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    Russia launches major Air Force exercise

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    A large-scale exercise involving transport planes and more that 3,000 paratroopers started Wednesday in northwestern Russia, the Russian Air Force commander said.

    MOSCOW, September 13 (RIA Novosti) - A large-scale exercise involving transport planes and more that 3,000 paratroopers started Wednesday in northwestern Russia, the Russian Air Force commander said.

    General of the Army Vladimir Mikhailov said the nine-day command and staff exercise would practice coordination between Russia's transport aviation and airborne commands.

    "Transport aviation command's crews will develop skills for coordination with airborne forces," he said, adding that a dozen aviation units from all over Russia will take part in the exercise.

    Mikhailov said a landing operation near the city of Pskov, which is about 450 miles northwest of Moscow, will involve more than 3,000 paratroopers.

    He said Lieutenant General Viktor Denisov, head of Russia's transport aviation command, will oversee the exercise.

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