YEREVAN, July 25 (RIA Novosti) - Russian reconnaissance officers stationed at the 102nd military base in Armenia are currently in training, including specific exercise to practice the use of unmanned air vehicles or drones, the press service of the Southern Military District told RIA Novosti on Friday.
The training takes over 300 Russian reconnaissance officers to the height of more than 2,000 meters (approx. 6,500 feet) above sea level to perfect quick and safe maneuvers through rocky terrain, mountain rivers, and canyons both individually and as a combat unit.
The focal point of the military exercise is the weapons practice in addition to the core combat disciplines. The course in tactical and special training of the combat units will culminate in a three-day competitive ascent to the mountain peaks of "Zamok" and "Sheggoel" (8,200 feet) with officers having to advance through mountain rivers, to locate caches with extra food and ammunition, to repel an assault of a simulated enemy, and to set up a camp.
The northern Armenian city of Gyumri hosts the 102nd Russian military base, which is part of a joint air defense system of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Russia and Armenia extended the contract for the military base on August 20, 2010. The initial treaty was signed in 1995 for a term of 25 years, and will be valid until 2044. The area of geographic and strategic responsibility of the base, equipped with MiG-29 fighters and several batteries of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, was extended upon the latest prolongation.