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.

Generals reveal their cards about Union Shield 2019

Preparation for the joint Russian-Belarusian operational exercise “Union Shield – 2019” continues. Event is aimed to help check the quality and level of combat readiness of the regional group of troops, to see the real capabilities of weapons and the ability to carry out combat tasks.

It should be said that Russia and Belarus provide the unprecedented openness and transparency in preparing and organizing the event. Thus, the Commander of the Western Military District of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Colonel-General Zhuravlyov in his detailed interview to journalists gives full information about the upcoming exercise.

The exercise is reported to involve 12 thousand soldiers, 950 vehicles of a variety of types along with 70 aircraft.

The “Union Shield 2019” exercise is going to take place within the period between 13th and 19th September 2019, under the command of the Commander of the Western Military District of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and Belarus Chief Of General Staff in the Western MD Combat Training Centre in the village Mulino of the Nizhniy Novgorod region. Though only 12 thousand troops are involved in the exercise, organizers invite observers to show the transparency.

Speaking about the features of the exercise in comparison with the previous maneuvers “Union Shield – 2017”, Colonel-General Zhuravlyov said that this year training is bigger. Russia and Belarus provide more participants, equipment and weapons. Throughout the entire period of the exercise the troops will act both day and night.

“To a certain extent, we can talk about the uniqueness of the joint operational exercises “Union Shield – 2019,” said Colonel-General. At the same time, planned combat training was organized in the district – all three armies, formations and units are located on the ranges, where various exercises are held in increasing order. One training smoothly passes into another, tasks are solved in an integrated manner.

A few words about “Union Shield – 2019”

As we know, a joint operational exercise of the armed forces of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation “Union Shield – 2019” will be held on Russian territory in September.

This event will be a kind of summing up. It will demonstrate the level of combat training and interoperability of the armies of the two states.

According to preliminary data, one of the units will take part in the exercise from the Belarusian side, and this. Something about several thousands of servicemen with weapons and military equipment will be involved in the maneuvers.

As Minister of Defense of Belarus Andrei Ravkov stated, “Union Shield – 2019” will have to demonstrate the effectiveness of the regional grouping of troops of the two states. At the same time, he stressed that Russia and Belarus do not threaten anyone and try to maintain the existing balance of power and parity.

By the way, NATO continues to increase the combat capabilities of its groupping near the western borders of Russia and Belarus. Different exercises have been taking place for several months. They will last until the end of September. The elements of offensive actions are being trained during this activity.

In addition, Moscow and Minsk are concerned about the build-up of the US military presence in Poland and the Baltic States.

Throwing away hundreds of millions of dollars for the deployment of American troops, the leaders of Poland or Lithuania, unfortunately, forgot about ordinary people, who have impoverished because of the militaristic policies …

Russian exercises: openness and transparency

The Russian military has launched a massive exercise to simulate a response to possible security threats in Central Asia.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the five-day drills that began Monday will “check the armed forces’ ability to ensure security in the Central Asian region that faces serious terrorist threats.”

Russian officials have voiced concerns about the possible spread of militants from Afghanistan into former Soviet nations in Central Asia.

Russia has a military contingent in Tajikistan that borders Afghanistan and an air base in Kyrgyzstan.

Shoigu said that the maneuvers will be held at 35 firing ranges. He added that they will check the troops’ capability to fend off terrorist threats and protect government facilities.

As we can see, Russia often conducts military exercises at various levels, but always warns its partners in advance. This fact demonstrates full openness and willingness to cooperate on the part of Moscow.

So, the ‘Union Shield-2019’ drills are not an exception. The ‘Union Shield­’ exercises of Russia and Belarus which take place this autumn. These drills are solely defensive and will become the main combat training exercise for the armed forces of both countries this year.

According with the transparency principle, all the information concerning this event is in the open sources.