December 1 The 2014 of the year in the city of Murom (Vladimir region) started the formation of an engineering brigade of central subordination. The brigade was formed in order to increase the capabilities of the engineering troops and the efficiency of their use, create a reserve for solving suddenly arising tasks and strengthening the groupings of troops in strategic areas. The brigade is in reserve of the Supreme Commander.
The brigade, for the first time since the Great Patriotic War, revived the assault and raiding battalion, designed to ensure the unimpeded movement of general-purpose forces in urbanized areas, which can significantly increase the effectiveness of actions during the storming of buildings, while avoiding losses as much as possible.
This time it was possible to observe the work of the storm troopers with a "watering can" and a notepad. From personal impressions: one of the most interesting of my army races.
Guards Senior Lieutenant Dmitry Anatolyevich F., the commander of the assault and raking-off company of the 1 Guards engineering and sapper Brest-Berlin Red Banner Order of the Suvorov and Kutuzov Brigades, answers our and your questions.
There was no chance to squeeze all the questions into one interview, but there is an opportunity to leave questions in the comments and get an answer to them!
1. Very briefly about yourself
I always wanted to serve in the army, in the military service I have been from 2005 onwards. He graduated from the military school in St. Petersburg and by the will of his own fate and turned out to be in the ranks of the 1 Guards engineering and sapper Brestko-Berlin Red Banner Order of the Suvorov and Kutuzov Brigade. Our team of central subordination was formed on December 1 on 2014 in the city of Murom (Vladimir region). I am satisfied with the service in the brigade, this is exactly what I like to do.
2. Since time immemorial, rumors have been circulating that engineering troops are only needed for building bridges and installing / removing mines. They also say that they can be attracted to everything. What else is included in the range of real problems of modern engineers?
Engineering troops, of course, not only build bridges, set and remove mines. We are engaged in fortification, engineering reconnaissance, we can equip approaches and lines for the convenience of our troops or make them unsuitable for advancing enemy troops, make a passage in minefields or secure a whole direction for the maneuver of our troops. Building bridges and crossings through water barriers is also our area of responsibility. In addition, military engineers provide troops in the field with electricity and water, including drinking. We can greatly complicate enemy reconnaissance actions: where necessary, military engineers apply camouflage and concealment of important objects or, on the contrary, imitation and arrangement of false objects, for example, using inflatable models of military equipment. We operate on land and at sea, except for army engineering and sapper units as part of the engineering troops there are naval or naval engineering units.
3. What exactly is the task of the assault division of military engineers?
The immediate tasks of my unit are: stripping and storming. Defragmentation, in simple terms, is the elimination of enemy barriers (including mined) by various methods, and storming is the destruction of the enemy in fortified points and entire areas. Plus, ensuring smooth progress on the territory of the enemy infantry, artillery, tankers and other forces following us.
Units like ours were widely used in the Red Army during the Great Patriotic War, there is enough information on them. Modern military conflicts, of course, differ markedly from the situation on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War, but there are quite a few common features. Creating assault units - imperative and adequate response to modern military realities.
4. What is the specificity of "stormtroopers"? Are there any units with similar specifics in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation?
It turns out that the specifics of the assault engineers also include part of the work done by the SPN units, some of the tasks are consonant with those that are set before the assault landing units, and in part of the work in urban conditions, the rubble and buildings, we in a certain sense overlap with the specifics of the police special forces (SWAT) and special forces of the FSB. In modern Russian Armed Forces, there is nothing like us (and with similar tasks).
5. What heavy equipment are equipped with “storm troopers”?
In the battalion there are commanding and assault companies (from heavy vehicles - armored personnel carriers BTR-82А and armored vehicles "Typhoon-K") and companies of special heavy engineering equipment (engineering detainees - IMR-3, mine clearance installations - UR-77 "Meteorit"). In service, we have robotic equipment (demining and fire fighting robots), specially trained service personnel of a company of robotic equipment are working with robotics.
6. What a rifle weapon have assault units?
From the small arms, AK-74 with grenade launchers and AKS-74, PC, PKT (well, plus 30-mm gun on the armored personnel carrier) are currently available to us. From the desired - very necessary sniper weapons. But here the question is not so much in weapons, it is necessary to introduce snipers into our staff list. A group that approaches the building or the ruins, and especially during operations in urban areas, sniper support is needed. This and losses in the group can prevent the very progress to the point of “work” to ease.
From small arms I would like to replenish our arsenal with AK “100th” series automatic weapons. And, of course, we need a replacement for the legendary PM. I put on the state it was he. And I would like to replace him with the APS (Stechkin automatic pistol).
7. If there was a choice not only from domestic pistols, but in general from any - what would you like to have with you in combat as a short-barreled personal weapon?
8. And from heavier weapons?
Perhaps flamethrowers. There are certain plans for them, because we are an experienced unit, perhaps they will be implemented.
9. How are you doing with the connection?
All new items that appear in the sun, we have. I don’t see any problems with communications, including with communications between assault group fighters.
10. What is equipped with "stormtroopers"?
I'll start with the OVR-3Sh. The suit of clearance (assault variant) is comfortable and thoughtful. It needs, of course, an individual fit, but this is normal. About weight and convenience I will say this: the whole light day today was actively moving around the building in the IAD-3Sh. I am tired, of course, but, without exaggeration, I am ready to pass the standards for physical training right now. Feelings of convenience come with time, the suit should “get used” to the person, then it works fine in it. In total, the suit has three sizes, but this is not the most popular option. There is a natural limitation - the “attack aircraft” should be of medium build. A big soldier is a big target and will not be able to crawl everywhere; a little soldier may not have enough physical strength in a battle to do hard physical work.
The level of protection of a suit is determined by armor panels placed in special “pockets” on the chest, sides, groin, etc. What is their class of protection - this and the suit. We have the 6 panel protection class, shot in a suit with such a panel of SVD armor-piercing incendiary bullet from ten meters. No breaks were recorded. The visor on the helmet holds a pistol bullet. And, of course, fragments.
Molle slings on a suit are comfortable. Allow you to place the necessary equipment exactly where you personally prefer.
We have a connection with the developers, we can share our opinion on the convenience and features of operation.
"Warrior". I approve. Except, perhaps, the location of the "discharge" on the chest. It must be moved to the hips, otherwise it is impossible to minimize your own silhouette in the “lying” position in the fire contact, because you have to lie on the “armor” and the compartments with the stores placed on top of the “armor”. In addition, if the unit is on a dive or overnight stay, observation and security is provided, the soldier can remove his "armor" for the rest time, without parting from the ammunition. In the "Warrior" does not work. First you need to remove the unloading with ammunition and then "armor". And one more detail: the “unloading”, which is well loaded with equipment and ammunition in its present form, with prolonged wear, leads to excessive back fatigue.
Multitools. There are regular and personal. Have personally acquired is not forbidden. I personally just like this, bought before the receipt of staff. In general, I would say that a regular multitool is normal, it allows you to solve the whole range of tasks, but there are better tools. From such an element of equipment as a multitool, life can depend on our work, so I personally consider it wrong to save on a compact tool for myself.
Probably, not everyone knows that once the sapper from such tools had only a knife. During the war years in the Red Army it was a universal knife of the Finnish type, and they did everything to them. In the postwar Soviet Army, it was already a folding knife "Demoman" with several blades. The “demolition man” allowed something to be unscrewed, cut off (for example, an igniter cord), something to pierce, strip and strip the wire. With a modern multitool, there is more room for maneuver. Generally speaking - today without a multitool anywhere, it's like a third hand.
Machete. Or assault knife "Minesweeper". Domestic. Cuts, cuts, sharpen easily. I won't say anything bad about him.
On the supply in general. I note that we have no shortage of something. Among the regular content there are a lot of new products. Somehow "upgrade" personally your property is not forbidden. This, by the way, allows again to sum up the personal practical experience and broadcast it to the whole department. One bought something, brought, showed, checked in - oh, you can take! Reliable and functional thing never hurts. Again, electrical tape, space for improvements and personal improvements have not been canceled. From the obvious things already now - we need hooks on machine gun shops. For the “Warrior”, this is especially important: we have three stores in each cell - without a hook, it is not very convenient to get it, and in a hurry it can fall out.
On the IAD there are special fixing gum for stores, allowing you not to lose the store in motion. Trifle, but important. There is no such trifle on other pouches, we are refining them for ourselves, because it is checked and convenient. There is a third-party experience. In the SOBR we looked at: a pistol was tied up with a bandage or tape at the “shieldman” on his left hand. Prispichilo recharge - do it without removing hands from the shield. We also have two types of shields in service - light and heavy. You can make three shields in one. Heavy shield is equipped with wheels, in the building it can be very convenient.
11. Who are completed assault units of engineering troops?
And the "contract" and "conscripts." When recruiting our battalion, it is customary to pay close attention to servicemen of contractual service who have served urgent or previously served as "contract servicemen" in reconnaissance units and special forces in BB. We really appreciate their previously acquired skills.
For me, as for the company commander, the desired candidate for the unit looks like this: “contract soldier”, age - 20-25 years, an athlete, physically developed, strong build. Pay attention to height and weight. A plus for the candidate will be the previously acquired skills of a sapper profile and a driver's license. Well, if earlier the candidate had already received a military specialty, for example, a machine gunner, a radio operator. And a very important aspect for me personally, as for the commander, is the candidate’s desire to serve in our battalion. There, such “selected contract servicemen”, more than 30 people came to us in six months. It could have been much more, but nobody has canceled the selection and screening.
Anyone who wants to serve in the assault unit himself is easier to learn. Each of us has a “contract soldier”, at a minimum, is able to shoot, drive an armored personnel carrier, handle explosives and provide first aid. And, of course, comply with safety regulations.
12. What is the situation with shooting training?
We pay special attention to the rifle training, our practice is constant and systematic. An assault unit that is not capable of excellent shooting, I think, cannot be called “assault”. Possess regular weapons "attack aircraft" must be perfectly. The same goes for mine specific explosives. In addition, you must, at a minimum, be able to handle foreign samples of small arms. While we are forming, not all samples have the opportunity to meet "live", we manage electronic documents and outline notes, but the work towards expanding and replenishing the material base specifically for us is under command.
13. Is there a shortage of personnel or certain specialists?
At the moment, I cannot say that we have a shortage of personnel. Our own "frames" work, there are a lot of people who want to get to our service. The same applies to soldiers "conscripts", immediately after the KMB (course of the young fighter), the majority seeks to serve in our battalion. The motivation of the "conscripts" is different: someone is "rumored", someone sees how and what we are doing in the course of daily combat training. She's a lot. Some are surprised that we have a drill. And how without it? This is the foundation of group combat. Who is good in the ranks is good in battle, a well-known fact from the Suvorov times. To increase the level of coherence unit combatant indispensable. Fire, sapper, special, physical training - we have something to do in the service. I personally observe how a complex of measures makes today's boys out of yesterday's boys. Including with the help of morning physical exercises.
14. Is physical training just a struggle for “good fitness” or are there any other super-useful aspects?
Our military personnel, in principle, increased physical activity. However, over time, this “elevated” level is leveled at the expense of personal growth, people are constantly evolving and at some point in time you begin to regard high loads as normal. Just getting stronger and stronger. This, including from personal experience observation.
15. How much does an “average contractor” receive in an assault unit?
On average, a “contract soldier” receives about 30 thousand rubles, and if he is successful and stubborn in terms of individual physical fitness, has (and can confirm) sports “classiness”, he is entitled to a cash premium of 10-15 thousand rubles. Maintaining an excellent personal fitness, as you can see, is well paid. In this case, as a work on myself personally, financial stimulus is very useful.
16. Is there anything from the technology, which is not yet available, but I would like to have it for the commander of the assault company?
UAV. We do not yet have such, but personally, my work on making decisions on the basis of operational intelligence makes it much easier. I had experience with UAVs.
If the technology does not touch, I think that it would be very useful for us, as a young unit with unique characteristics, to be able to attract outside experts and instructors. For training. We are now actively forming the base of combat experience, and here the instructor experience of “narrow” specialists from other divisions is invaluable to us. For example, I would like to learn the nuances of actions in the mountains, in practice, to study the experience of the same police SOBRs for work in the building, instructors from among the special forces intelligence would acquaint themselves with their experience in actions in the forest. All of this is necessary to summarize, accumulate and adapt. Now we are videotaping our classes, followed by “debriefing” and analysis. We learn continuously. Again, let me remind you, our “contract soldiers” who came from special units also become sources of new knowledge and, to some extent, play the role of instructors. This is just a part of my work as a commander: to single out the main thing, to summarize, adapt, accumulate and transfer to my subordinates.
In this vein, in the near future we have planned cooperation with the SSO (Special Operations Forces). From what I can say about this, this will be a practical course of versatile training conducted by the MTR instructors at the MTR base for all our officers and “contract soldiers”. This training course also expects me. It's great that we have such an opportunity and it is very correct that cooperation with the SSO is planned as permanent. We, too, were created as a subdivision to perform special tasks within the framework of engineering and sapper subjects.
17. If your unit would be given the task “Take Koenigsberg!” - how would they act?
So immediately, “on the knee”, in a couple of minutes, the storming of Königsberg to plan is not right. But if we put a similar task, we will do it. Reasoning in general: the fighter’s personal bodyguard has advanced greatly since then, modern small arms, armored vehicles, and mine-clearance installations — in general, the Koninsberg sample from the last years of the war from today does not look completely impregnable. Moreover, our grandfathers took it without all of the above.
By the way, we studied the experience of both Chechen companies when we had to fight in low-rise urban buildings. UR-77 was successfully used there. Why do we need human sacrifices, when a fortified building with militants inside can be remotely cast from Ur-77 and only after that can it be cleaned up by forces of the personnel. Although there is often and there was nothing to clean after the UR.
Sometimes it happens that you have to break into a building through a gap in the wall. Which has yet to be done. Here it is important to have maximum information about the building and the enemy: what kind of building, what approaches, who is inside, how many of them, than armed. Based on this data, we determine the tactics for a particular case: which of the groups in which the composition works on the first floor, and which on the second floor, which covers the central and emergency entrances-exits. For example, once it is more convenient to just enter the door, and once from above, breaking through the ceiling or roof. If the situation and the door allow - you can do without an explosion, hydraulic scissors or a circular saw. In a nutshell and without specifics here really can not tell. In the general case, one person under the guise of a group approaches the building, sets a charge (there are many of them very different) and makes explosive explosions in one of the ways. Further assault through the breach or simultaneously through the breach and other entry points.
18. Suppose we are talking about a large one-story brick house, inside there are people up to 30, supposedly these are militants banned in the Russian Federation by ISIL and, probably, they are all armed. How to be?
Fit UR-77. If there is no such equipment, then we will have specialists capable of carefully “folding” the building. This is not the pinnacle of qualification demolition, there are tasks and more difficult.
19. Is it true that mine clearance is a thing of the past, and now everything that was mined is simply destroyed?
Yes, that's right, if we are talking about "neutralizing" on the spot or evacuating an explosive device for subsequent destruction. The sapper is a high-class specialist, a vain risk to the specialist is contraindicated, he can still save someone's life. Why bother doing it once again, when, without danger to others, you can destroy an explosive device with a water cannon, an overhead charge, destroy it on site with a directional explosion without subsequent detonation, and at least primitively and reliably pull it off with a "cat" or just shoot it? It is only in the movie that the wiring is cut when the ingenious “good guy” should replay the ingenious “bad guy.”
But there are cases in which it is necessary to neutralize on the spot or take out an explosive device for subsequent destruction. This is exactly the job for a high-class sapper associated with the risk to life. In this part of the experience accumulated a huge amount, including since the Great Patriotic War. And in modern engineering troops there are enough real geniuses of mine explosive.
20. What can you do useful in peacetime? Are engineering troops involved, say, in the tasks of civil defense?
Attracted by necessity. We can conduct reconnaissance in the zone of natural disaster, accident or catastrophe. We can work as rescuers. We can work as firefighters. We can provide first aid and evacuate. We can build a bridge and build a crossing. We can work under water, we have our own divers. In general - we can save the lives of people in distress or in the emergency zone.
21. What do you consider to be a sign of professional skill? Pilots, for example, perform complex aerobatics at low altitudes, snipers get into wristwatches from 300-meters, and what about “attack aircraft”?
A good attack aircraft engineer returns alive after successfully completing a combat mission.
Part Two, Photographic
The part arrived still dark, before the ascent.
I had breakfast in the soldiers' canteen.
For breakfast, they gave millet porridge with gravy, chicken, lard, butter, bread, chicken egg, sweet tea, caramel, gingerbread, biscuits, milk.
Salo and chicken in my plate in double size, finally found the first vegetarian in the army! The whole lieutenant colonel turned out to be.
Cabbage, carrot, beans, peas for breakfast to choose from. I could not eat everything, even though I was hungry. Breakfast, by the way, was enough for a whole day of running around the Muromsky outskirts, the food is good, nourishing, though not the most delicious.
After breakfast, we went to get acquainted with military engineers from the company of barrage and assault. By prior arrangement, they had to demonstrate the process of putting on new protective equipment.
At OVR-3Sh three sizes are provided.
Suits are transported and stored in such bags. The round compartment is designed for a helmet.
The main components of the OBR-3Sh are laid out on the table: fragments of the cooling system, a lightweight jacket, pants, a “sleeveless jacket” and a protective helmet are visible on the left.
The cooling system consists of two parts - sweatshirts and "underpants".
Lightweight flexible plastic hoses sewn around the entire inner surface of the sweatshirt and pants.
Hoses drive water from such a tank with the help of an electric motor. The battery lasts about a day of work. The coolant is designed to act ordinary water with ice (with ice!?).
Generally speaking, I didn’t quite understand the ice: in winter it was in bulk, but the cooling system is not needed, and in the summer where to get it? It is not possible to find out how effectively the user will be cooled by ordinary water (without ice).
In any case, a system filled with drinking water can serve as a portable water supply.
The cooling system is put on pipes to the body directly on thermal underwear. The connectors for connecting to the water tank are visible.
In winter, the cooling system is not required, was worn only for demonstration.
Over the thermal underwear and the cooling system (or without the last) such a lightweight jacket is worn, in fact it is only the sleeves, the jacket serves as a necessary supporting element.
Lightweight jacket easier to wear and fit together, but alone the task is completely feasible for everyone. Lacing on the back does not allow the suit to crawl through the body, it regulates the "stroke" of the arms and shoulders and overall comfort.
Following the jacket put on pants.
Pants are connected to the jacket with special slings on the latches, they are visible on the left in the picture.
It remains to hoist a "sleeveless" with shoulder pads.
On the sides, on the chest and in the groin of the suit, special “pockets” are provided to accommodate the armored panels.
The panels can be different, in this case they have the 6 protection class, holding a shot at close range from the SVD armor-piercing incendiary bullet.
The shoulder protection works according to the same principle, only it is flexible and not so high protection class. But from shards, cuts and burns protects reliably.
Broneshlom "Warrior Shako RSP" with visor. The visor holds a pistol 9-mm bullet.
Visor on a removable helmet. In the picture it is just from the cold, so that the room is sweating. On the street, it was fogging up much weaker, especially paid attention.
The shield of three-layer plastic is heavy, perfectly transparent, but it changes the center of gravity of the helmet nicely.
Mounts on the helmet allow you to place a variety of items on the helmet, for example, a flashlight.
Communication, hearing protection and connection for the mine detector.
Engineer- "attack aircraft" in the OVR-3Sh. The visor is removed from the helmet.
To demonstrate the progress in the business of individual armor "attack aircraft" brought a pair of modern replicas of steel cuirass-bibs CH-42.
The cuirasses were specially made for demonstration purposes at one of the enterprises according to drawings and photographs, and the fastening elements and the “damper” were sewed together by one of the officers.
The steel helmet, as you can see, is not the most authentic, but this is a gainable thing. But the infantry shovel with the stamp "1917".
Layout PPP. It is strange to see such “new model” inscriptions on weapons made in the USSR. Our, domestic, "mockups" this also applies.
Or is there any special valor in baling (sometimes simply barbaric), albeit old, but military weapons? Or is it some legal requirements?
According to numerous requests from interested parties, some photo details from the life of the HC-2 multitool and the Minesweeper assault knife.
A cover with a regular multitool is visible in the left fighter on the left thigh.
The use of multitool for its intended purpose.
Multitul in the case. Table knife from the soldier's canteen for scale.
The cover can be mounted on the waist belt or equipment in several ways.
Knife assault "Sapper".
The sheath with the assault knife is visible on the right thigh of the “attack plane”.
The assault knife “Minesweeper” immediately attracted my attention with quite common grammatical errors.
In any case, I inform you that in the phrase "Armed Forces of Russia" all words should be written with a capital letter.
But in the phrase "Engineering troops" the word "troops" would be competently written with a small letter.
I talked with the users of “Saper”, they expressed in the spirit that such a knife is useful and necessary, specifically, there are no complaints about this product yet.
But my secret doubt crept in: I had an amazing experience of owning and using a miracle survival knife, proudly bearing the similar “moose” stigma.
A complete mystery for me was the image of the anchor on the plastic of the handle. Does anyone know what the anchor is on the Saper?
I tried to chop up the ancient log with a bit of “Saperom”. With my bare hand, it seemed not very convenient, the handle was rather narrow, where the fingers were.
Gloves act much more convenient.
On this with equipment it is proposed to calm down and go to the inspection of photos from training "stormtroopers" on the ground.
Briefing, building. Two "attack aircraft" in OVR-3Sh, two in historical costumes of the Great Patriotic War (replicas of the Amoeba camouflage and SN-42 bibs), four in the Ratnik.
BTR-82A placed at all inputs-outputs in the brigade. In case of prevention of a possible terrorist threat.
We plunged into the army "Ural" and arrived on the territory of the former weaving factory "Krasny Luch".
The engineers received weapons, blank cartridges and screwed bushings on the machine guns for idling.
The weaving mill, apparently, has long been forgotten by people and now serves as a training ground for “stormtroopers”.
It is convenient to work out the tactics of an assault group in the ruins of the city.
The foreman counts the cartridges, pouring them from the packs into his cap. A very common picture in the army.
Buildings of the former LLC “UK“ Muromskiy KBC ”, or the“ Krasny Luch ”industrial complex, which was part of the“ Russian Textile ”concern.
In 1900, paperworking machines were first made here, and these days the plant was unprofitable and is now experiencing a surprising transformation from the classic “casting” into ruins.
Judging by the abundance of all graffiti, Murom teenagers have already gone through a harsh school of life here.
While the sappers were discussing a plan for their actions, they walked a bit around the building. Around the traces of active, in the past, life.
Dividing into combat "two", began training on the assault on the building. The first are the fighters in the OVR-3Sh, followed by the core of the assault group.
A couple of times the guys kindly walked with a weapon without “idle” sleeves, especially for photos. Then just pictures of the workflow for the assault on urban ruins.
All the money, as they say, on the screen!
For those who have inspected everything up to the very end, an incentive prize is provided. This is an individual army diet, menu 2.
The box is signed by the commander of the assault company and will get to the author of the most interesting question about the service of the assault unit of the engineering troops.
Expert assessments, comments and recommendations are, as always, welcome.
A reference to establish the winner and receive explanatory answers will send to fellow guard senior lieutenant. Winner we will define 1 of March of this year.