Algeria, Russia Hold Naval Exercises Ahead of ‘Desert Shield 2022'
Two warships belonging to the Russian fleet left on Friday the port of Algiers after conducting a joint exercise with the Algerian navy.
The two countries prepare to hold next month joint anti-terrorist drills dubbed Desert Shield 2022 in Algeria’s desert for the first time.
The Algerian Defense Ministry said in a statement issued Saturday that a Russian fleet, consisting of Stoiky 545 and Soobrazitelny 531 docked in the waters of Algeria for four days, and carried out the 2022 joint naval exercises with the participation of two Algerian naval forces.
The exercise was carried out to strengthen military cooperation between the Algerian and Russian navies.
“The exercises aim to exchange experiences between the Algerian naval forces and their Russian counterparts, as well as to develop operational capabilities and joint interaction in the areas of maritime security,” according to the Algerian statement.
According to observers, the exercises that took place in the Mediterranean are part of a long series of joint military exercises launched since 2017 between Algiers and Moscow.
Last month, around 100 Algerian soldiers took part in the Command and General Staff strategic military exercises “Vostok-2022,” which were held in Russia.
Meanwhile, joint military exercises between the Algerian and Russian armed forces will take place in November in Algeria.
The exercise will be held at the Hammaguir testing ground in Bechar Province near the border with Morocco and would involve about 80 soldiers from motor rifle units stationed in the North Caucasus and about 80 Algerian soldiers.
During the exercise, the forces will practice search, detection and elimination of terrorist groups in the desert setting.
The first joint Russian-Algerian drills took place in North Ossetia in October 2021 with a total of about 200 soldiers participating and about 40 units of combat and special equipment involved.
Algerian defense news outlet MENA Defense confirmed that the place where the new maneuvers will take place “has a symbolic significance, being the site where French forces developed ballistic weapons and conducted space experiments before Algeria regained in 1967, five years following Algeria’s independence.
Algeria has not issued any official statement about the drills.
However, sources interested in the Algerian-Russian military partnership said the objectives and outlines of the drills were discussed during a March 25 visit to Algeria by Director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Army Gen. Dmitry Shugaev.