Iran’s Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base prepares to stage a large-scale military exercise alongside other Armed Forces units in late October 2013, says a senior commander.
“The air defense [base], given the task it shoulders, takes part in all maneuvers staged by the Armed Forces in addition to the drills it holds independently,” said Khatam al-Anbiya Commander Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili on Sunday.
The top commander pointed to an air defense drill held last year, saying the exercises involved a large number of troops as well as indigenously-developed air defense systems and were staged in a warm region of the country.
However, he underlined, the upcoming air defense drills will be held in a cold and mountainous region, so that the military units involved will be able to rehearse their skills in different climatic conditions.
He said all Armed Forces units, including the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Basij Forces, will partake in the exercises.
Esmaili stated that nearly 8,000 military personnel will be directly involved in the drill, while another 17,000 will provide logistics for the maneuvers.
Iran’s Army and the IRGC conducted a joint air defense drill, codenamed Modafe’an-e Aseman-e Velayat 4 (Defenders of the Velayat Skies 4), in November 2012.
The maneuvers covered an area of 950,000 square kilometers in the provinces of Khorasan Razavi, North Khorasan, South Khorasan, Sistan-and-Baluchestan, Hormuzgan, Kerman and parts of Fars and Yazd Provinces.
Iran has repeatedly stated that its military might poses no threat to other countries, reiterating that its defense doctrine is based on deterrence.
Tehran maintains that the maneuvers are defensive in nature and meant to convey a message of peace and friendship to regional countries.