Seit langem informieren wir über den unerhörten Ausbau der russischen Luftlandetruppen. Bekanntlich bilden sie mit 45’000 Mann, vier Luftlandedivisionen, einer Luftlande- und drei Luftsturmbrigaden eine eigene Teilstreitkraft.
Der Generalstab demonstriert die Kampfkraft der Luftlandeverbände in Manövern. Einen Höhepunkt erreichte das Säbelrasseln vom 10.–16. September in “ZAPAD 2021”. Der westliche Dienst ISW bringt nun die Luftlandungen dieser Woche im Detail. Die Aufzählung übertrifft alles bisher Dagewesene. ISW bietet einen langen Lesestoff für alle, die es genau wissen wollen.
Es ist nicht nur das Detail, es ist die schiere Anhäufung von Luftlandemanövern, zu denen die 76., die 98. und die 106. Garde-Luftlandedivisionen zusammen mit Grossverbänden in Brigadestärke fähig sind. Was stets neu besticht, ist auch die tragende Rolle von Helikoptern, die auch in “ZAPAD 2021” wieder ausgiebig zum Einsatz gelangten. Man beachte auch die 45. Garde-Speznaz-Brigade. Es folgt der ISW-Text in Originalsprache.
Unspecified Russian Airborne (VDV) Units
- Elements of the 76th and 106th airborne divisions conducted airborne assault exercises at the Zhitovo Landing Site in Ryazan, Russia, at the Pravdinsky Training Ground in Kaliningrad Russia, and at the Brest Training Ground in Brest, Belarus. Elements of the 31st Airborne Brigade and 76th Airborne Division conducted heliborne assault operations at the Mulino Training Ground in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, and at the Obuz-Lesnovsky Training Ground in Brest, Belarus.
- The Russian Ministry of Defense stated that elements of the 31st Airborne Brigade conducted “experiments” to “create a ‘new type’ airborne assault formation.” This may have been in reference to a September 13 exercise in which elements of the 31st Airborne Brigade and Belarusian tank elements created a joint mobile shock echelon using both airborne assault BMD-4 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) and tank battalions for the first time.
- Unspecified reinforced battalion-sized (approximately 600 personnel) Russian airborne elements – of the 76th Airborne Division – conducted night airborne assault exercises at the Kislovo landing site near Pskov, Russia. Aerial reconnaissance identified enemy targets. Airborne infantry captured the airfield following artillery and aviation strikes and then drove 100 kilometers to the Strugi Krasnye Training Ground to conduct maneuver and fire exercises.
- Unspecified engineering elements of the Western Military District built a floating bridge across the Klyazma River in the Vladimir Oblast, Russia, for mechanized maneuver exercises. Western Military District reconnaissance elements and Mi-28 helicopters of the Russian 6th Air and Air Defenses Forces Army provided cover for the engineers.
- Elements of an unspecified airborne brigade conducted heliborne assault exercises at the Mulino Training Ground in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. Twenty-four Mi-8 transport and combat helicopters deployed a mobile strike echelon of Russian airborne infantry to hold a defensive line against enemy attack.
- Battalion-sized (approximately 300 personnel) Russian and Kazakh airborne infantry elements conducted joint urban warfare operations at the Mulino Training Ground in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. The joint force conducted sabotage activities in the rear of a simulated enemy in an urban environment. Attached engineering elements made passages in walls and ceilings to support clearing tasks. Ten army aviation attack helicopters and 122-mm howitzers provided fire support.
- Army aviation Mi-35 and Mi-24 helicopters of the Western Military District conducted carousel firing exercises. The helicopters practiced providing air support to ground forces and targeted enemy command and control infrastructure. The Russian Ministry of Defense stated that combat experience gained from operations in Syria informed this exercise.
- Russian Airborne Forces deep reconnaissance elements – possibly of the 175th Recon Battalion – assessed airstrike damage and provided corrected targeting information at the Mulino Training Ground. This airborne element also conducted an airborne drop exercise at the Zhitovo Landing Site in Ryazan, Russia.
- Battalion-sized Russian and Belarusian airborne elements (over 350 Russian and Belarusian personnel) conducted airborne assault exercises at the Brest Training Ground in Brest, Belarus. Over 20 Il-76MD military transport aircraft airdropped over 350 personnel and 30 pieces of equipment to reinforce a defensive position.
76th Guards Air Assault Division
- Elements of the Russian 76th Airborne Division and Belarusian Special Operation Forces worked out forming joint command and control systems at the Brest and Obuz-Lesnovsky training grounds. Airborne personnel equipped a defensive perimeter with chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense (CBRN) observation posts.
- Elements of the Russian 76th Airborne Division deployed 100 kilometers to the Strugi Krasnye Training Ground in Pskov, Russia. The paratroopers overcame mined terrain in combat vehicles as part of a column of tracked vehicles.
- Russian airborne elements – likely of the 76th Airborne Division – conducted live-fire using plunging-fire tactics with BMD-4M airborne assault vehicles to destroy enemy UAV control points at the Strugi Krasnye Training Ground in Pskov. Airborne elements also deployed 100 kilometers to a training ground, practiced overcoming mined terrain, and conducted attacks in the rear area of a simulated enemy.
- Reinforced battalion-sized airborne elements (over 600 airborne infantry and 30 BMD-2K-AU, BMD-4M, and other armored personnel carriers) of the 76th Airborne Division conducted airborne night drop exercises at the Strugi Krasnye Training Ground in Pskov, Russia. The Russian Ministry of Defense stated that this was the first time that the 76th Airborne Division conducted a night landing exercise at this scale.
- A combined Russian-Belarusian airborne battalion (over 400 personnel) of the Russian 76th Airborne Division and an unspecified Belarusian airborne element conducted airborne infantry drops at the Brest Training Ground in Brest, Belarus. The Russian Ministry of Defense stated the drop was the largest use of Russian Military Transport Aviation (MTA) in Zapad-2021. Elements of the Russian 76th Airborne Division deployed to Brest from the Kresty Airfield in Pskov, Russia in Il-76 transport aircraft. Russian Military Transport Aviation airlifted Belarusian Special Operations Forces elements from the Machulishchi Airfield near Minsk to Brest. The combined force destroyed simulated enemies and held a defensive line.
31st Guards Air Assault Brigade
- Elements of the Russian 31st Airborne Brigade conducted UAV reconnaissance exercises to find enemy forces at the Mulino Training Ground in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.
- Elements of the Russian 31st Airborne Brigade conducted a heliborne assault at the Savasleika Airfield in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.
- Airborne infantry elements of the Russian 31st Airborne Brigade conducted heliborne assault exercises to prevent the deployment of an enemy reserve at the Mulino Training Ground in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. Thirty-two Mi-8 transport-combat helicopters deployed the airborne infantry while 14 Ka-52 and Mi-28N attack helicopters provided air support in the landing areas.
- Elements of the Russian 31st Airborne Brigade and Belarusian tank elements operated as a joint mobile shock echelon using both airborne assault BMD-4 and tank battalions for the first time at the Mulino Training Ground in Nizhny Novgorod.
38th Airborne Signals Brigade
- Elements of the Russian 38th Airborne Signals Brigade conducted special chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense (CBRN) exercises in Medvezhye Lakes near Moscow, Russia.
45th Guards Spetsnaz Brigade
- A company-sized airborne infantry force of 90 airborne infantry of the Russian 45th Spetsnaz Brigade, 60 airborne infantry of the Belarusian 38th Airborne Brigade, and 20 airborne infantry of the Kazakh 35th Airborne Brigade conducted a joint special operations airborne night exercise at the Brest Training Ground in Brest, Belarus. The participants jumped from three Il-76 aircraft. Belarusian airborne forces deployed to Brest from the Machulishchi Air Base near Minsk and the Russian element deployed from the Kubinka airfield in Moscow. The joint airborne infantry force then conducted sabotage actions and other special activities in a simulated enemy’s rear area and extracted themselves from the area of operations.
98th Guards Airborne Division
- Battalion-sized airborne elements of the Belarusian 5th Separate Special Mission Brigade and the Russian 98th Airborne Division concluded a 10-day joint training to support joint exercises at the Pesochnoe Training Ground in Yaroslavl, Russia.Approximately 40 Belarusian personnel of the 5th Brigade and 350 Russian personnel of the 215th Recon Battalion conducted ambush exercises with artillery and infantry fighting vehicles. The Russian and Belarusian elements likely operated as a combined airborne battalion.
106th Guards Airborne Division
- A battalion of the Russian 137th Airborne Regiment loaded approximately 30 BMD-4 infantry fighting vehicles into 15 Il-76s at the Dyagilevo Air Base for a planned battalion-sized airborne deployment (300 personnel) onto the Zhitovo landing site in Ryazan, Russia.
- A battalion-sized element (over 300 personnel) of the Russian 106th Airborne Division – likely elements of the 137th Airborne Regiment – deployed from the Dyagilevo Airfield in Ryazan to Ulyanovsk, Russia, for airborne assault exercises.
- A Russian airborne battalion (over 300 personnel) of the 106th Airborne Division and 20 Indian paratroopers conducted airborne assault exercises to prevent the approach and deployment of enemy reserves at the Zhitovo landing site in Ryazan, Russia. 21 Il-76MD aircraft airlifted the airborne infantry and over 30 BMD-4M infantry fighting vehicles.