For servicemen at sea, these first months have already shown that, over all, this year will be no less tense than the past one. The warships of the Russian Navy are successfully conducting missions in the Indian, Atlantic, and Mediterranean oceans.
In mid-February, the heavy nuclear missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky (Peter The Great) and the large antisubmarine ships Admiral Kuznetsov, and Admiral Vinogradov effectively conducted exercises in the Arabian Sea in coordination with ships of the Indian Navy. A strike group of the Northern Fleet including the heavy aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, the large antisubmarine ship Admiral Chabanenko, and the support ships Nikolay Chiker and Sergey Osipov are continuing in the Atlantic Ocean a mission started in the Mediterranean. Deck pilots of the air group named after Two-time Hero of the Soviet Union Boris Safonov aboard the ship are successfully fulfilling all the tasks set before them. The crew of the ship, as well as helicopter pilots of the Northern Fleet, daily showcases its skills. The crew of the big tanker of the Black Sea Fleet Ivan Bubnov, which has already completed its mission, as well as that of the assault ships Azov and Yamal, also deserves praise.
The guard missile cruiser Moskva has also returned from a mission in the Mediterranean. The main task during the mission was a visit to the Italian port of Messsina, where the crew took part in memorial events marking the 100th anniversary of the rescue operation conducted by Russian seamen in Sicily after the earthquake that almost wiped out the city. The mission of the Russian warship in Italy concluded with joint exercises involving the Italian warship Andrea Doria in the Ionian Sea. Another mission the Russian warship conducted was refueling from the tanker Iman at the Syrian port of Tartus.
The antisubmarine ship Admiral Vinogradov of the Pacific Fleet continues its difficult mission in the Gulf of Aden under the command of Captain First Class Pyotr Podkopailo. After replacing the Russian escort ship Neustrashimy in the region of the Horn of Africa in the first half of January, the pacific Fleet seamen have continued to escort civilian ships in the pirates-infested waters off the coast of Somali with confidence. This is illustrated by the many thank-you letters that continue to pour in at the headquarters of the Russian Navy. In one of these letters, the general director of the Sakhalin Shipping Company, A. Matsuk, writes:
“The leadership of the company expresses its gratitude to the officers of the headquarters of the Russian Navy, the commander of the Admiral Kuznetsov, and the sailors for their excellent work in organizing the escort of our ship Yuri Savinov.
“Because of the impeccable conduct of the operation from meeting to escort, the ship did not lose even an hour in its movement and the schedule of delivery of cargo did not suffer the slightest change. We are grateful for the service: we wish you health and success.”
The day before Defense of Motherland Day, the commander of the Russian Navy, Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky, congratulated the staff of the Russian Navy on the occasion. In his letter, he wrote, in particular:
“According to a long-established tradition, we remember with gratitude the heroic achievements of many generations of seamen and bow our heads in respect for the sacred memories of those who gave their lives for the motherland.
“Today the crew of our ships and the soldiers in the divisions of the Russian Navy are worthy descendants and continuators of the heroic traditions of the Russian warrior. An illustrative example is the successful actions of the units, divisions, and ships of the Russian Navy, where, despite the difficult conditions, ever better results are still achieved.
“The crews of ships currently on mission far away at distant seas are demonstrating excellent knowledge of seamanship and are honorably serving. You are not just showing to the whole world the Russian flag: you, most importantly, serve as deterrence to any threat to Russia’s military security and create the conditions necessary for the Russia Federation to conduct economic activity.
“I wish you good health from the bottom of my heart, family happiness, success, new successes in your work for the benefit and greatness of the Russian Navy.”