It is about the logistics of the troops, the basic laws of which have remained unchanged for decades and the outcome of the war depends on the proper implementation of which. However, in the course of the recent reform of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the old MTO system, instead of refining and improving under the changed conditions of the internal and external situation, underwent a fundamental breakdown, and without sufficient military-scientific and military-economic justification. Particular attention should be given to the difficult situation in the Ground Forces.
REPAIRED MORE THAN THEY RELEASED
“During the Great Patriotic War, the organization of maintenance of combat vehicles, their timely repair and evacuation in the dynamics of battles was one of the most important problems in the total amount of combat readiness measures,” said Lieutenant-General of Engineering and Technical Services Alexander Karpenko.
- The importance of these issues was determined primarily by the fact that the replenishment tank troops with new military equipment was carried out mainly during preparation for an operation or during long operational pauses. In the course of battles, the supply of tanks from industrial plants to units was extremely rare. Therefore, the restoration of damaged equipment during battles and its quick return to service were the most significant, and sometimes the only source of replacement for losses in tanks. In a number of cases, the number of repaired tanks and self-propelled guns was two to three times the number of combat vehicles available at the beginning of the operation. In other words, each tank went out of action two or three times and returned to battle formations the same number of times.
However, by the beginning of the war, the army was not ready to repair damaged equipment in sufficient quantities, and often had to just throw it on the battlefield or in the swamp. Only after a year and a half in the armored forces they created a full-fledged organization of regular repair and evacuation facilities: platoons in tank regiments and separate battalions, maintenance teams in the brigades, and separate tank repair battalions and evacuation companies in the armies. As a result, according to the data given in the work “Construction and Combat Use of Soviet Tank Forces during the Great Patriotic War,” 66,5% was repaired by means of troops and armies, 27,6% by means of fronts, 4,2% by means of central subordination, and 1,7% by factories all restored tanks and ACS. As a result, in the 1943 year, says armor historian Maxim Kolomiets, the German command was forced to issue special circulars so that the Wehrmacht soldiers would undermine all Soviet tanks remaining on the battlefield - otherwise Soviet tanks would evacuate and restore them at night!
The rate of recovery of damaged cars approached the rate of failure. As Alexey Radzievsky points out in the work “Tank Impact”, “at least 60% of combat vehicles during the preparation of the operation and 85 – 90% during the offensive arrived at the replenishment after the repair”. For example, in the Battle of Kursk from 617 tanks of the 1 Tank Army, which failed during the period from 3 to 20 in August, 539, or 87%, were restored. In total, during the war years, the repair and restoration bodies repaired almost 4,5 times more tanks and self-propelled guns than were produced by the industry!
Say - the affairs of bygone days? But here is another example. In the book “On the shores of Suez: Israeli General’s memories of the Doomsday War,” Major General Abraham Adan, commander of the Israeli 162 Armored Division, recalled the events of 8 on October 1973:
“At some point I was not sure that I still have a division. Now, looking at the dark silhouettes of tanks with their commanders, towering from their towers, my heart was overflowing with pride and sympathy for our soldiers ... We started this day with 170 tanks, and finished with 100. 40 was badly damaged, and 25 was left on the battlefield. However, thanks to the dedicated work of the repair teams, the next morning my division had 120 tanks ... A small division, but ready for battle. ”
The situation was similar in other Israeli divisions, which, with the overwhelming numerical superiority of the enemy, were able not only to delay its advancement, but to go on a counterattack, cross the Suez Canal and surround the two Egyptian armies. If the division commanders relied on "services of outside organizations", the result would be different.
SOVIET EXPERIENCE AND NEW ARMY
In the post-war period, a harmonious and well-designed MTO system was created in the domestic Ground Forces, with special attention being given at all levels to timely maintenance and fast repair of weapons and military equipment (VVT), which was essential for ensuring high combat readiness of troops.
A veteran of the Russian armored forces, the author of a number of books, Colonel Sergei Suvorov, who served in the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany at one time, recalls: “At the end of the 70's - the beginning of the 80's we went through intensive combat training. Most of the burden fell on the crews of the training and combat group of tanks, which ensured the entire training process in battalions and regiments. Due to the high load and high consumption of motor resources, and sometimes the presence of insufficiently trained personnel, there were cases of failure of components and assemblies on machines, such as engines, onboard gearboxes, suspension units, loader mechanisms. But the damage was eliminated quickly and competently. I remember in my unit a sergeant — a senior platoon driver-driver — for a night with two or three soldiers without the help of officers, if there was a “bat” (maintenance machine with a crane boom. - Note by the author) changed the onboard gearbox or engine, and in the morning the car went to class. It was commonplace. And the ensigns repaired from the three failed 5TDF engines to independently assemble two serviceable ones. The engines were supposed to be handed over and sent for repair to Leipzig at the repair plant, but it took a long time, but they could also make the squad or company officer pay for the engine failure. ”
During the Afghan war, thanks to the efficient work of repair units from 5270 units of damaged armored vehicles more than 4000 were evacuated, having repaired more than 2750 from them. In the next war, in the North Caucasus, integrated repair and restoration agencies formed on the basis of three districts allowed to cover repair and evacuation of 80 – 90% of armored vehicles that had failed.
INNOVATIONS DON'T FACILITATE
In the conditions of modern wars, characterized by high intensity and intensity of military operations, and also due to the growth of technical and technological complexity of weapons and military equipment, the likelihood of their failure for military and technical reasons increases significantly. Accordingly, the importance of timely and high-quality technical support increases, which, in turn, requires a high level of professional training from personnel, and the availability of the opportunity to constantly improve it. Simply put, the current “conscript” cannot be trusted with such questions, or it is necessary for him to learn this for a long time. In terms of a one-year service life, this is impossible.
However, in the course of the recent reform of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, it seemed that individual representatives of the military-political leadership ambiguously assessed the principles and capabilities of the forces and technical support systems for the troops that existed at that time, as well as the traditional approaches and the vast experience gained data systems. As a result, many experts believe, insufficiently thought-out and sometimes incorrect decisions were made to optimize the military command and control agencies responsible for organizing the functioning of the logistics and technical support systems for the troops.
The policy of “blind” copying of Western standards and approaches to the creation of such kind of support systems turned out to be destructive without thoroughly checking them for compliance with the Russian realities and the directions of military construction of the RF Armed Forces. In fact, not even a copy was introduced into the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, but an imitation of the Western MTO system of the troops, the system that existed before was almost completely broken and sent “to the dump stories»The achievements of many decades, paid not only by budgetary funds, but also soldiers' sweat and blood.
Comprehensive provision of troops was, on the one hand, the subject of consideration from a commercial point of view (introduction of outsourcing), and on the other, it was characterized, as is known from open sources, a systemic reduction of positions, primarily of the engineering and technical staff of the Armed Forces, military administration, agencies and organizations that previously determined and regulated the main directions of development of systems for the operation, supply, storage, maintenance and repair of weapons and military equipment.
At the same time, the replacement of government bodies and high-class specialists was carried out, according to a number of military experts, to a far from identical equivalent of the services provided by specialists from outside organizations. Such an approach to the MTO system inevitably had to lead to duplication of functions and tasks, dispersion of resources and dilution of responsibility in the field, the importance of which has been proved by time and is recognized, without exception, by all specialists.
At the round table organized in the State Duma 14 in November 2012 of the year, Lieutenant-General Viktor Sobolev, from 2004 to 2006 year, the commander of the 58 army, said: “The commander must have both logistics and technical controls, and relevant parts, connections and divisions. There are no real rear units in the army now, which were before. The separation of ammunition, other property is missing. Everything needs to be restored. ”
Moreover, the leading main and central military authorities were actually deprived of the administrative functions assigned to them for the development and comprehensive support of the troops according to the fixed IWT nomenclature, including the functions of the main customer. As a result, the military control bodies that once had the most direct influence on the process of creating, testing and supplying weapons and military equipment were transformed into structures that were unable to influence a single military-technical policy in the development, creation, operation, repair and disposal of weapons and military equipment.
The result was a blatant situation when, after the decision of the Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu, to return to the troops the functions of routine maintenance and certain types of weapons and military equipment repair, including numbered ones, in the literal sense of the word “clutching their heads” in the field, since the decision to carry out this decision after the previous reorganization turned out .
In particular, in an interview with one of the federal newspapers, a representative of the command of the Southern Military District noted that in the district troops the battalions and logistics brigades are equipped with an average of 80%, and no more than 5% of the personnel have knowledge and at least some experience in the field repair armored vehicles. And only about 1% of personnel are able to perform relatively complex electrical repairs, communication and control systems, stabilizers, etc. “The rest are trained only to wave a sledgehammer, and that’s bad. It is unlikely that there is a fundamentally different picture in other districts, ”the newspaper’s interlocutor emphasized.
The reason for this is that in the process of implementing the reform, the troops reduced a significant number of engineering and technical posts, as well as junior repair specialists, who had previously formed the basis of the troop repair system, were its foundation. This foundation was destroyed, and at the posts of deputy commanders of subdivisions on logistics, noted by the representatives of the Defense Ministry and the military-industrial complex familiar with the situation, they began to translate chiefs of food, clothing and other services that are far from military equipment and weapons.
Technicians, professionals who held similar positions earlier, were either fired from the ranks of the RF Armed Forces, or taken out of the state, or transferred to command positions, from which they were completely unwilling to move from the zakommandirov to more problematic and complex positions. Plus, many specialized higher educational institutions and training centers, where maintenance and repair specialists were trained, during the transformations arranged by the former leadership of the Ministry of Defense, also ceased to exist or were “merged” into non-core institutions.
The author of this article, a military expert familiar with the situation, noted that in the process of reforming, the gradation of the repair and restoration agencies across the troop links (tactical, operational, and strategic levels of the distribution of repair and recovery forces and equipment, as well as the WMT repair fund) was almost completely destroyed. And if in Soviet times it was guaranteed to carry out work to restore the order of 80% of the total demand for weapons and military equipment, today, the expert says, when the main functions were outsourced, the repair and restoration bodies of the troops became little functional. They are able to perform no more than 10% of planned work at the tactical level, and even that simple maintenance and if there are enough spare parts.
It is not difficult to imagine what will happen in the case of the beginning of intensive hostilities, especially if for the participation in them the formations and units “hooked up” to the outsourced technical support will be moved a considerable distance from the places of permanent deployment. The vehicles abandoned along the way and on the battlefields, which the servicemen themselves will not be able to restore ... But specialists from "outside organizations" either will not have time to arrive at the right time, or refuse to do it at all ...
Repair outsourcing was acceptable in the places of permanent deployment of military units. Problems arose when parts of the tasks were thrown hundreds of kilometers away.
War is not a civilian business, they have the right to refuse to go to the front - after all, they can kill or cripple (fines are not intimidating - life is more expensive). And if they are captured by the enemy, then according to the laws of wartime, being in the front line, but not being “combatants” and not having uniform and insignia of servicemen, and not being members of the Ministry of Defense at all, they can rightly be considered saboteurs or terrorists. And with such categories in the war years usually come simply - assign for the nearest barn - and "in expense".
A serious mistake, according to domestic experts, was the decision to transfer to foreign organizations the functions of supplying troops with military-technical property and form a scheme for centralized supply of spare parts, components, assemblies and materials to provide measures for the maintenance and repair of weapons and military equipment in the troops. This is completely contrary to current trends in military affairs and does not conform to the scheme that exists in the armies of leading foreign countries, the experience of which is constantly referred to by those who introduced such innovations.
As a result, representatives of the military-industrial complex note that the supply of troops with spare parts, assemblies and materials is actually carried out at the expense of previously accumulated material resources and only according to the nomenclature of the mass military equipment park of the still “old Soviet” and, accordingly, physically and morally outdated production. Experts familiar with the situation testify that reserves have been exhausted for some items, but they are practically absent for many modern models of weapons and military equipment.
We especially note that the military outsourcing mechanism itself was not worked out. In particular, in the 2011 year in the article “Outsourcing in the military”, Doctor of Law V. Koryakin and applicant for the Law Institute of the Moscow Institute of IT and Technology N. Kamennaya pointed out possible negative consequences of its use in the army:
- The level of professionalism of the employees of an outsourcing company may not be sufficient to perform work or provide services at the proper level;
- insufficiency in the military unit of the levers of controlling, controlling influence on the organization supplying services, which may lead to a decrease in the quality of services and an increase in costs;
- the presence of risks of violation of the security of military property, security and leakage of confidential information and information constituting a state secret, due to the granting of the right of access of outside organizations to the territory of military facilities, documents, information and material values of military organizations;
- difficulty, and often, the impossibility of using this method of providing services outside the place of permanent deployment of a military unit, during training, ship launches, military training and combat tasks, as well as military units deployed in remote, sparsely populated areas, where there are no civilian structures with which it would be possible to conclude relevant agreements.
It turns out that if it is worthwhile to keep outsourcing in the area of troop maintenance, then it is necessary to urgently correct the provisions for its implementation. That is why at the general meeting of the Academy of Military Sciences at the beginning of 2013, its President, Army General Makhmut Gareyev, was categorical in this matter. “In our opinion, the outsourcing system needs to be radically revised: to issue laws providing for the transfer of these organizations to martial law and complete subordination to the unit commanders in the event of a war,” he stressed, noting that otherwise logistics and, in particular, technical support will be ripped off.
DUPLICATION OF FUNCTIONS AND CERTAINITY
A striking example of the consequences of outsourcing in this area is the results of a training exercise conducted earlier this year in the Central and Southern Military Districts with the involvement of more than 7000 military personnel and various equipment, including 48 aircraft. As already noted in February of this year. "NVO", on the 565-th airbase of the 2-th command of the Air Force and Air Defense on five helicopters Mi-24 and Mi-8 were detected malfunctions of the units and units, for which reason they did not participate in the exercise.
A similar fate befell the two MUST-S self-propelled guns belonging to the 28-th separate motorized rifle brigade, and the Uraltransmash specialists, with whom the contract for servicing this equipment was contracted, did nothing to eliminate these previously identified faults. In addition, when executing the test control firing of the BMP-2 armament, the brigade experienced constant delays related to the state of the equipment, and three BMP exercises did not perform the exercise.
At the subsequent conference call, the warlords expressed particular concern about the fact that a lot of complaints were caused by the state of weapons and military equipment that were repaired at repair plants and industrial enterprises. “Often the equipment that has gone through major or medium repairs and is under warranty service goes down in the first months of operation,” said Army General Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. The results of the exercise, he said, showed that only 66% of airplanes and helicopters are intact, and many Msta-S and BMD-2 self-propelled guns could not leave the parks due to deterioration and breakdowns.
“The audit confirmed the feasibility of the decision taken by the Minister of Defense to restore military repair agencies,” General Gerasimov said. “At the same time, the level of training of the personnel of the repair units, their organizational structure and the supply of spare parts need to be improved.”
It turns out that a seemingly good attempt to compensate, or rather, replace the previously existing possibilities of repair and restoration bodies by attracting qualified personnel from outside organizations on a contractual basis led to the fact that groups of troops in a certain, and perhaps a significant part were not capable to provide their needs in the maintenance and repair of weapons and military equipment. This was demonstrated by the aforementioned doctrine, causing quite natural resentment of the new leadership of the Ministry of Defense.
General Gerasimov demanded to conduct a detailed analysis of the identified deficiencies in the field, eliminate them and prevent them in the future. It is good if this is done in the near future, but then it is urgent to thoroughly analyze the results of the “outsourcing reform” of the logistics system, to identify specific officials who will be personally responsible, including shoulder straps, to be responsible for the implementation of certain activities.
The latter is especially important because, as stated by the author of the material familiar with the current situation in this area, the source, the reform led to the fact that today there is no clear line of responsibility between the authorities for organizing activities aimed at maintaining the combat readiness of troops I am building serviceable models of weapons and military equipment. Moreover, the management bodies, previously directly responsible for organizing the operation and restoration of weapons and military equipment, today have been deprived of subordinate forces and means, do not have the ability to make operational decisions and merely submit, by their types of support, proposals to generalized administrative and planning documents on logistical support. As a result, information comes to the troops with a delay, not in full, and a wide range of people have access to information that does not provide the required level of security.
In one of his articles, retired Colonel-General Vasily Vorobyov, Doctor of Economic Sciences, who headed the General Directorate of the military budget and financing of the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation in 1991 – 1995, said: “The US military leadership does not seek (as we have done) to replace civil servants, employed in military structures, representatives of the private sector, since the experience and qualification level of such officers are generally higher than the personnel from the structures of potential contractors ”. In the end, in his opinion, as a result of the massive transition to civilian outsourcing, the RF Armed Forces "lose their life support autonomy under war conditions, in emergency and emergency situations."
In turn, Colonel-General Alexander Rukshin, who in 2001 – 2008 held the position of Chief of the Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff - Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces, pointed out another drawback: “When creating a unified MTO system, brigades and MTO bases are concentrated in the district, in the armies There were no relevant bodies, although there is a deputy commander for logistics and logistics. Considering that the army is the main operational unit leading combat operations, there is no logic in this decision. ”
A positive moment in the field of organization of technical support for the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation was the creation of highly specialized repair units in combined-arms units, to which even deliveries of new special equipment began. In particular, in the summer of 2012, the MTO units of one of the motorized rifle formations in the Volgograd region received new maintenance workshops on the Ural chassis, intended for repair in field conditions of vehicle and armored vehicles. But for the most part, such units are still few in number, insufficiently equipped with the required special equipment, and cannot boast of having a sufficient number of trained specialists.
TIME FOR DECISION DOES NOT STAY
"Commander-in-chief of the types of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, commanders of military districts, commanders of combat arms of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, heads of central military authorities ... to prepare proposals for improving the organizational and staff structures of repair units in the troops and increasing their capabilities", demanded in February this year . Army General Valery Gerasimov. Now the main thing is to quickly implement this requirement.
In this regard, it seems that the leadership of the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation needs, first, to decide whether to further improve the MTO system as a single structure and under the unified leadership further, or to create, as it was previously, separate specialized military control bodies capable of solve technical, logistical and other security issues; and secondly, to revise as soon as possible the functional purpose of the specialized military command bodies with the elimination of duplicating functions and the mandatory return of customer functions to them, which will solve the problem of the ultimate responsibility of commanders (chiefs) for the result of their work.
The latter is especially important because today the duplication of a number of functions of the military administration is observed even in matters of formation and execution of the state defense order: the requirements for the general plan of the state defense order are formed by the specialized headquarters under the auspices of one deputy defense minister, and the direct placement and execution of tasks within the state defense order deputy At the exit - the lack of personal responsibility for the final result.
This situation adversely affects the activities of defense enterprises. The representative of one of them noted, in particular, that “in the absence of direct control of relevant content main departments” during the implementation of tasks for the state defense order, “often the necessary technical solutions for their execution are made by officials who are not competent in their subsequent operation in the troops”. The result is that either the equipment that does not meet the stated requirements goes to the troops, or it fails prematurely and needs to be restored as part of the reclamation work.
Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov emphasized: any brilliantly designed operation without corresponding logistical and technical support will remain beautiful arrows on paper. And if the leadership of the Ministry of Defense intends to triumph over the enemy, he must urgently pay attention to the MTO system. Otherwise, it may happen that it will have to improve under the falling missiles and bombs.