March 19, 2013 12:39
Command center for Russian Navy's Mediterranean unit to appear by year-end - source (Part 2)
SEVASPOPOL. March 19 (Interfax-AVN) - A command center for a Russian naval standby force, which will operate in the Mediterranean Sea, will be established within the Black Sea Fleet Staff before the end of 2013, a staff spokesman told Interfax-AVN on Tuesday.
This command structure will be tested during Mediterranean Sea maneuvers involving several Russian fleets in the summer of 2014, he said.
"Efforts to set up the unit's command center have already been launched. A working group made up of officers from the Black Sea Fleet Staff and the 30th brigade of surface ships has been formed. They are currently studying archive documents describing the Navy's 5th Mediterranean operative squadron and its structure. The experience of Black Sea Fleet ships' participation in January's inter-fleet exercises is being analyzed. The Council of 5th Squadron Veterans has joined this work," the source said.
"The formation of the Navy's task force is due to be completed by 2015. Hopefully, the finishing touches will be put on the unit's command structure by then. And, what counts most, we hope to receive new ships for this group," the source said.
Today the task force will include the Black Sea Fleet's ships that took part in the January naval maneuvers in the Mediterranean Sea - the missile carrying cruiser Moskva, the surveillance ship Smetlivy, large assault ships and support vessels, the source said.
"Up to 5-6 ships should be permanently present in the Mediterranean Sea. Their operations ought to be coordinated through the Black Sea Fleet's command," Russian Navy Commander Admiral Viktor Chirkov told the Zvezda television station on March 17.
Chirkov said on March 11 that the Navy had already started to form a standby unit for missions in the Mediterranean Sea.
He said then that the Navy command would analyze all of the problems surrounding the establishment of such a group.
"Personnel will be trained to coordinate the operations of this task force in the Mediterranean Sea," the admiral said.
For details, see the Interfax-Military News Agency newswire.
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