The Russian Strategic Missile Forces will conduct approximately 50% more military drills in 2019, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced. Throughout the year, the Strategic Missile Forces will carry out more than 200 command and personnel as well as tactical and special exercises.
In total, more than 200 exercises were held in 2018 and their intensity and number will increase in 2019.
The Strategic Missile Forces plan to enhance the combat readiness of the personnel in the missile regiments, protection units and subunits and to increase the duration of the tactical and special tactical exercises.
Each training period throughout 2019 will involve improving the combat duty to the utmost level of more than 40 missile regiments and support and protection units.
Throughout the year, work will continue towards improving the exercises. Requirements for the level of the drills for all categories of military personnel, bringing combat readiness to the level of modern combat, promptly mastering new types of weapons are some of the points that will be focused on.
Furthermore, more than 30 competitions covering various aspects of combat training will be held for the Strategic Missile Forces in 2019. In 2018 there were about 20 such competitions. These competitions are aimed at stimulating the interest of officers in deepening their military-theoretical level and in improving their practical skills in managing subunits, and skillful handling of weapons and equipment.
Most of the competitions held in the troops and military schools of the Strategic Missile Forces are of a multi-purpose nature and are intended for combat coordination of troops, improving the combat skills of officers and units of the Strategic Missile Forces.
This increased focus on combat readiness of the Strategic Missile Forces is most likely related to the US wish to withdraw from the INF Treaty and Russia’s concerns that the next logical step if the INF falls through is the termination of the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty). These concerns appeared to be pushing Russia to dig in and reinforces its defenses, all the while further enhancing its offensive capability, mostly for deterrence purposes.