Russia Hosts Command-Post Training for Seven CIS States Air Defences


Channel One TV, Moscow
19 Oct 04

(Presenter) Over 1,500 servicemen and more than 70 aircraft from seven
CIS countries are taking part in command-post training of the combined
air defence system of the commonwealth states, which started
today. Our correspondent Sergey Zenin watched from the central command
post of the Russian air force.

(Correspondent) Those who work here see no sunlight for days on
end. Having passed a multistage vetting procedure, they descend to a
depth of 60 metres in a lift, watched closely by dozens of video
cameras. Behind this door is the central command post of the Russian
air force.

On duty here are officers who have been entrusted with keeping the air
space of a vast country secure. Today though, the area of their
responsibility is even wider: on screen are Armenia, Belarus,
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – the CIS countries
taking part in a joint command-post exercise with Russia. Over 1,500
servicemen and dozens of combat aircraft are involved.

(Aytech Bizhev, deputy chairman of the CIS air defence coordinating
committee) We have known each other for a long time, and we developed
our plan together, so we are pleased with our colleagues.

(Correspondent) While we were filming, 23 aircraft were in the
skies. Some of them played the part of air space trespassers, others,
that of foreign aircraft that had accidentally veered off course. The
main forces’ task was to accompany the stray ones to the borders of
CIS countries, and to force the trespassers to land.

The command-post training will last for 48 hours. In that period,
fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters of the CIS counties will make for
than 70 sorties. Vast and very important work to strengthen the air
borders of commonwealth states will be done.