The Caspian Flotilla has kicked off command and staff drills ahead of Russia’s Tsentr-2019 (Center-2019) strategic drills, the press office of the Southern Military District reported on Monday.

“The exercise aims to practice the inter-operability of the Caspian Flotilla’s forces for the purpose of preparing for its participation in the Tsentr-2019 strategic command and staff drills,” the press office said in a statement.

During the training exercise, the Caspian Flotilla’s military command centers, military units and formations will practice deploying shipboard command and control posts and their coherent operations in planning and accomplishing special assignments in selected operational areas.

The command and staff exercise is running under the command of the Caspian Flotilla’s commander. The drills involve over 1,500 personnel, about 30 combat ships, boats and support vessels, and also around 100 items of military hardware. The drills will last a week.