Like units of the ground forces, most air force units are deployed according to military district. Russia's armed forces underwent major organizational changes from July 1997. The eight military districts were reduced to six. Of these, five were designated "operational-strategic" commands on important strategic directions: Northwestern (LeMD); Western (MoMD); Southwestern (NCMD); Southern (SiMD) and Far Easterrn (FEMD). The commanders of these MDs are responsible for the defence of Russia within their boundaries and are given a large measure of autonomy in doing so.
The air force contingent of the Far Eastern Military District consisted in 1996 of 124 Su-24 Fencer bombers of the long-range aviation force, and 245 ground-attack and fighter aircraft of the Su-17, Su-24, Su-25, Su-27, and MiG-29 classes in frontal aviation. The Transbaikal Military District hosts an air army comprising 185 combat aircraft. The long-range contingent in that district consisted of eighty Su-24 bombers. The frontal aviation portion includes thirty MiG-29 and seventy-five Su-17 and Su-24 ground-attack and dual-role aircraft.
The Siberian Military District has no frontal or long-range assets. In 1996 it deployed only 239 L-39 jet training aircraft of the Reserve and Cadre Training Command. The Ural Military District was supported in 1996 by one regiment of thirty Su-24 fighter-bombers of the Frontal Aviation Command. The North Caucasus Military District's air assets are organized as an air army that included a long-range bomber division of eighty-five Su-24 bombers in 1996, together with two frontal aviation divisions, a ground-attack division of 110 Su-25 fighter-bombers, and a fighter division of 110 MiG-29 fighters. The North Caucasus Military District air army also had a reconnaissance regiment consisting of thirty-five Su-24 aircraft in the mid-1990s.
Two training centers of the Reserve and Cadre Training Command are located in the North Caucasus district. They base five training regiments equipped with 500 operational and training aircraft of various types. Two more fighter training regiments deploying a combination of ninety-four combat aircraft were stationed in the Volga Military District in 1996. The Moscow Military District was supported by an air army that consists of a bomber division of ninety Su-24 aircraft of the Long-Range Aviation Command, a fighter division of 145 Su-27 and MiG-29 aircraft, a ground-attack regiment of forty Su-25 fighters, and a reconnaissance regiment of fifty-five Su-24 and MiG-25 aircraft. The Moscow Military District also hosts two training regiments of the Reserve and Cadre Training Command.
The Northern Military District is supported by an air army consisting of a bomber division under the Long-Range Aviation Command and a fighter division and a reconnaissance regiment under the Frontal Aviation Command. In the mid-1990s the bomber division was equipped with eighty Su-24 bombers, the fighter division with ninety-five Su-27 and MiG-29 aircraft.