By way of follow-up . . . late last May, VDV Commander, General-Lieutenant Vladimir Shamanov told the press his forces have embarked in Black Sea Fleet ships for joint training since the Georgian conflict. Yesterday RIA Novosti reported on such a joint exercise.
More than 1,500 airborne troops and nearly 100 pieces of equipment are participating in tactical exercises with BSF ships near Novorossiysk. The VDV are from the 108th Guards Airborne-Assault Regiment, 7th Airborne-Assault Division.
Specifically, the VDV spokesman said:
“On Wednesday nearly 30 airborne combat vehicles and other combat equipment loaded onto large landing ships of the Black Sea Fleet and debarked in a designated coastal area at the Rayevskiy range near Novorossiysk.”
Exercises will continue until tomorrow. Reconnaissance company personnel will airdrop near Rayevskiy today. The drop was delayed by bad weather, according to the VDV spokesman. Two battalions conducted mountain combat training yesterday, and will conduct night firings today.
RIA Novosti didn’t indicate which BSF ships are carrying the VDV. But Ropucha II-class LST Azov and Alligator-class LST Nikolay Filchenkov were active in the first days of this month during an inspection by Navy CINC, Admiral Vladimir Vysotskiy. The ships worked with the BSF’s Naval Infantry Brigade at the Opuk training range.