Last updated: 27-Oct-2003 9:07 NATO Update

7-10 Oct 2003

NATO team observes Russian pilots' survival course

NATO-Russia relations
From 7 to 10 October, a NATO team of four officers observed part of a two-week survival course for pilots at a special training centre of the Russian Airforce at Agoi, outside the town of Tuapse in the Krasnodar region of Russia.

Their aim was to assess the potential of making use of the Russian procedures and facilities. The event is one of two events in the 2003 NATO-Russia Interoperability Workplan scheduled to take place in Russia, and is the first time NATO officers have actively participated in an Russian exercise of this kind.

The location of Agoi is ideal for survival courses. It is a few minutes from the sea at the foot of the mountain ranges of the Northern Caucasus and its mild climate allows parachute jumps into water without special equipment between May and October. The base has its own airfield, two helicopters, a plane to be used for parachute jumps and one suitable for practising evacuations.

The team had a chance to take part in a classroom lesson on survival equipment, in dry preparations for parachute jumps on the water and in a towing exercise, as well as in Alpine training. The team also watched demonstrations of parachuting into the sea, of evacuation by helicopter from the sea and from the mountains, and camp making using materials at hand.

The Russian instructors demonstrated high professionalism in all areas and the training facilities were deemed by the NATO team to be effective. They are recommending that it be considered as a possible venue for pilot training in the NATO context.