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MOSCOW, January 18 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has ordered a doubling of staff at the Air Force headquarters in Moscow to restore its efficiency after massive cuts in the past few years.
“In line with a decision by the defense minister, the number of staff at the main headquarters will be more than doubled in the near future,” Defense Ministry spokesman Lt. Col. Vladimir Deryabin said on Friday.
“The ministry is planning to strengthen the HQ by restoring several departments to boost the efficiency of its work,” Deryabin said.
Under the recent military reform of the Russian Armed Forces, the Air Force HQ staff has shrunk to more than one-fifth of its previous size and several departments were closed down.
The measures have prompted strong criticism from Air Force officials who say it has affected its work.
In 2009, the Russian Air Force's structure was completely changed to a command-air base structure from the previous air army-air division or corps-air regimental structure .
The Russian Air Force now consists of four operational commands, including the Operational Strategic Command for Airspace Defense, Military Transport Aviation Command, and Long Range Aviation Command.
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