On the morning of March 16, the military received an order from the president to start a new surprise check, which was soon announced by Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu. According to the head of the military department, in checking the Northern fleet, 38 soldiers and officers, about 3360 units of military equipment, 41 ships, 15 submarines, as well as 110 units were to take part in ZVO and VDV troops aviation technicians. The Minister of Defense also said that during the first days of the audit it is planned to establish whether the troops fit into the established temporary standards for putting them on full alert. After that, the troops had to go to the indicated training grounds to fulfill the assigned combat training tasks.
In the course of the first stage of the maneuvers, the units involved should have been alarmed and sent to the designated areas of control exercises and tactical exercises, including with the use of standard weapons. In accordance with the screening scenario, the troops were to go to a number of test sites, including those located on Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land. Protection of the northern borders of the country has become one of the main themes of the sudden inspection of troops.
In the afternoon of March 16, the press service of the Ministry of Defense reported that a separate Arctic motorized rifle brigade based in Alakurtti (Murmansk region) will take part in the current surprise test of combat readiness. This connection was supposed to participate in the inspection together with other units and units deployed on the Kola Peninsula.
On the night of March 17, the launch of a new training event was announced, in which the command of the armed forces and some units would be involved. On Tuesday, a strategic command and staff training session began with the central command and control bodies of the armed forces. In accordance with the order of the Ministry of Defense, this training was to be carried out taking into account the real actions of the Northern Fleet formations. The purpose of the command-staff training was to check the work and interaction of various command and control bodies of the armed forces, including in the management of troops involved in the sudden test.
Also on Tuesday, the press service of the military department told about the participation in the inspection of naval aviation of the Northern Fleet. After receiving the order from the airfields of the Kola Peninsula, anti-submarine aircraft on duty rose. In addition, the preparation of other airplanes and helicopters began to perform the assigned combat training tasks. During the test, anti-submarine aircraft IL-38 were supposed to carry out reconnaissance in certain areas of the Barents Sea, and the task of the military transport aviation was to support the tactical groups of the Northern Fleet located on various islands of the Arctic Ocean and its seas.
By the morning of March 17, the Ivanovo airborne unit prepared for dispatch to the exercise site. On Tuesday morning, the press service of the Ministry of Defense reported that the advanced units of this compound had begun loading personnel, equipment and machinery onto military transport aircraft. Mobile control points and communication centers were deployed near the aerodromes where the loading was carried out. During the preparation for the transfer to the landfills, the military personnel received all-season uniforms and equipment designed to work in different climatic conditions. In addition, the soldiers received the necessary set of medicines and food.
On the evening of the same day, the 98-I Guards Airborne Division arrived at the airfield near Olenegorsk (Murmansk Region), from where it went to the Kola Peninsula polygons, selected by the command as maneuvering platforms. It was noted that the soldiers of the 98-th Guards Division already have experience in northern latitudes. In the course of the previous exercises, they landed on Kotelny Island (the Novosibirsk Islands), and also landed in other areas of the Arctic.
On the same day, there were reports of upcoming combat training work of the air force. March 17 began relocating aircraft connections to aerodromes, from which they were to work during a surprise check. According to the Ministry of Defense, it was planned to transfer about 50 airplanes and helicopters to various airfields during the day. To do this, they had to overcome from 400 to 4000 km. By the time of departure of airplanes and helicopters to the airfields of the destination, there arrived a team of specialists who were to prepare them for the aviation. It was reported that the replacement airfields should go MiG-31, Su-27, Su-24М, An-12, An-26, and also Mi-8AMTSH, Mi-24, etc. helicopters.
In addition, on Tuesday, the army aviation units of the Western Military District were alarmed. Within a few hours, the pilots made flights as long as 1000 km and arrived at new airfields, after which they came under the control of the United Strategic Command "North".
On the morning of March 17, it was announced that the Marines of the Northern Fleet had flown to the ports of the Northern Fleet and had begun loading on the landing craft. The report of the Ministry of Defense noted that a separate brigade of marines, engaged in the inspection, during the march to the place of loading completed some training and combat tasks. During the march, the servicemen trained to carry out life-guard of the columns, repel attacks by sabotage and reconnaissance groups of the conditional enemy, and also organize air defense on the march. New orders for the Marine Corps were supposed to come after the departure to sea on the amphibious ships.
Tuesday came another curious news on plans for the transfer of troops and equipment. RIA Novosti, citing a source in the Ministry of Defense, said that as part of the ongoing surprise check, several Tu-22М3 long-range bombers should fly to one of the Crimean airfields. However, the main task of the maneuvers was to check the actions of the troops in the northern regions of the country and the Arctic.
Also referring to its sources in the military department, RIA Novosti reported on the strengthening of the group of troops in the Kaliningrad region. There it was planned to transfer fighter and bomber aircraft. In addition, the landing craft of the Baltic Fleet were to deliver Iskander missile systems to the Russian half-cliques. Within a day, near Su-10 and Su-34 fighters flew near Kaliningrad around 27. The crews of attack aircraft had to perform bombing on targets at an unfamiliar range of the Kaliningrad region.
In the afternoon of March 17, Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov announced that Russia had notified the OSCE countries of the start of the maneuvers. It was noted that the Russian side notified the foreign partners on a voluntary basis, since the number of troops employed in the inspection allows not to report the start of the exercise in advance. A sudden check on the number of personnel and weapons is not subject to the Vienna Convention 2011 of the year, but Russia in good faith notified foreign countries.
On the morning of March 18, the marines of the Black Sea Fleet joined the surprise check, namely the command-staff training on the management of the armed forces. One of the units stationed in Temryuk (Krasnodar Territory) received an order to go to the Kerch Strait area, equip fortifications, and also prepare weapons and equipment for firing practice. During the march with a length of about 60 km, the marines would have to work out opposition to saboteurs and aviation of a conditional enemy.
On the same day, motorized infantrymen serving on Sakhalin, also involved in command-and-staff training, received a similar order. The task of the motorized infantry was to reach one of the sections of the coast of the island and organize anti-amphibious defense with further opposition to the landing of a conditional enemy landing.
By the middle of Wednesday, after several kilometers of marches, the signaling unit deployed more than two dozen mobile command and control posts. The task of the communications workers was to organize all the necessary communications between the units and the command. Among other things, it was planned to deploy satellite communications, as well as video conferences with the participation of commanders at different levels.
As early as March 18, the Ministry of Defense announced the first stages of testing the combat readiness of the Northern Fleet formations. An inspection of the submarine base in Gadzhiyevo was carried out. The check was personally supervised by the Chief of the General Staff, Army General Valery Gerasimov. The Chief of the General Staff visited one of the strategic submarines of the 677BDRM project, where he oversaw the crew training. During the test, the submarine crews confirmed their readiness to perform the assigned combat missions.
On Wednesday, several airborne units began to fulfill their tasks, as described by the commander of the airborne forces, Colonel-General Vladimir Shamanov. By the end of the previous day, the 76-I airborne assault division was transferred to the operational control of the troops of the Western Military District, the 7-I division - the troops of the Southern. The 11-I and 83-I airborne assault brigades were placed under the command of the Eastern Military District. In addition, taking into account the revised plans, the regrouping of the 98 airborne division and the 45 th special brigade began. The 31-I separate air assault brigade completed preparations for action in the Central Asian strategic direction.
In parallel with the transfer of troops, all the command and control centers of the troops and fleets participating in the surprise check of combat readiness began a regular exchange of information on the movements and actions of various formations. According to the head of the National Center for Defense Management Mikhail Mizintsev, the main parameters of the troops are checked at least four times a day. As of 18 March, no significant deviations in the implementation of the plans were noted.
Already on Thursday night, 19 March, there were reports of regular activities in the framework of the strategic command and staff training on the management of the armed forces. According to the Ministry of Defense, the units of the Pskov airborne unit landed at the Struga Krasny landfill in the Pskov region. Aircraft of military transport aviation delivered to the place of maneuvers over 700 fighters and 10 units of military equipment. The landed parachute assault commenced to perform combat missions in the rear of the conditional enemy.
An additional task for the Pskov paratroopers was to counter reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles of a conditional enemy. In addition, during the firing practice, paratroopers successfully destroyed targets that imitated various enemy weapons and equipment.
As part of a command-staff training session, ships of the Black Sea Fleet took to sea, and anti-submarine aircraft took off. Ships, aircraft and helicopters of the Black Sea Fleet were to conduct a search for submarines of a conditional enemy. In these maneuvers, the Pytlivy patrol, the Aleksandrovets and Suzdalets small anti-submarine ships, the Valentin Pikul minesweepers, Ivan Golubec, Kovrovets and Mineralnye Vody, as well as about ten naval aircraft and helicopters participated in these maneuvers.
On the night of 18 on 19 in March, Baltic Fleet fighter jets and bombers flew training flights. As part of the strategic command and staff training, the Su-27 and Su-24M aircraft worked out a number of elements of combat work, including air combat and forced landing of the intruder. In addition, training bombing was scheduled for Thursday.
Joint exercises of long-range aviation and air defense units deployed on the Kola Peninsula took place on Thursday. A squad of Tu-95MS bombers from the Engels airbase flew towards the air defense Kola formation, where he assumed the role of a control target, flying at different heights, speeds and directions.
During training flights, Tu-95MS bombers interacted with Su-27 fighters. In particular, the fighters approached the bomber for a minimum distance and thus hid the true number of aircraft in the air from the conventional enemy in the face of air defense units. After such a workout, several pairs of Su-27 performed a training interception of the target at the far lines.
During the sudden verification of the combat readiness of the Northern Fleet, the ZVO and Airborne Forces, as well as the strategic command and staff training, the number of personnel and equipment involved in the maneuvers was increased. March 19 Chief of the General Staff V. Gerasimov said that by this time the total number of soldiers and officers participating in the maneuvers, increased to 80 thousand people. The number of aircraft involved increased to 220 units.
On Thursday, bilateral tactical exercises of the Northern Fleet in the Barents Sea started. More than three dozen surface ships and vessels from the Northern Fleet, including the destroyer Admiral Ushakov, the large anti-submarine ship Admiral Levchenko, the small rocket ship Iceberg, the large landing ship Kondopoga, and t .d In the course of the exercise, the ships completed joint maneuvering, the formation of tactical groups, and the organization of defense against submarines and aircraft of a conditional enemy. In addition, the ships held live firing.
Interacting with the anti-submarine aircraft IL-38 and Tu-142, the ships of the Northern Fleet successfully found a conditional enemy, the role of which was played by Russian submarines. After the discovery of a conditional target, the ship group at the head of the ship “Admiral Levchenko” conducted training firing with the use of torpedoes and jet bombs.
Exercises were held at the Mulino training ground of the Nizhny Novgorod region tank divisions with the participation of 1,5 thousand military personnel and 500 pieces of equipment. The tank battalion entered the battle with the conditional enemy, however, due to its numerical superiority, it was forced to withdraw to previously prepared positions. With the help of such a retreat, the conditional enemy was lured into a tank ambush, where he was seriously damaged.
On the same day, the crews of army aviation from the Tolmachevo base performed tasks at unfamiliar polygons of the Altai Region as part of a command-staff training session. More than 10 helicopters MI-24 and MI-8AMTSH, raised in alarm, carried out a blow to the enemy forces, and then conducted air mining in several directions of the possible extension of his forces. The combat training of helicopters began with the suppression of the anti-aircraft weapons of the enemy with the help of cannons, machine guns and unguided rockets. Then the Mi-8AMTSH helicopters, covered by the Mi-24, established the order of 300 anti-personnel and anti-tank mines. Due to the large amount of snow lying on the landfill, the mines were instantly disguised.
On the night of March 20, the coastal forces of the Baltic Fleet continued to carry out the assigned tasks. At several ranges of the Kaliningrad region, various formations of coastal troops practiced interaction in a combat situation, defense, offensive, and other aspects of combat operations. Part of the maneuvers was carried out at night, for which lighting flares were used, as well as night vision equipment.
On Friday, the 20 March continued air force exercises. On this day, about fifty different types of aircraft took off from the Severomorsk-3 airbase in the Murmansk region. In accordance with the screening scenario, the fighters were to intercept training targets, and the task of the bombers and attack aircraft was to strike at the targets of the conditional enemy. Most of these flights took place over the Barents Sea. In addition, some combat training tasks were also carried out on land ranges. There, Su-24M bombers carried out an attack of ground targets, and Mi-8 helicopters landed tactical assault forces.
March 20 continued maneuvers at the Struga Reds range in the Pskov Region. On this day, about 200 military personnel and about 100 units of various vehicles gathered there. Training firing of all types of small arms and artillery weapons was scheduled for Friday. In addition, in this episode of the maneuvers the participation of army aviation was envisaged, which also had to fire at training targets.
On Friday in Severomorsk, the 98 airborne division repulsed a conditional enemy attack on the headquarters of the Northern Fleet. The divisions of the division arrived from Olenegorsk to Severomorsk, where they increased the security of the headquarters and other facilities of the Northern Fleet. According to the legend of the maneuvers, the saboteurs of the conditional enemy attempted to penetrate the territory of the main base of the Northern Fleet and seize strategic facilities. The paratroopers successfully repelled the attack of a conditional enemy from four directions, and then blocked and destroyed it.
In the afternoon of March 21, a sudden verification of the combat readiness of the Northern Fleet, ZVO and Airborne Troops was over. All involved connections received an order to return to points of permanent deployment. On the same day, a briefing was held at the National Center for Defense Management, at which the Defense Ministry leadership announced the preliminary results of the inspection. Lieutenant-General Andrei Kartapolov, head of the Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff, said that the check showed a high willingness of the Northern Fleet to fulfill its tasks and protect the country's interests in the Arctic. At the same time, the formation of several military districts showed their training and ability to perform tasks.
Already 23 March, it became known that the armament and equipment of the Northern Fleet, used during the recent inspection, will soon undergo additional maintenance. On Monday, the fleet week began in the Northern Fleet, during which it is planned to carry out additional maintenance of the equipment actively used a few days earlier.
On March 24, Defense Minister S. Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff V. Gerasimov reported to President V. Putin on the results of the inspection. The head of the military department noted that in the course of previous inspections carried out in 2013 and 2014, certain conclusions were made, as well as some shortcomings that prevented the fulfillment of tasks were corrected. In addition, S. Shoigu said that the proposals made by the president in the spring of last year, which dealt with certain features of troop control, were justified.
According to the latest data, more than 80 thousand troops, 12 thousand ground vehicles, 80 ships, ships and submarines, as well as more than 220 airplanes and helicopters participated in the final stages. All the troops involved received orders from the newly created National Center for Defense Management and similar structures at the level of military districts. The updated structure of the control system of the armed forces showed a good side. In addition, the troops involved in the maneuvers showed their real capabilities in the implementation of various combat training tasks. The idea of carrying out sudden checks of combat readiness has again justified itself. Similar events will be held in the future.
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