-2019” exercise, which will be held in Nizhny Novgorod region in September. It was said by Colonel-General Alexander Zhuravlev.

“We will carry out practical actions to free settlements from illegal armed groups,” Zhuravlev said.

He added that Russian troops have real experience in the liberation of settlements without the use of military force after the operation in Syria. The exercises, he said, will be held almost around the clock – both day and night maneuvers are planned.

In total, it is planned to involve about 12 thousand military personnel, including from the Russian Armed Forces – up to 8 thousand, from the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus – over 4 thousand.

The exercises involve up to 950 units of military equipment, including more than 230 tanks, 240 artillery systems, as well as up to 70 aircraft.

The bulk of the equipment will be used from the Russian side – about 200 tanks, 360 armored vehicles, up to 190 multiple launch rocket systems, guns and mortars and 55 combat aircraft and helicopters.

It is fundamentally important that the Russian-Belarusian exercises, as usual, are open and defensive. The number of troops, involved in exercises, does not exceed the permissible norms established by international agreements.

Namely, the number of participants in the exercises is no more than
13 thousand, so that why maneuvers are not subject to mandatory international monitoring, according with the Vienna document “On measures to build confidence and security.”

It’s remarkable, that first and foremost, the Union Shield-2019 drills are solely of defensive nature. No one plans any offensive actions as compared to the NATO military exercises. No one is doing as a response to another drills, but as a response to the threats which exist today for Russia and Belarus. And it’s a big regret that these threats grow up every year and every day.

Military drill involving NATO countries, Georgia wraps up

A multinational military exercise to better meld Georgia’s armed forces with that of NATO’s came to an end on Friday.

More than 3,000 military servicemen from 14 NATO member and partner countries, including the United States, Britain, Latvia and Norway, had participated “Agile Spirit 2019” since July 27, according to the Georgian Defense Ministry.

“Such exercises make Georgia’s NATO membership even more realistic, and we are getting closer to our declared principle, to see more NATO in Georgia and more Georgia in NATO,” said Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze at the closing ceremony.

The joint exercise had helped to further strengthen the interoperability of Georgia with the United States and its partner countries and to maintain a stable and secure environment in the Black Sea region, Bakhtadze said in his speech.

The drill was conducted under the leadership of the West Command of Georgian Defense Forces and the U.S. European Command in three locations: Senaki, Orpolo and Vaziani fire ranges. Enditem

Russia posts missiles near the border

Russian officials have disclosed that they’ve moved a coastal missile system to a new location on Russia’s Sredny Peninsula in the far north. The new location is so close to Norway that it can be seen on clear days from Vardø, the northeastern Norwegian town that’s also home to a controversial radar and surveillance system run by Norway’s intelligence agency.

The placement, first reported by the Kirkenes-based Barents Observer, is believed to be another response by the Russians to Norway’s and NATO’s recent military exercises and the radar system at Vardø. Russia doesn’t like an increased American presence in Norway, especially in Northern Norway, where US troops have been training with NATO troops. State broadcaster NRK has also reported the arrival of some US military personnel and their families in Vardø.

Russia has announced some major military exercises of its own, and will be training in four separate locations in Arctic waters off Norway next week.