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Airborne Forces to Take on Rapid Response Role - Minister

RIA Novosti

17:34 27/02/2013

MOSCOW, February 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Airborne Forces (VDV) should expand the scope of their mission and be prepared to operate as a rapid reaction force, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday.

"The Airborne Forces are to be used as rapid reaction forces in responding to crises," Shoigu told an meeting of senior officers at the Defense Ministry, but did not elaborate.

Shoigu also stressed the need to fulfil the 2013 state defense production order, in order to guarantee the comprehensive rearmament of military units.

Last Friday, General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov said a series of random checks in the Armed Forces last week revealed a number of systemic shortcomings. Combat alert checks were carried out in the Central and South Military Districts, VDV and military transport aviation units.

Alert-duty officers in some military units demonstrated an insufficiently prompt and effective response in processing orders via automated combat command and control systems, especially at VDV units and at the 201st Military Base in Tajikistan, Gerasimov said. He ordered military commanders at all levels to study the problems, draw up remedial plans and follow them meticulously.

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