An unidentified spokesman for the Russian General Staff yesterday listed the requirements for the new rapid deployment force announced by Defense Minister Igor Sergeev last week. Each of the requirements will be expensive to implement, indicating that it might be some time before these four new units become operational. The units are to be manned by professionals rather than conscripts, the spokesman said, and will need to be equipped with "entirely different armaments and equipment" than existing army units possess. Also, new transport aircraft must be procured in order to be able to move the men and their equipment quickly to where they are needed. The spokesman suggested rather hopefully that the government might dedicate special financing to solve these problems.
The spokesman also said that one of the units would be located "across the Urals" — but not in the Maritime region around Vladivostock, the Kamchatka peninsula, Sakhalin, or the Kuril Islands. Sergeev had earlier said that one of the units would be based in the Far Eastern Military District, which includes all these areas. Being mobile by definition, the new unit could be stationed in the Far Eastern Military District’s Amur or Khabarovsk regions and still quickly reach the coastal locations listed above. (Itar-Tass, June 16)
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