Russian Air Force to cut 50,000 officers

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Moscow, Nov 24: Russian Air Force will reduce its strength by cutting 50,000 officers.

The Russian Air Force plans to eliminate all its divisions and regiments and form airbases in their place, leading Russian business daily Kommersant reported. It said in next three years, 55 airbases would be set up based on squadrons. The rank of ensign would be eliminated and a number of service and management functions would be converted to civilian status. The first changes would go into effect on December 1, the paper said. According to plans, the Russian Air Force in 2012 would consist of a strategic-tactical command, a strategic air command armed with nuclear weapons, a military-transport air command and four air defence and anti-missile commands.

In addition, the corps and divisions of the air defence would be reorganised into air-and-space defence brigades and the anti-aircraft missile brigades would be reorganised into anti-aircraft missile regiments.

Support structures are also on the cards for reorganisation. In place of nine vehicular brigades, 20 battalions on constant alert with fewer personnel would be formed to transport supplies to the forces. Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov announced reforms in the Russian military in October, which are frequently called the most radical in post-Soviet history in the press.

Besides reducing the officer staff, the reforms are aimed at bring the Russian military up to the 'world standards.'

UNI

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