The 80 anniversary of the Airborne Forces is ignored by the President and the Minister of Defense. They did not want to meet with the paratroopers and did not even send the usual on-duty greeting to the participants in the anniversary concert in the Kremlin Palace, where 31 July this year. About 5000 people were present, including 28 Heroes of Russia, who once protected the Fatherland from disintegration (in Chechen campaigns) and from humiliation (in an operation to force the Georgian president to peace).
The anniversary of every respected, honored artist of Russia receives more attention than the anniversary of the thirty-thousandth kind of troops, deserving the respect of the people of Russia. It turns out that there is a reason for such “forgetfulness” - rumors about reforming, and the actual disbanding and reassignment of the Airborne Forces are confirmed and concretized. This circumstance explains a lot.
Supreme Commander D.A. Medvedev is finally rid of the Airborne Forces and at the same time they are relieved from responsibility for the use of its operational-strategic reserve due to the lack thereof. At the same time, the initiators of this “deliverance” also have a chance to convince the country's leadership of the usefulness of the military reform performed by the Chief of the General Staff N. Makarov.
Indeed, the newly created strategic commands "suddenly, out of nowhere" appear combat-ready groups of troops that can threaten both the enemy and the senior military commander to demonstrate at least for a short time until the amphibious units sink to the level of general strategic impotence.
We understood the objectivity of military reform and initially supported its plan. The elimination of redundant managerial links and the optimization of the entire management structure while lowering the threshold of tactical independence of the units were inevitable. However, from conception to execution the distance is of huge size. Until now, Mr. N. Makarov could not present any visible positive result from the goals stated at the beginning of the reform of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, including:
Contrary to expectations, the efficiency and efficiency of managing connections, units and subunits has decreased. The reasons for this are very low operational and technical training, as well as the lack of coherence of controls from top to bottom. And where does this term come from if these authorities shake up every year during the last three years. At the same time, the number of hierarchical instances has not decreased at all, as stated by Mr. N. Makarov, and in the case of airborne formations, it significantly increases, blurring responsibility for the final result;
Of all the newly formed brigades of constant readiness, there is not one truly prepared and efficient. The main reason for this is the extremely weak training of the personnel of most units. The Ministry of Defense turned out to be unprepared for the transition to the year of service of soldiers on conscription: there are no corresponding methods and programs of combat training and a modern training and material base, there are no internal regulatory and organizational documents and regulations that are adequate to the new realities and conditions of service;
In the Russian Armed Forces there is not a single professionally staffed military unit. The plans of the contract service failed due to the lack of readiness, inability and unwillingness of the leadership of GOMU GSH, GUVR, GUK to organize training and recruitment of citizens for the contract service (Smirnov VV and Pankov N.A.), to ensure normal combat training, as well as service troops in garrisons and units (N. Makarov). There’s nothing to do with economic considerations - there are enough funds in the country and citizens who want to serve the Fatherland for the same money only in normal legal and living conditions;
did not appear and in the near future is not expected, declared by the Minister of Defense, an effective institute of junior commanders. The ruined system of training military personnel in the Ministry of Defense does not want to be restored by the “pike dictum” of N. Makarov and N. Pankov. At the same time, no one in the Ministry of Defense organizes pre-draft training in civilian universities of students, that is, the same draftees — potential junior commanders, who only matured during their studies and professionally trained in specialized military registration specialties;
barracks hooliganism and hazing became even more sophisticated and meaner. Contract soldiers and conscripts of various appeals find themselves in one unit, often in the same barracks. To the "non-statutory" were added interethnic conflicts in military units. The officer-tutors, whose functions were to form a healthy moral and psychological climate in the barracks, were reduced first. In the absence of planned combat training in the subunit, the absence of criteria for an objective assessment of the place, the role of soldiers and sergeants in the team, and the readiness of this team and its members for the defense of the Fatherland is inevitable. It is then that the main criterion for evaluation and self-assessment becomes service life with all the ensuing consequences;
failed to restore the system of military-patriotic education of youth and its preparation for military service, including in military occupational specialties. GOMU GSH were not (during the transition to a one-year service life) educational standards and standards for a military recruiter were developed and announced. These standards are not known today. Accordingly, there is no legal basis for licensing additional educational institutions that carry out pre-conscription training (this is the responsibility of V. V. Smirnov). The stated creation of an interdepartmental commission (responsible A. Serdyukov) 22 April 2009. at the meeting of the State Council in Ryazan and in the instructions of the President, it remained an assignment - not a single meeting of the commission, as such, was held and not a single regulatory document appeared directly from the pen of this commission. The fruit of fruitless efforts, not the Ministry of Defense or the interdepartmental commission, but the unauthorized Central Council of DOSAAF of Russia - “The concept of the federal system of training citizens of the Russian Federation for military service for the period up to 2020 of the year” (Government Decree No. 134Р of 03.02.2010) - not coordinated with disinterested federal ministries, does not create organizational and financial mechanisms for this work.
The situation with the preparation of citizens for military service continues to deteriorate, as such statements and documents, the fruit of irresponsibility and reliance on the center, only discourage officials in the field.
In the Russian Armed Forces, in the reserve of the Supreme Commander up to now, there remained a group (branch of troops) - the Airborne Forces, which retained combat readiness and combat capability sufficient for a quick response to local, suddenly arising threats to national security. And we hoped that the Airborne Forces would remain in the hands of the military-political leadership of the country the tool that would allow us to adequately and promptly respond to these challenges until positive results and an analysis of the shortcomings of military reform emerged. I repeat that the strategy and the plan of reform have always been supported by us, since they correspond to modern realities, challenges and threats, but are executed extremely ineptly and irresponsibly. The formations and units of the Airborne Forces thanks to the decisions of the President and the Minister of Defense, announced in 2007 and 2008. to a lesser extent than other types and types of troops were affected by the destructive activities of the stalled military reform. But apparently this circumstance serves as a living reproach to the authors and performers of the creation of a “new look of the Armed Forces” and they decide to correct this situation. A Directive has been prepared, according to which the Airborne Command becomes a subdivision of the Main Command of the Ground Forces (administrative body that does not have operational functions), and the formations and units of the Airborne Forces are actually withdrawn from the reserve and direct subordination of the Supreme Commander of the RF Armed Forces and transferred to the operational subordination of the Armed Forces strategic directions "North", "West", "South", "East".
From such a "castling" Russia gets the following results.
1. The military. The RF Armed Forces are deprived of a highly mobile, combat-ready, operational group of forces capable of independently, with the support of the Air Force, solving suddenly arising operational tasks in local conflicts outside the Russian Federation, or in remote isolated territories where the Russian state is becoming richer today (and in the near future), its officials and oligarchs. The Supreme Commander-in-Chief and the General Staff lose the opportunity to strengthen and close dangerous areas with their operational and strategic reserve. The assertion that strategic commands will be able to independently solve these problems if they include separate formations of the Airborne Forces and the army aviation (in the future, the formation of powerful helicopter formations is planned) is controversial and unfounded. Firstly, it is not yet known when powerful helicopter formations will be formed capable of deploying and supporting combat operations of an operational assault, at least as part of one brigade or airborne division. Secondly, the strategic commands do not have mobile means and staff command posts prepared for deployment and deployment in the areas of airborne deployment outside the Russian Federation or in remote isolated territories to control the operations of airborne troops. Thirdly, the strategic commands do not have the means and bodies for supplying stocks (ammunition, food, fuel and lubricants) necessary for an airborne assault to conduct combat operations outside the Russian Federation or in remote and isolated areas. Fourth, today there is neither knowledge, nor experience (and will not be soon) in the planning, deployment, management and support of combat operations of operational landings - and this is an integral and self-sufficient section of military art. Fifth, if there is a sufficient number of transport and combat helicopters in the foreseeable future, then why shouldn’t the strategic command be prepared for use by one or two brigades of constant readiness for use as a helicopter operational or tactical assault based on specific conditions, assessing the development of the situation and potential threats on a particular theater.
2. Military and political. For whom and for what the Security Council of the Russian Federation was created and the President in 2010. signed the Concept of national security and the Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation? Art.11 Concepts: “The focus of long-term international policy will be on the ownership of energy sources, including in the Middle East, on the shelf of the Barents Sea and in other areas of the Arctic, in the Caspian Sea basin and in Central Asia. The situation in Iraq and Afghanistan, conflicts in the Middle East, in a number of countries in South Asia and Africa, on the Korean Peninsula will continue to have a negative impact on the international situation in the medium term. ” And then st.12 "In the context of competition for resources, solutions to arising problems with the use of military force are not excluded - the existing balance of forces near the borders of the Russian Federation and the borders of its allies may be upset" At the same time, the Military Doctrine requires the General Staff to “choose the best directions for the construction and development of the Armed Forces and other troops, the forms and methods of their application, based on the forecasts of the development of the military-political situation, military dangers and military threats ...”. And then the Doctrine determined that "... formations of the RF Armed Forces can be operatively used outside the Russian Federation in accordance with generally accepted principles and norms of international law, international treaties of the Russian Federation and federal legislation."
Knowing the state of the units and formations of constant readiness, I would like to ask N. Makarov: with what forces and means, with what operational formations is it envisaged today to respond to these threats and challenges? Or not provided at all? Then why and for whom is the “President” and “Doctrine” approved by the Russian President?
3. Geostrategic. If there are no prophets in your homeland, so take a closer look, gentlemen, how the Armed Forces are built with our partners. Through the military reforms in the last 20 years have passed the armies of most NATO countries, the United States. China, the post-Soviet republics. Everywhere, the formation of a mobile component is observed - directly subordinate to the military-political leadership of an independent operational grouping, strengthening its role and weight in the overall structure of the Armed Forces.
The current (Obama) defense budget of the United States makes it clear that America’s military future lies in "expeditionary combat operations." Parts of the US Marine Corps (175 thousand people), stationed at overseas bases and ships, are ready to take part in them at any time. For operations in the Middle East, the Pentagon contains the 18 airborne corps, which includes four divisions, three brigades, dep. regiment and support units. Its total number of 90 thou. These associations of troops have administrative and operational independence.
In NATO, a rapid response force of 25 thousand people has been formed. The purpose of the new operational association, subordinate directly to the commander-in-chief of NATO troops, according to the NATO Secretary General: "Reassure countries that are experiencing growing fears about Russia."
However, our General Staff, as always in Russia, has its own special way - to show the world an example of how reforms cannot be carried out. Russia today is losing its national treasure — combat troops that are unique in their strategic and tactical mobility, which they did not have, and will not have for a long time, not a single army in the world. In addition to the Airborne Forces, Russia has no other military tool to respond to remote local calls.
A decade and a half ago (Russia then experienced “troubled time”), playing “chess Eurasia” Zbignev Brzezinski wrote that “without the ability to transport troops over long distances to impose their political will and are far behind in technological terms from America, Russia and China does not have the means to constantly exert political influence in the world ... " Today, China already has this opportunity, and it’s time for Russia to restore it, including by building up the BTA group. Let me remind you that it took just two days for the two airborne units in 1968 to parachute and occupy the target objects in years. Prague and Brno. In 1979 Xnumx airborne and 103 guv. per day, they took over all government and administrative institutions in the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul, and provided for the planned deployment of troops to this country. Without delving into the political sense, in military-technical and operational terms, these were brilliant military operations. Neither the 345 VDK nor the USMC can boast anything like that. Airborne units of the Airborne Forces acted very quickly, decisively and effectively, defending the integrity and interests of Russia in the localization of all armed conflicts over the past two decades.
It is indisputable that, with all other things being equal, the amphibious units and units are an order of magnitude more mobile than others, both when deployed to the theaters of operations and on the battlefield, their tactical methods and methods are more modern and most relevant to the conditions of local conflicts. These benefits will inevitably be lost if the projects of the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are implemented.
4. Social and political. Troopers, veterans of the Airborne Forces, public organizations of veterans of the Airborne Forces have always been and are loyal to the government, believing themselves to be part of the state, its advocates. The Charter of the Union of Russian Paratroopers contains a provision prohibiting the Union from joining political parties and the impossibility of admitting organizations that pursue political goals to the Union by individuals who are members of the Union. This allowed the Union of Russian Paratroopers to maintain unity, corporate cohesion and become a truly massive and capable All-Russian organization that can protect its members and defend the interests of its corporation. However, it should be borne in mind that the practical implementation of the decision to disband the Airborne Forces and transfer their units and units to the subordination of the land commanders will cause a negative reaction not only to 30 000 airborne troops and the thirty-thousandth army of members of the Union of Russian Paratroopers, but also to the entire two millionth capable audience men aged from 20 to 50-60 years who have ever served in the Airborne Forces. This protest is already materializing on the Internet. Some perceive this “distribution” as a sign of an attempt to “merge Russia”, realizing its defenselessness in the face of “militant Saakashviliy”. One should expect a substantial increase in the ranks of the Union of Russian Paratroopers and the cohesion of the airborne organizations with a sharp and steady surge of opposition sentiments towards the state and military authorities: the President, the Government, the Ministry of Defense. And they need it ...?
5. Moral-psychological. Transferring separate units and units of the Airborne Forces to several subordinates, unconditionally responsible and self-sufficient chiefs, will objectively destroy the system of education and training of the personnel of these troops that has been developing for decades. This factor has never been taken into account by the General Staff. But, this objective reality, given to the General Staff in sensations, is not eternal. If from a military-technical and operational point of view, it is still possible to find controversial and groundless arguments in favor of “distributing” formations and units of the Airborne Forces to various commanders, then the arguments of this “distribution” lose all meaning when considering damage to the moral and psychological state and combat capability of parachute personnel. amphibious units and units. Thanks to this factor, Russia has the opportunity to be proud of the victories and achievements of its army.
Science knows that a person uses the capabilities of his brain only on 3-4%, the rest of his nerve cells “sleep”. Scientists say that parents can make the greatest gift to their child if they manage to give his mind, his brain, confidence: “I can ...!”. In such a state, the child (in an adult too, but less) some additional part of his nerve cells are also included in the work, increasing intellectual, volitional and physical capabilities. In the Airborne Forces of the Russian Federation since the time of the USSR, largely thanks to the intuition of V.F. Margelova, a unique method appeared in the brains of young officers and young soldiers (actually the same children - boys from school) of this very awareness of “I can ... !!!”. This method, which has become a system, is transmitted in the traditions of the troops, in the programs of “combat and political training”, through graduates of the Ryazan Airborne School, through overcoming the fear of parachute jumps, through corporate solidarity and responsibility not only for themselves, but also “for the landing” , through the symbols of amphibious units, through the motto “Nobody but us!” and through many, many other things that sometimes can not be explained: the atmosphere of the amphibious complex, training ground, class, barracks. Let this awareness is not given to every paratrooper, but even a quarter of the unit’s personnel with such an installation leads the rest. The last decades have shown quite a few illustrative examples: Afghanistan, Chechnya, Yugoslavia, Georgia - this is far from an exhaustive list of hot military conflicts in which paratroopers carried out the bulk of the most acute and responsible operations and battles. Only in the last decade, after the withdrawal from Afghanistan, more than 100 of them became Heroes of the Russian Federation (50% posthumously). This system of training and education will objectively collapse. It cannot be maintained without the Airborne Command, without its school, without personnel and organizational-mobilization bodies, without a system of education, without traditions of combat and airborne training, without traditions of airborne fraternity of servicemen and veterans.
Let me remind the words of the Spartan king Leonid (the leader of 300 Spartans), said to one of the Macedonian kings before the battle with the Persians at Thermopylae: “... I have warriors, and you have shepherds - you can not stand” (talking about 300 soldiers and 10000 troops). In the same way with airborne units a year or two after the implementation of this directive: warriors standing in the battle of the one hundred thousandth army will inevitably turn into 30000 "shepherds". Objectively, everything goes to that.
Today, the Ryazan Airborne School is no longer subject to the command of the Airborne Forces. It became the amphibious faculty as part of some amorphous training center of the Ground Forces (General Military Academy). The Airborne Forces Command has been removed from the pre-draft training of young people and from being drafted into the Airborne Forces - this is now a function of the WMD of military districts. Informally, the Union of Russian Paratroopers hardly manages to coordinate, so that graduates of youth clubs of an airborne profile, trained and willing to serve in the Airborne Forces, are drafted into these troops. Now, the operational and combat training of paratroopers will be taken by those who brought their units and units to a “limited-combat” state.
The first and second steps to “I cannot ...!” Have already been taken in accordance with directives of the General Staff, which, for the command of the Airborne Forces, have the force of law. Go ahead or stop? It is not too late to take a step back. What is needed is the will of the military-political leadership of the country.
Not only the disbanding, but also the weakening of the Airborne Forces weakens Russia, depriving it of the opportunity to “impose its political will on others” and protect its national interests. The Airborne Forces must be kept in constant readiness precisely as a reserve of the Supreme Commander, in his direct submission with a minimum of hierarchical instances transmitting his decrees and orders, as a mobile multifunctional operational grouping of troops under a single command possessing administrative (formation, maintenance and training of troops), and operational (planning, combat use and control of troops during an operation) functions.
We hope that there is still time to stop and seriously analyze all the factors of military reform with the participation of the Airborne Forces, including the above.
Question to the President of Russia: To be or not to be airborne?
- Pavel Popovskikh - Chairman of the Central Council of the Union of Paratroopers of Russia, Chief of Intelligence of the Airborne Forces 1990-1997.
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