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CIS annual air defense exercise continues in August

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The second stage of the joint air defense exercise of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) will be held at the Ashuluk training ground, in Russia's Astrakhan Region near the Caspian Sea, August 14-21, Russia's Air Force spokesman said Tuesday.
MOSCOW, July 31 (RIA Novosti) - The second stage of the joint air defense exercise of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) will be held at the Ashuluk training ground, in Russia's Astrakhan Region near the Caspian Sea, August 14-21, Russia's Air Force spokesman said Tuesday.

The first stage of the Combat Commonwealth-2007 annual exercise was held in June at the Telemba training ground in East Siberia's Chita Region and involved the Russian and Belarusian Air Force and Air Defense troops, as well as Russia's Baltic Fleet.

"The second stage of the exercise will involve Russian, Armenian, Kyrgyz and Belarusian Air Force and Air Defense troops," Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky said.

The official said the August exercise would include live firing conducted by S-300 (SA-10 Grumble) and S-125 (SA-3 Goa) air defense systems and a variety of simulated air missions performed by Su-24 Fencer, Su-25 Frogfoot, Su-27 Flanker and MiG-29 Fulcrum aircraft.

The third and fourth stages of the exercise will take place at Kazakh and Uzbek training grounds in August-September and involve Kazakh and Uzbek Air Force and Air Defense units, the spokesman said.

Conducted annually, such exercises are part of efforts to build an integrated security system for CIS, a loose association of former Soviet republics. An integrated air defense network was set up by 10 CIS-member countries February 10, 1995, but so far exists only on paper.

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