MOSCOW 02.01.2013 Svetlana Kostyleova --- RIA Novosti
Russia will hold large-scale naval drills in the Mediterranean and Black Seas in late January with the involvement of warships from the Northern, Baltic, Black Sea and Pacific Fleets, the Russian Defense Ministry’s press office reported on Wednesday.
“The Russian Navy’s drills of this scope will be held for the first time over the past few decades and are designed to improve control, ensure and practice multiservice force interaction of the fleets in the far-off maritime zones,” the press office said.
The drills will be held in line with the Russian Armed Forces’ 2013 combat training plan and will aim to “practice the issues of establishing a multiservice grouping of forces (troops) outside Russia, planning its use and conducting joint actions as part of a united naval grouping based on a common plan,” the press office said.
The naval task forces from the Russian Fleets are currently heading towards the designated areas of the naval exercises.
The drills will also simulate operations to load marine troops and paratroopers from the rough coast of the North Caucasus onto amphibious ships and will help the Navy’s personnel acquire necessary marine practice skills during the performance of “combat training missions in the Black and Mediterranean Seas,” the press office said.
US Navy to retain four Ticonderoga-class cruisers in service
28 September 2012
The US Navy is likely to retain the operational service life of its four Aegis-equipped, Ticonderoga-class guided missile frigates, USS Cowpens (CG-63), USS Anzio (CG-68), USS Vicksburg (CG 69) and USS Port Royal (CG-73), which were due for decommissioning in March 2013.
A navy spokesperson at the Pentagon lieutenant Courtney Hillson was quoted by Defense News as saying: "The navy intends to retain these ships in service pending completion of the fiscal year 2013 authorisation and appropriation process, or other agreement with Congress."
In addition to the four Ticonderoga-class ships, the navy is scheduled to retire three other cruisers and two amphibious ships in 2014.