Zapad 2017 joined strategic excercise
The Zapad joint strategic exercise is taking place on September 14-20 under Chiefs of General Staffs of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus.
About 12.7 thousand troops (including 7.2 thousand of Belarusian troops, about 5.5 thousand of Russian troops and 3 thousand of them – on the territory of Belarus), about 70 aircraft and helicopters, up to 680 pieces of military hardware including about 250 tanks, up to 200 guns, MLRSs and mortars as well as 10 warships are planned to be involved in the exercise.
Besides, the Russian part will detach operational groups of MIA, Rosguard, FSB and EMERCOM to plan the joint actions.
This exercise is a final stage of joint training of the Russian and Belarusian Armed Forces. The exercise is held at ranges located in the Republic of Belarus as well as in the Kaliningrad, Leningrad, and Pskov regions.
Interoperability of staffs of different levels as well as interfacing of prospective troops and armament control systems will be improved. Provisions of new regulations developed in the Russian and Belarusian Armed Forces will be tested.
The exercise stipulates that some extremist groups have penetrated to the territories of the Republic of Belarus and the Kaliningrad region of the Russian Federation in order to carry out terrorist attacks and destabilize the Union State of Russia and Belarus. The simulated extremists are supported from outside by receiving logistics assistance and military hardware by air- and sealift.
To defeat the conditional terrorists in a simulated situation the troops are to go through a number of tactical episodes:
deployment of military units of the regional grouping forces in the rebel groups areas to isolate them;
Airborne and air defence operations to support the ground forces and block air supply lines of illegal armed groups;
special operation to eliminate illegal armed groups and stabilize the situation;
naval blockade of the special operation area, and measures to cut off escape routes by the Baltic Fleet forces.
The Zapad 2017 anti-terror exercise is a purely defensive one.
Despite the fact that main part of the exercise is carried out on the territory of the Republic of Belarus, the exercise scenario is a simulated one, and does not provide any ties to a particular region.