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    Russia's Air Force chief checks air defenses in Siberia, Far East

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    Russia's Air Force chief will visit on June 4-6 two combined Air Force and air defense armies in Siberia and the Far East, to inspect combat readiness ahead of summer training, the AF said on Wednesday.

    MOSCOW, June 4 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Air Force chief will visit on June 4-6 two combined Air Force and air defense armies in Siberia and the Far East, to inspect combat readiness ahead of summer training, the AF said on Wednesday.

    "During a scheduled working visit to the 14th Air Force and Air Defense Army in the Siberian military district and the 11th Air Force and Air Defense Army in the Far Eastern military district, the commander of the Russian Air Force, Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin, will inspect combat readiness of Air Force and air defense units," AF spokesman Lt. Col. Vladimir Drik said.

    Russia's Air Force is planning to conduct over 200 exercises with 350 live firing drills in the second half of 2008 under the annual summer training program.

    The main purpose of the intensive training during the period "is to ensure combat readiness of the Russian Air Force in order to safeguard Russia's national interests and security."

    IISS Military Balance 2007 estimates that the Russian Air Force has 1,650 combat-capable aircraft and 148,000 personnel.

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