"Russian Airborne Troops have been through a series of important organizational and staffing measures over the last two years. Five intelligence units and six tank units have been formed, over 3,000 new up-to-date pieces of weaponry and special military equipment pieces were supplied," Shoigu said at an annual Ministry of Defense Board.
The minister added that the airborne forces play an important part within the Southern Military District's efforts to counter threats against Russia and Russia's allies, with the Ministry of Defense paying special attention to equipping the airborne Forces with new hardware and training the troops.
The minister emphasized that the number of contract servicemen had grown by 1.5 times, while the troops training intensity had risen by 20 percent within the branch in the last two years. Over the course of this period, paratroopers have conducted over 100,000 parachute jumps, while more than 100 pieces of military equipment and armament having been air-dropped in various locations, including Syria.
Russian Airborne Forces, formed a decade before WWII, constitute an elite branch within the Armed Forces structure. The troops have been involved in conducting a series of special missions in different parts of the world, including Afghanistan, former Yugoslavia and Syria.