Russia said Monday that it will send a naval squadron and long-range patrol planes to Venezuela this year for a joint military exercise in the Caribbean, an announcement made at a time of increasingly tense relations with the United States.YES!!! I am just as giddy as a school girl. Feel like an Ensign again. Please Vladimir, send along a clanky Victor III too! Please ...... and have him do this!
Mr. Nesterenko said the Peter the Great missile cruiser and three other Russian navy ships would visit Venezuela before the year's end and would be joined by a unit of long-range anti-submarine patrol aircraft.
He did not say how many planes would be sent, but said they would be "temporarily based at one of Venezuela's air bases."
Mr. Nesterenko did not name the type of planes that would be deployed to Venezuela. Russia has two such planes: the Tu-142, which is an anti-submarine version of the Tu-95 Bear strategic bomber, and the smaller Il-38.
Come on over Ivan; you can play in our backyard anytime.
UPDATE: More on the Echo II here.