Black Berets at the exercises, April 2020
The most powerful naval association in its region is deservedly considered the Caspian flotilla Navy of Russia. In recent years, the flotilla received a lot of new ships and vessels, which positively affected the combat effectiveness of its surface forces. Now the gradual development of the coastal forces in general and the marine corps in particular is being carried out.
History of development
Until the beginning of the nineties, the Marines were absent from the Caspian flotilla. Only in March 1994, an order appeared to form the 332th separate battalion of the Marine Corps based in Astrakhan. In 1998, the battalion became the 600th Guards. At that time, he was the only part of a kind in the flotilla.
In May 1999, the 414th Separate Marine Corps Battalion was formed - in the city of Kaspiysk. Soon, in the fall of 2000, serious transformations began. Two battalions were brought together as part of the newly created 77th Guards Separate Red Banner Brigade of the Marine Corps. They were supplemented by several other units for various purposes.
The 77th brigade had three marine battalions (414th, 725th and 727th), the 1200th separate reconnaissance battalion, two howitzer divisions, the 1387th anti-aircraft missile battalion, the 975th communication battalion and 530th separate electronic warfare company. Thus, as a part of the coastal forces, a full-fledged grouping was created as soon as possible, capable of solving a wide range of combat missions in different conditions.
Landing on an unprepared coast, September 2018
Soon after its appearance, the brigade took part in the battles of the Second Chechen. Various units from its structure regularly went on business trips and participated in a number of basic operations. "Black Berets" showed themselves in the best way. More than 300 servicemen of the 77th brigade received state awards.
The 77th Guards Brigade lasted until December 1, 2008, when an order was issued to disband it. In accordance with it, only two separate battalions of the marine corps were left in the Caspian flotilla - the 414th in Kaspiysk and the 727th in Astrakhan.
The reasons for the appearance of the marine corps in the Caspian flotilla are obvious. Further transformations, in turn, were associated with the need to strengthen this type of troops in accordance with emerging challenges and threats - and in conditions of limited resources. The results of such transformations were often far from desired, but they gave rise to optimism.
In 2018, the marines of the Caspian flotilla underwent new transformations. On the basis of two separate battalions, the 177th Marine Regiment was created with command in Kaspiysk. On December 1 of the same year, the new regiment began the process of training and completing assigned tasks.
Armored vehicles of the 177th Marine Regiment on the march during exercises
It is curious that this unit is currently the only regiment in the marine corps of the Russian Navy. In other fleets, the "black berets" are consolidated into brigades, including battalions and divisions.
The 177th regiment is a full-fledged force capable of working on land and on water. Battalions are equipped with all necessary equipment and weapons. The basis of their fleet is modern armored personnel carriers BTR-82A. There are self-propelled guns "Nona-M" and towed howitzers D-30. In service are unmanned aviation intelligence systems. All fighters use the Warrior kit. Management is carried out using the complex "Sagittarius".
At the end of last year, the appearance of a new reconnaissance battalion as part of the 177th regiment was announced. It has a special-purpose company. Both the company and the battalion as a whole are designed to conduct reconnaissance in the deep rear of the enemy. It was alleged that the entire Central Asian region could be under the control of the reconnaissance battalion.
Not so long ago it was announced that another marine battalion, similar to the existing ones, would soon appear in the 177th Marine Regiment. It was reported that the battalion will include three companies: two marines and one air assault. Thus, the battalion will be able to more effectively solve one of the main tasks of a kind of troops - landing on the coast will be carried out both from water and from the air.
Gunners of the 177th Regiment
The formation of the battalion has already begun and gives the first results. Personnel were recruited and deployed, combat training began. A part will enter a fully operational state before the end of this year. In its combat potential and capabilities, it will be like two other battalions of the marine corps.
Not only marines
Serious transformations of the marine corps of the Caspian flotilla began not so long ago, but so far have produced the most serious results. The number of combat units and the total number of personnel and weapons has been increased. In addition, infrastructure and equipment / weapons were modernized, which led to a qualitative improvement in the situation.
At the beginning of this year, a subunit with anti-ship missile weapons reappeared in the coastal flotilla forces for the past few years. The 51st Separate Coastal Missile Division uses the Ball complex and is capable of supporting both surface forces and coastal forces.
The implementation of the naval assaults of the "black berets" is provided by the landing boats of the flotilla. At the moment, this group includes only eight combat units of three projects. Together, the boats are able to deliver to the shore a battalion of marine corps with attached equipment and weapons. There is also the possibility of airborne landing - for this, military transport aviation of the Air Force or its own aviation units of the Caspian flotilla are involved in operations.
Landing boats pr. 11770 "Serna" from the Caspian flotilla
Perspectives and opportunities
The quantitative and qualitative growth of both the Caspian flotilla as a whole and individual structures from its composition leads to obvious advantages. Ships and coastal forces of the flotilla are one of the main forces in the region, and not only at sea. As it became clear several years ago, the striking means of the Caspian sailors can hit targets even in remote areas.
It is likely that the area of responsibility of the reinforced and improved 177th Marine Regiment is not limited to the Caspian Sea and its shores. If necessary, his battalions and divisions will be able to work in different regions, from the North Caucasus to Central Asia. Such a potential will be useful in combating the terrorist threats specific to these regions.
It can be argued that the end result of the current measures to form new units and units will be the creation of a developed and effective group of coastal forces capable of working in all major environments and solving all the main tasks specific to the Caspian region. The backbone of any such grouping is the infantry - and in this case, the key component of the Russian forces is the 177th Marine Regiment, the construction and improvement of which has not yet been completed.