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Russia’s rickety aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, is close to being home after spending a couple months off Syria’s coast. During that short period of time, two of its aircraft plunged into the Mediterranean, and it seemed as if the carrier was acting more as a transport ship for its aircraft than as an active airbase at sea. The carrier and her core group of escort ships were ordered back to their home port of Severomorsk in early January and they have spent the last month making their way slowly there. Although fixed-wing carrier naval aviation in the US and Russia differs greatly, the homecoming for their aircrews aren’t too disparate, and coming home in one piece may even be more of a stirring realization for Russian aircrews and their families considering how dangerous operating from their less than reliable carrier with minimal shipboard training really is.

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