Properly built control system is not only an integral part of any organized military force, but also its “backbone” - the foundation around which this military force is built.
The Russian Navy is one of three types of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, and, again, in theory, this type of armed forces should have its own combat command system. As soon as we allow the formation of inter-naval groups (for example, in the Mediterranean Sea) or independent implementation fleet combat missions (for example, somewhere in the Caribbean), it is necessary to provide such a type of aircraft as the fleet with full-fledged military command and control.
And here a person who does not wear a navy uniform is in for a surprise, as is usually the case in naval affairs, an unpleasant one.
There is no combat fleet management system. There is no single command capable of correctly and correctly linking the actions of the fleets with each other and with naval groups deployed somewhere far from the coast of Russia. In general, the fleet as a single organism is not.
Whom does the Pacific Fleet report to? Commander of the Navy? Not. He submits to Lieutenant-General Gennady Valerievich Zhidko, commander of the Eastern Military District, a graduate of the Tashkent Higher Tank Command Military School, who served his whole life in the land forces. How so? And the Pacific Fleet is part of the Eastern Military District and receives orders in the "normal" mode from the district headquarters.
And the Black Sea Fleet? And he, with the Caspian Flotilla, is part of the Southern Military District, led by Lieutenant-General Mikhail Yuryevich Teplinsky, a paratrooper.
And the Baltic? Lieutenant-General Viktor Borisovich Astapov, also a paratrooper.
And North? And the Northern Fleet - about a miracle - is itself a military district, the presence in the composition of army units that have nothing to do with the fleet. So, for example, the 14 th army corps of two motorized rifle brigades with a total of five thousand men, the 45 Army of the Air Force and Air Defense, naval formations and much more are subordinated to the fleet, and Admiral Nikolai Evmenov commands all of these.
Questions, as they say, are asking. There is no doubt that Lieutenant General Zhidko knows how to conduct an offensive with several tank and motorized rifle divisions. There is no doubt that Lieutenant General Teplinsky is able to perform the widest range of military tasks - from an army offensive operation to throwing grenades at a machine-gun crew. After all, this is one of those people who, without bragging rights, can say something like "Rambo, if he were real, would be a puppy compared to me," and that would be true.
But can they assign tasks to naval formations that are subordinate to them? Do they understand both the capabilities of the Navy and the limits of these possibilities? On the other hand, is Admiral Evmenov able to assess the defense plan or the offensive of the 14 corps?
Historical experience suggests that the army is not able to command the fleets and that the admirals are not suitable as ground commanders. Precedents in our history have been more than once and ended badly.
The last example of a large war, before which there was a mass of mistakes in fleet management and the organization of its combat training, and in the course of which the fleets submitted to the ground commander, was the Great Patriotic War. We know the results today.
From the book“The main headquarters of the Navy: history and modernity. 1696 — 1997 », edited by Admiral Kuroyedov:
... often the responsible officers of the General Staff did not even imagine the operational capabilities of the fleets and did not know how to properly use their forces, taking into account only the obvious capabilities of the fleet forces to provide direct fire support to ground forces (the number of ship and coastal artillery barrels, the number of operational bombers, attack aircraft and fighters).
It was natural, and naturally it was not only for the General Staff, but also for the front headquarters to which the fleets were subordinated to that war before 1944. Nobody ever simply taught land officers to command fleets and conduct naval operations, and without this it is impossible to assign tasks to the fleet correctly. The experience of the Great Patriotic War tells us that if the fleet had more competent leadership, it could have achieved more for the country.
Land and sea war are very different (although the same mathematical apparatus is used in the analysis or planning of battles and operations).
Two decisions to fight two commanders of two infantry divisions advancing on tank-accessible terrain will resemble each other.
And every naval battle, every marine attack aviation or a submarine combat operation is unique. On the sea, completely different approaches to camouflage are used - there is no terrain where you can hide. At sea, the approach to the planning of naval operations looks fundamentally different - for example, on a tactical level, the only way the ship can inflict losses on the enemy is by attack. Defense at sea at a tactical level is impossible - a submarine cannot dig in and fire from cover, like a surface ship.
The operation of the naval forces may be defensive, but in any case they will have to attack the enemy, attack, solve the defensive task using offensive methods.
Quite different is the question and combat losses. A motorized rifle battalion defeated in battle can be brought to the rear for re-formation and recruitment. You can replenish it with marching replenishments or at the expense of soldiers from the rear units, within a day - two of them repair most of the equipment pulled out of the battlefield and restore combat capability.
The ship is lost completely and forever, then it cannot be “played”, obtained from the storage bases (mostly), restored to a combat-ready state for a couple of nights. It just sinks and everything, and from that moment the power of the naval unit falls and is no longer restored until the fighting stops and a new ship is built.
The same applies to the replenishment of casualties. An infantryman can, if he presses, prepare for a month, and throw into battle, but the torpedo cannot — and the electrician cannot, and the acoustics. And this requires a different approach to saving forces. In a naval war, the loss is until the end of hostilities.
Even medicine in the navy is special, for example, a military doctor working in a ground hospital is unlikely to ever see a so-called. "Deck fracture".
In the tank battalion 31 tank, and in the correct version is the same tanks. In the ship’s shock group there can be no identical ships, all ships can have serious differences in the technical part and the requirements for planning a combat operation arising from this. In a land battle, you can withdraw a tank or a platoon from a battlefield to get ammunition, this is unscientific fantasy at sea. The same Su-30CM in the VKS and in the attack aircraft of the Navy requires different crews with different training. The differences are really in everything.
The price of a mistake on the sea is completely different than on land. If the target is misclassified, the entire ammunition load of the ship’s anti-ship missile or compound can go to false targets, and most importantly, to the other false targets (for example, MALD) the whole missile shield can go. The consequences are obvious.
The war at sea is different in that you can lose EVERYTHING in it because of one single mistake of one person. Everything, the whole fleet, all the possibilities of the country to protect itself from an attack from the sea. Even a nuclear strike on a motorized rifle regiment is not capable of depriving it of its combat effectiveness completely if personnel are ready to act in such conditions.
And at sea, making one wrong decision, or the right, but the belated, you can lose everything. You can instantly lose the war entirely. And then there will be no chance to fix something.
All this requires special knowledge from the military personnel of command structures, and an understanding of how it all works in the Navy. But we know that it is precisely in such a volume that land officers simply do not give them. Nowhere.
Can a tankman plan a raid of submarines near an array of low-frequency hydrophones somewhere in the Gulf of Alaska? This is a rhetorical question in reality, but, what is worse, the tankman and the practical feasibility of other people's plans will not be able to assess, will not be able to understand his subordinate in naval form, and distinguish between a good and feasible plan from a bad and delusional one.
Of course, for something it is possible to introduce double submission, when both the Main Command and the General Staff of the Navy can also contribute to the planning of military operations, but now the Main Command of the Navy is a purely administrative body and that the Admirals want to drive more forces and means to the Main Marine Parade. rather than strategic doctrines, is very indicative - they also want to manage something.
How is all this made possible?
The reasons are described by the expression “well-intentioned, the road to hell is paved”. Here is the case.
Russia is a unique formation from the geopolitical point of view - our country has four fleets and one flotilla in unrelated theaters of military operations, a high level of threat from the sea, and at the same time a huge land border with its neighbors, some of which are in dire need of training.
At the same time, depending on the type of military conflict, Russia will have to either begin independent actions by the forces of the fleets, or vice versa, subjugate the fleets, and the rest of the troops to some single headquarters, for which district headquarters are now trying to pass. And the combat fleet management system should easily allow the transition from one scheme to another.
Are we waging the same war as the Second World War or repulsing the Kuriles from Japan? Then we have a fleet and the forces of the military district are fighting under a single command. Are we conducting an extensive anti-submarine operation in the Pacific against the US in a threatened period? Then the district is not involved here, the Main Command and the Main Staff of the Navy directly control the fleets. The transition from one “regime” to another must be very simple and well worked out.
In the middle of 2000, an attempt was made to create such a universal control system. It was then that the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, General Yuri Baluyevsky, proposed dismantling the archaic system of the Military Districts in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, which had become obsolete at that time, and replace it with the Operational-Strategic Command Command (USC).
Army General Yuri Nikolayevich Baluevsky
A feature of the ideas of Baluyevsky was that USC in its understanding were purely headquarters structures, responsible only for the combat management of interspecific groups. These were not administrative bodies that included business units, a mass of service units and having permanent administrative borders in the territory of the Russian Federation. These were “mixed” interspecific headquarters, not burdened by administrative tasks, responsible for “their” future theaters and used only in wartime to solve tasks in their area of responsibility. At the same time, under different conditions, they could be allocated a different number of forces and means, including large connections and associations. The entire administrative part and economic management should have been put out of the box and work according to a separate scheme.
If it is necessary to ensure unified command of both the fleet and the forces of the ground forces, such a headquarters would be able to simultaneously command a separate fleet (or part of it) and aviation and land forces. At the same time, the composition of the subordinate USC connections, and the time during which they would be subordinate to the USC, would depend on the problem being solved and would not be a constant.
Such a scheme very much reminded how organized the management of troops in the United States.
The first attempts to experiment with such combat control bodies were unsuccessful, but, frankly, due to the lack of experience in the management of interspecific groups, and not because of the initial depravity of the idea. The idea had to be brought to the working realization, but instead, in the summer of 2008, Baluevsky was fired from the post of the NGS. According to some versions, as a result of intrigues from the commanders of the districts, from whom the reform according to his plans would have taken everything. However, this may be nothing more than rumors.
General Nikolai Makarov, who replaced Baluyevsky, however, continued to “move” the idea of USC within the framework of the extensive reform of the military command and control of the RF Armed Forces under his leadership. Here it is only realized that it turned out to be quite different from what it was intended at Baluyevsky.
Army General Nikolai Egorovich Makarov
According to Makarov, the districts simply enlarged and received the status of USC in parallel with their old military district status. And, most importantly, in the subordination of these USC-districts, fleets located "in their" territory were also introduced. It was motivated by the fact that the USC Commander, in whose hands all the forces and means in the theater of operations, would be able to manage them more effectively than if he had only his own, ground forces and part of the aviation. In addition, the top political leadership of the new command and control system was presented as less cumbersome, where all the issues of combat control were “left” for the General Staff, and in peacetime the command of the armed forces remained combat-oriented and material and technical equipment (including the Navy). It was believed that such changes in command structures are some form of "optimization" (and in fact - the reduction of "extra" frames) of the latter.
Thus, the first and main step was taken towards the de facto elimination of a single type of the Armed Forces - the Navy, and its transformation into a kind of "naval units of the ground forces".
Makarov's ideas quickly found support from Anatoly Serdyukov, who became defense minister, who saw this as an opportunity to reduce the parallel command structures of the fleet and ground forces that performed similar or identical tasks, but within the framework of "their" air force.
And the reorganization began. In 2010, the formation of a new type of military districts — operational strategic commands — began, at the same time submission to these unions and fleets began. In the western direction, due to different conditions and threats in the Baltic direction and in the Arctic, it was not immediately possible to form effective USCs, and the organizational and staff structure that exists now had to go through trial and error in some tragicomic ones.
It didn’t work out with optimization - the USC district headquarters had so many administrative tasks that they, on the contrary, turned into stagnant and awkward monsters who could hardly react quickly to changes in the situation, but they were bogged down in essentially non-military issues.
One way or another, but at the time when the fleets were subordinated to the army headquarters, the existence of a single type of the Armed Forces, the Navy, was already called into question.
Let us imagine an example: by the nature of the radio exchange and proceeding from the analysis of the current situation, the intelligence of the Navy understands that the enemy is going to concentrate against the Russian forces in the Pacific region the reinforced grouping of submarines, with the probable task of being ready to break the sea communications between Primorye on the one hand and Kamchatka and Chukotka on the other.
An emergency solution could be a maneuver by anti-submarine aviation from other fleets ... but now it is first necessary that the ground forces officers from the GSH correctly evaluate the information from the Navy, believe in it, so that the naval section of the GSH will confirm the conclusions made by the Navy command in of the paratroopers, military intelligence also came to the same conclusions, so that the arguments of one of the district commanders, fearing that the enemy submarines in his theater would begin to drown "his" IRC and BDK (and then he would answer for them) Not later, and only later through the General Staff, one or another USC district will receive an order to “give” its planes to its neighbors. In this chain there can be a lot of failures, each of which will lead to the loss of one of the most valuable resources in a war - time. And sometimes lead to the failure of vital action for the defense of the country.
It was here that the main striking force on the ocean directions was lost, and not only the Navy, but the RF Armed Forces as a whole - the Naval Rocket-carrying Aviation of the Navy. It as a kind of troops capable of maneuvering between theaters, and for this reason, should have central submission simply had no place in the new system. Airplanes and pilots left for the Air Force, with time the main tasks shifted to bombing ground targets with bombs, which is logical for the Air Force. Here are just an extra "get" a large shipboard strike group of the enemy in the sea today there is nothing.
And this we do not consider such a human factor as tyranny, when the land commander with authority will voluntarily give the sailors impracticable suicidal orders, and then also plan the actions of the ground forces on the assumption that these orders will be executed. However, the option with the admiral-tyrant in the Northern Fleet, foolishly sending infantry to certain death, is no better. The system in which the districts and fleets are consolidated into monstrous associations makes such things possible, unfortunately, even has the power to make them happen.
Something is already happening. In the video below, the teachings of the Marine Corps of the Pacific Fleet on the territory of an abandoned Bechevinskaya Bay in Kamchatka, there used to be a small naval base, and now - bears. We look.
As can be seen, the reform did not lead to a special increase in combat capability. The marines tear trenches off the very edge of the coast (they will be destroyed by fire from the sea from a safe distance), try to destroy sea targets from ground ATGMs (this trick doesn’t work above water), shoot Grad cannons and MLRS (classics - combat between the Libyan MLRS and HMS Liverpool in the 2011 year - the “Grads” were mixed with ground with 114-mm cannon fire. Shooting at ships is difficult). If the marines were to defend the coast in such a way, by the time the first enemy units landed on the edge of the water, there would be no living people among the defenders. But the upcoming "happy" is not less - the landing of the rescue ship on motorboats revives the Great Patriotic, in memory only the power weapons the enemy is now different, however, the landing of an airborne assault from an anti-submarine helicopter on the coastline is a phenomenon of the same order. One “buried in the ground” 40-mm AGS Mk.19 with a calculation that can shoot from a closed position and a supply of tapes, and a pair of machine guns to cover it - and we will have our own Omaha Beach. In general, the real enemy would have interrupted all the defenders, but no one would have escaped the “beach” from the living ones. But "in the expense of" in this case, displays elite without discounts personnel, people who have invested in the preparation of wild funds, and which, if properly used, would cost the division of the soldiers "simpler." It turns out that no "integration" of the fleet into the ground forces raised the combat effectiveness of either the fleet itself or the marines.
The geographical assignment of territories to one or another command also raises questions.
We look at the map.
Pink - Western Military District, brown - Southern Military District, blue - Northern Fleet, yellow - Eastern Military District, green - Central Military District
The Novosibirsk Islands belong to the Northern Fleet USC. But the territory belonging to the Eastern Military District is 60 kilometers from them, and the nearest territory referring to the Northern Fleet (sounds like an oxymoron, but that's how we have it all) as much as 1100. Nothing like?
Let us turn once more to the above-mentioned book edited by ex-Commander Kuroyedov:
Occasionally, incidents such as the one that occurred in 1941 on the Moonsund Islands, when troops defending on Fr. Ezel, by order of the General Staff, were subordinated to one front, and on Fr. Dago - to another.
And how in such conditions to interact? Based on the goodwill of commanders of all levels?
But the "brilliant" idea to integrate fleets and districts was not the last nail in the coffin of the Navy as a single type of aircraft.
The second blow was initiated by A.E. Serdyukov moving the General Staff of the Navy to St. Petersburg.
This decision would bring as much harm as no diversion would bring. It is not necessary to hang all dogs indiscriminately on A.E. Serdyukov, despite all the inconsistencies of his actions, it is impossible to define them all as definitely harmful, he did a lot of useful things, but in the case of relocations of fleet command structures everything is unequivocal - it was a malicious solution in its pure form.
We will not go into details, they are sufficiently covered in the mass media and on the “specialized” forums, we’ll dwell on the main thing - when the Navy’s General Staff “moved” to St. Petersburg, the Navy’s Central Command Post — the Central Operations Center, and the control of hostilities remained “orphaned” fleet could be carried out globally with real-time intelligence. The uninitiated person is simply unable to imagine how huge and complex the complex was behind these three letters, complex both technically and organizationally. The transfer of the General Staff of the Navy to St. Petersburg left the CCU unclaimed - it lost its functionality separately from the General Staff. And then there was a simple one-way. Since 1 November 2011, the management of ALL the forces of the Navy transferred to the General Staff KP, moreover, the technical equipment of the Central Dispatch Center and the staff were “optimized”, and that’s it - the control remained under the General Staff, within the framework of the new CCP of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the branches of the troops of central subordination, except for the Strategic Missile Forces, in which the command and control system remained intact (and thank God).
And this is despite the fact that the new unified TsKP of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, organized under the auspices of the General Staff, does not have equal capabilities for managing the fleets with the old TsKP Navy. Frames too.
Thus, following the “ripping off” of the Navy in USC districts, the unified management system was eliminated, which in fact deprived the fleet of competent management, and the Main Committee turned it into a strictly logistical unit, which has nothing to do with the command of the Navy.
It is not hard to guess that when “they come for us,” the whole system will fall like a house of cards. We had it already, at a different technical level, during the Great Patriotic. And then the fleet, though played an important role, but its potential is not realized even close. The system did not work as it should. But we fought with the enemy, who "came for us" by land. Now everything will be different.
What do we have to do? Instead of breeding tank-sea monsters, with households forced to cover an area slightly smaller than the area of Australia and the area of responsibility from Krasnoyarsk to Seattle, we should return to the original USC idea as a purely military interspecific headquarters, whose subordination would include those associations and connections that are needed “here and now” for solving a specific military task.
Let the fleet be a fleet with its full-fledged, and not castrated, command and control system, with the Main Command, which is the Main Command, and not the reserve of future retirees and the sinecourt for making money, whose role in military management is limited to parades and holidays, and the tasks — logistics and weapons and other material means.
And let the district be what it should be - the “harvesting” of a front or group of armies, as was the case during the Great Patriotic War. And let USC be the headquarters, used only when necessary. We are conducting a joint operation by the army, the fleet and the VKS - all forces in the region go under USC, which ensures the unity of command. The fleet is fighting for the safety of communications, and in this case there is no need for any USC, the Navy is able to (should) solve such tasks independently, by forces of both surface ships and submarines, and naval aviation.
Such a system will be much more flexible.
And it will not break the management of the types of armed forces, as the current one. It can be represented and VKS, and the Navy, and ground forces. USC officers must rotate in peacetime, coming into it from the Navy, VKS, district headquarters, and returning back after some time - this will allow you to have a good understanding between the USC and those associations that may be included in its composition. And the commander of USC can be assigned "under the task." We are talking about the reflection of the enemy's air offensive operation - and our commander from the VKS, and the General Staff sends him additional aviation units to reinforce. Is there a threat from the sea? We put the commander of the admiral. Moving our mechanized legions into the very heart of the enemy on the ground? The general takes the post in green. Everything is logical and correct. Such a headquarters can even be taken from the theater of war if it is not needed there and it can reinforce a dangerous direction - oh, how necessary are the headquarters in the war, especially the "knocked down" and experienced ones.
But for this, someone should not be afraid to cancel previously made wrong decisions, despite the fact that they were accompanied by what kind of advertising in the press. This must be done for the sake of the country's defense.
However, any adversary can force us to come to the necessary states by force, as has been the case many times before, but we so want to believe that one day we will learn how to prepare for war in advance ...