Naval and air drills will be held in Mediterranean on permanent basis, says defense chief

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MOSCOW, November 2. /TASS/. Large scale naval and air exercises Ocean Shield will be held in the Mediterranean on the permanent basis, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a distance conference on Friday.

This year the Ocean Shield exercise was held for the first time.

Shoigu pointed out that a large inter-fleet naval group had been created in the Mediterranean “for independently coping with a wide range of tasks in a changing situation.”

“The command of the exercise was carried out from St. Petersburg and the support facility in Syria’s Tartus,” he added.

On September 1-8 a total of 26 ships, including two submarines and 34 aircraft of the Navy and the Aerospace Force conducted a joint exercise in the Mediterranean. Missile launches from ships, helicopters and planes were carried out.

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