The Union Shield 2019 exercise will be held at the Mulino range in Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod region on September, 13-19. The drills take place once every two years alternately on the territory of Russia and Belarus.
Belarusian army units have started loading their military hardware to ship then the the site, the Defense Ministry reports. Army engineer units and the law enforcement unit of the Minsk military commandant office will be the first to leave Belarus for Russia.
The Union Shield 2019 exercise is set to involve about 12,000 troops, up to 950 weapon systems, and also up to 70 aircraft and helicopters. Belarus will use over 4,000 personnel, more than 30 tanks, 80 armored combat vehicles, about 50 multiple launch rocket systems, guns and mortars, as well as around 15 aircraft and helicopters at the joint maneuvers in Russia.
The exercise’s scenario takes into account the analysis of possible threats to the Union State and the risks of an armed conflict, First Deputy Defense Minister Major-General Aleh Belakoneu said.
“Practice shows that, as a rule, everything begins from operations by terrorists, separatists or illegal armed formations that get external support of third forces. Precisely this scenario will be used during the upcoming exercise,” Russian news agency TASS quotes the general.
Belarusian military are expected to return to their permanent garrisons by October, 4.