MOSCOW, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Russian and U.S. troops
will hold joint peacekeeping exercises at American ranges in Germany on Dec.1-15
for the second stage of the command and staff drill, Torgau 2007, Russian news
agencies reported Friday.
"The Russian servicemen will arrive in Germany on De.
1 aboard a Russian Air Force Il-76 military plane without weapons and military
equipment. The Russian soldiers will be provided with American arms for the
exercises with live fire," Colonel Igor Konashenkov, aide to the Russian ground
troops commander, was quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency as saying.
The drill will take place in two American ranges:
Grafenwehr and Gogenfelz. Two hundred people will be involved.
The Russian servicemen will be armed with M-16 and
M-4 rifles and with M-249 and M-240 machine-guns. They will have several days of
theoretical and practical lessons to handle the American small arms, Konashenkov
Russian servicemen were familiarized with Hummer,
Bradley and Abrams tanks and fighting vehicles at the Grafenwehr Range in
Germany during similar joint field exercises in Torgau in 2005.
"This practice will be continued at the upcoming
exercise Torgau 2007, during which the experience of conducting joint
peacekeeping operations in the Balkans will be used," Konashenkov said.
He said the American army servicemen earlier
practiced with Russian small arms, T-72 tanks and 100-millimeter antitank guns
at the Solnechnogorsk Range in Russia in the first stage.
Commander of the Moscow Military District
Lieutenant-General Vladimir Chirkin will supervise the exercises on the Russian
side, while U.S. commander of the 5th Infantry Corps in Europe
Lieutenant-General Kenneth Hunzeker will take care of the American side.
The first stage of the Torgau 2007 maneuvers was held
at a Russian training center in Mulino in the Nizhny Novgorod region in the
second half of October.
It involved around 100 Russian and U.S. ground troops
and officers. The Russian-American exercises are named after the German town of
Torgau on the Elba River, where Russian and American soldiers joined up in the
last days of World War Two.