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Russia, U.S. continue Torgau-2007 exercise

RIA Novosti

01/12/2007 16:30 MOSCOW, December 1 (RIA Novosti) - The second phase of a Russian-U.S. military exercise has started in Germany, to last until December 15, a Russian Ground Forces spokesman said Saturday.

The first phase of the Torgau-2007 command-and-post exercise, named after the German city of Torgau to mark cooperation between the Soviet Union and the United States during World War II, took place in central Russia in September.

Colonel Igor Konashenkov, an aide to the Ground Forces commander, said Friday: "About 200 Russian servicemen will arrive in Germany on board an Il-76 Candid military transport plane without weapons and military equipment," adding that Russian soldiers would be issued standard U.S. weaponry on site.

The exercise set to be held at U.S. Army training grounds in Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels (Germany) aims to practice interoperability of Russian and U.S. troops in joint peacekeeping operations under the UN aegis.

Lieutenant General Vladimir Chirkin, deputy commander of the Moscow Military District, and Lieutenant General Kenneth W. Hunzeker, commander of the U.S. European Command V Corps, will oversee the exercise.

Russia and the United States previously held the Torgau-2004 exercise in Moscow and the Moscow Region in May 2004, and the Torgau-2005 exercise in May-June 2005 in the Moscow Region and Germany.

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