Military Review

Southern outpost of Russia

An international concept such as an enclave applies to a sovereign state if it is completely surrounded by other countries and has no access to the sea. One example is the Republic of Armenia, on whose territory the 102 of the Alexander Nevsky Order military base of the Southern Military District of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is deployed in two garrisons, Gyumri and Yerevan. The head of the connection is Colonel Andrei RUZINSKY.

The headquarters immediately warned: to find the commander of a military base in the office of the “Great Fortress” is quite difficult. But even when it is in place, it is not easy to break through to it - there are always visitors in the reception room. It was possible to meet with Colonel Ruzinsky only at the end of the day, when the sun was already setting over the mountains of the Gyumri Plateau.

- Andrei Yuryevich, in the last days of this year, the Russian military base stationed in the Republic of Armenia will mark the next anniversary of the formation. Tell us about the major milestones stories connections. In accordance with the directive of the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation of June 21, 1994, on the basis of the 127th Red Banner Red Cross Banner ZakVO on September 1, 1994, a Russian military base was formed on the territory of Armenia. Subsequently, its 3624th entered aviation base and 988th anti-aircraft missile regiment. In 2001, these units took up combat duty in the Common Air Defense System of the CIS countries, and the base itself became part of the Joint Group of Forces of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Armenia.

- To date, the starting point in the connection history is considered to be 1 April 2010. From that date, a separate motorized rifle brigade began to wear the current name, having found a permanent place of deployment in Gyumri.

- What is the military-political mission of the Russian military base in the Republic of Armenia today?

- The military-political situation in the zone of responsibility of the military base remains uneasy and is characterized by the presence of a number of destabilizing factors related to the possibility of an escalation of confrontation in the region of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. If the leadership of Azerbaijan decides to restore jurisdiction over Nagorno-Karabakh by force, the military base may enter into armed conflict in accordance with the treaty obligations of the Russian Federation within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. In accordance with a number of intergovernmental agreements in peacetime, the military base performs the tasks of strategic deterrence, engages air defense weapons and assists the border detachments of the regional border management of the FSB of Russia in the Republic of Armenia.

The military base is a combination of constant readiness for immediate use. Its membership includes 13 main combat units and 17 all-round support units. Such a volume of forces allows you to successfully solve the tasks assigned to the connection. It should be added that the peculiarity of the combat formations of the RVB in Armenia is the anti-aircraft missile division equipped with the C-300В air defense missile system, the anti-aircraft missile battalion armed with the BUK-M1-2 air defense missile, the Smerch rocket artillery battery and the squadron aviation base with an squadron squadron MiG-29 aircraft. All this volume of forces and means is based in two dozen military camps of two garrisons.

- An agreed list of joint military maneuvers is provided for between the Russian base and the military authorities of the Republic of Armenia. What are these actions?

- The list of such joint actions is quite diverse. For example, last year, the most significant of the activities of military cooperation was the CSTO Collective Rapid Reaction Forces Взаим Interaction-2012 ’, held at the Marshal Baghramian National Test Site. To participate in it from the base were attracted more than a hundred soldiers, about thirty units of military and special equipment.
This year we have already held three meetings with representatives of Armenia on issues of joint application. A joint battalion exercise with live shooting was held on the squares of the Russian high-mountain training complex Alagyaz. The Russian side was represented by a reinforced motorized rifle battalion of a military base. Armenian - infantry battalion of the brigade of the peacekeeping forces of Armenia. The issues of coordinating control bodies in the organization of military operations and maintaining interaction in the difficult situation of combined arms combat were worked out. During the military rally, the military of the two countries repelled the attacks, went on the offensive, destroyed the retreating units of the conditional enemy, pursued and eliminated the identified sabotage and reconnaissance group. To represent the power of the forces involved, I note the participation in the training of Mi-8 helicopters, tanks T-72B, 122-mm self-propelled howitzers "Carnation", anti-tank missile systems "Competition", 82-mm automatic grenade launchers and other types of modern weapons and military equipment.

Recently, within the framework of current agreements, a joint operational visit of representatives of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia and the military base to the combat areas was held. Next year it is planned to increase the number of such events. Will pass a joint command and staff exercises. Two joint battalion tactical exercises are outlined. There is already an agreement on conducting joint exercises with air defense units and joint exercises of intelligence units of the two countries. I am convinced: we need to develop more, if I may say so, military field cooperation. This will help us to understand each other better, to interact at a higher quality level. And, of course, share experiences. Despite the similarity of our systems of troop training, the differences, of course, are present. This, in particular, clearly showed the last joint teaching. To honor of colleagues armsthey took an interest in our experience, studied the reports of the commanders, looked at the order of their work and, as far as I know, are already actively using certain aspects of the combat work taken over from us in their training system.

- Andrei Yurevich, is there a specificity for the Russian contingent in serving in the territory of Armenia?

- If we take into account the principle of combat training of personnel, then it is no different from the basic training program for military personnel in Russia. This is simply not necessary. But here, in Armenia, we are forced to take into account such additional factors of conditions of service as high mountains and mountainous terrain. Judge for yourself. The station of permanent deployment of the military base, although located within the city limits of Gyumri, is located at a height of 1.524 meters above sea level. Training places at the Alagyaz high-altitude training complex are even at an altitude of 2.280 meters. In the Kamhud training complex, altitudes are lower, but 1.840 meters are a significant excess in relation to the usual, as a rule, flat terrain of Russia. In such high-mountain areas, the natural thinness of air requires additional physical strength from personnel. This is especially true of drivers of vehicles and mechanics-drivers of combat vehicles. And at once in two points. The first concerns the physical condition of military personnel. The second is the operational mode of the combat equipment entrusted to them. On the same "Alagyaz" the boiling point of the coolant occurs already at 80 degrees. Such operating conditions strongly affect the operation of engines of technology, which in turn requires increased professional attention from the driver.
Taking into account the same mountainous terrain, a plan for tactical, fire, and special training of combat units of the military base: motorized riflemen, tankmen, artillerymen, scouts, units of military air defense, and so on is being built.

In addition to everything, we have to reckon with such a moment, as a very short period of service of variable personnel in our base. If in Russia, conscripts stay in the military structure of the military unit 12 for months, then the staff positions of the Russian military base are five to six months. That is why we can not afford to use in full for the new arrivals neither a measured adaptation period nor a single training course. As a rule, it is necessary, relying on the existing professional skills of specialists, to immediately proceed to the program of harmonizing departments. If individually it is possible to do something, then only check the level of knowledge and the degree of practical skills of those who will have to work on the current combat training program in the coming months. Again, as an example: only in May of this year, we completed the next stage of the formation of the base, and this October we will have a planned change of personnel.

As a result, with the same volume of events held, we are forced to do much more intensively. The time limit does not allow swinging. And in these conditions, you will not believe, we are looking for opportunities to increase joint practical actions with the Armenian Armed Forces at the training ground. Perceived as nonsense? But we succeed.

- Probably, in conditions of almost extreme training, you could be helped out by filling the state of combat specialties of the military base with contract servicemen ...

- Maybe. But we are realists, not dreamers. Therefore, we work with the contingent that is defined to us. Contractors we also have, but they are few. All of them are in positions that determine the combat capability of the military base. These are mainly specialists on high-tech military equipment, for example, in the air defense system.

- Tell us how the processes of providing the base, upgrading the weapons and the fleet of vehicles and armored vehicles go.

- While we remain in the conditions of the sparing mode of financing. In addition, the base is not listed in the list of priorities for construction. Therefore, we have focused on the training program for staff landfills. It is today in our power. We lead to the exact "battle" available and create new training places.

Naturally, we paid a lot of attention to our snipers. A firing line was also prepared for them. This had to be done, because last year the sniping experts successfully mastered the modernized SVD and the silent BCC Vintorez shooting complex. Taking into account the new weapons, the process of preparing snipers was aimed at studying the skills of selecting and occupying firing positions, taking into account the terrain, season and time of day, covert movement, the use of masking tools, as well as the characteristics of the sniper duel.

Restored direction grenade. We create field places for working out standards. Improving tank director. We started to equip the director of the BMP. Equip a tactical field. This year we will complete the arrangement of stationary field camps at both polygons.

In 2013, the year progressed substantially in the matter of updating the vehicle base. The fleet of infantry fighting vehicles is unified.

- Located on the outskirts of Yerevan, the Eribuni airbase is another structural unit of the Russian military base. Is he expected to be transformed too?

- To a certain extent - yes. It is planned that at one time a mixed aviation regiment will be located on the territory of the airbase. That is, combat and military transport helicopters will be placed on the bases of combat aircraft in the vicinity of the MiG-29 fighters. On this account, the entire package of necessary bilateral documents has already been signed. At the moment, cadastral passports are being issued for those land plots that are allocated to us for building related subjects. These will be structures made of prefabricated structures.

In the new look of the airbase, the RVB will acquire a completely different combat composition in its practical application.

- Eribuni is separated from the main location of the military base. Does this create any difficulties in the leadership of the air component of the Russian contingent in Armenia?

- At one time I was the deputy commander of the Tula Airborne Division. Our units were separated from the headquarters of the compound for more than two hundred kilometers. But we did not have any problems in the management of subordinate regiments.

Here, the distance of the airbase from the “Big Fortress” is just 120 kilometers. Honestly, this is not the distance to talk about some embarrassing moments. Moreover, returning to the subject of the contingent coming as part of the RVB, it is worth noting that there are no random people in the Eribuni air base. And can not be. There is only an experienced flight crew with hundreds of hours of practical flying. This moment is primarily due to the location of the runway. This is, firstly, only a few kilometers from the state border of Armenia, when the pilot literally takes off during an airborne maneuver in order to “not go beyond the boundary.” Secondly, the airfield of Eribuni is located within the city limits, which imposes special responsibility on combat pilots during practical flights. Finally, we should not forget that the pilots of the Russian military aviation have to fly every flight at high altitude when the altitude, for example, in 3-4 is thousands of meters, here, in the conditions of Armenia, is critically dangerous.

At the same time, it is worth noting that even in such difficult conditions of service, the pilots of the Russian Eribuni airbase completely “choose” the program of scheduled flights.

- It is not a secret that with the receipt of a prescription for departure to the military base, the officers think about the conditions in which they will have to be placed in a new place.

- In the system of the military base, conditions were initially created which guaranteed any service officer who arrived to perform service as part of a military base. Married - apartments in the houses of the military camp, bachelors - places in the officer's hostels.

- Troops on the verge of final inspection. In the opinion of the commander, what level of training will this year demonstrate the personnel of the military base?

- At the end of last school year, we ranked second among the combined arms units of the Southern Military District. The personnel are determined not to miss the conquered positions. The base command lays special hopes on the growth of indicators in matters of professional and physical training. Regarding the latter, I can add: when I headed the base, among the officers and military personnel under the contract there were about a hundred of those who, by physical training, and three points would be a joy. I will not hide, me, the paratrooper, it strongly grieved. Therefore, during the summer military studies, it was decided to increase the attention to the process of physical training of personnel. Classes have become more intense. With lagging behind, the head of the physical training base continues to this day, every day from half past seven in the morning, he exercises morning exercises with a gradual transition to power loads and running. Result: the number of laggards significantly decreased.

- On the eve of our meeting, I had the opportunity to observe such a picture: in separate units, in the process of physical training, they put on body armor over sports jackets. Simply put, they are trained “in the airborne”. Is it from your feed?

- No, this tradition appeared here before me. But note, it is justified. Highlands - not for wimps. The commanders of the base units learned this very well. Therefore, in the process of training, they often turn to additional loads, the so-called associated physical training, so that later, once in the mountains, the soldiers more easily tolerate the rarefied atmosphere of heights.

Ekaterinburg - Gyumri.
In the pictures: the commander of the military base, Colonel Andrei RUZINSKY; military routine of the military personnel of the RVB.
Photo by the author and Samvel SARGSYAN.