Tag Archives: ЦВО

Surprise Inspection

Army General Valeriy Gerasimov

Army General Valeriy Gerasimov

Complete coverage of General Staff Chief Valeriy Gerasimov’s remarks on the surprise inspection and readiness exercise can be found on Radio Voice of Russia or Mil.ru.

According to the newly-minted army general (four stars), the General Staff planned the inspection on the Defense Minister’s order.  It evaluated command and control organs, formations, and units of the Central and Southern MDs, VDV, VTA, and the 12th GUMO.  It was the largest of its kind in 20 years. 

The inspection began at 0400 on 18 February when operational and unit duty officers received packets with General Staff orders to go to higher states of combat readiness and carry out combat training missions.  This, Gerasimov said, required moving and transporting forces to exercise areas and “unfamiliar terrain” far from their permanent deployment locations.  The inspection included 7,000 soldiers, several hundred pieces of equipment, and 48 aircraft.

The General Staff Chief emphasized that the inspection was a complete surprise to command and control organs and troops to allow for objectively the combat readiness of formations and uncovering problems.

He praised the readiness and performance of sub-units of the VDV’s 98th Air-Assault Division (Ivanovo) and the 4th Air Forces and Air Defense Command (Southern MD / Rostov).  What was likely a battalion tactical group of the 98th loaded in twenty Il-76 transports and flew to Shagol outside Chelyabinsk, marched 100 km under difficult conditions (-20° C / -4° F, broken terrain, deep snow cover) to Chebarkul, and conducted its combat training.  For its part, the 4th VVS and PVO Command’s aircraft conducted bombing exercises with good or excellent results.

There were, however, “a number of systematic deficiencies in the state of combat readiness and lever of personnel training.” 

In practically all evaluated elements, duty officers showed weak skill in transmitting orders via automated combat command and control systems.  They weren’t certain how to receive the order to go to higher readiness.  In the VDV and the 201st Military Base, it took too long to send signals to subordinate troops.

In the Central MD’s 28th Motorized Rifle Brigade, training center graduates, drivers, and mechanic-drivers showed a low level of training.  Tank and BMP crews usually got only satisfactory in firing exercises.  Young officers just graduated from military schools exhibited poor knowledge of weapons and equipment.

Equipment generally performed reliably, given the weather conditions and its age.  Some of it required repair in the field, and, according to Gerasimov, this demonstrated the expedience of the Defense Minister’s decision to reestablish maintenance units.  But they need more training, spare parts, and improved organization.  Factory repair is more problematic:

“Sufficiently efficient work by repair factories and industrial enterprises is a serious problem for the troops.  Equipment coming from capital or medium repair, even under a service guarantee, often breaks down in the first months of its use in line units.  An analysis of deficiencies discovered is currently being conducted.”

Interesting, where does the fault lie?  The factory or troops and young officers who don’t know how to use or repair it?

Gerasimov admitted and lamented that nearly two-thirds of aircraft (in units being drilled?) is out of repair.  He called effective resolution of this problem the most important joint task of command and control organs and industry.

Gerasimov called the BMD-2 both obsolete and worn-out at 20 to 25 years old, or even more.  At 14.2 metric tons, he said the BMD-4M’s weight is at the limit for air transport, and an Il-76 can only carry three.  The General Staff Chief cited repair problems with Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters, Su-25, self-propelled Msta artillery, and R-168-5un radio.  He indicated the still experimental Volk armored vehicle doesn’t meet 12 of its TTZs and won’t undergo repeat state testing.

Gerasimov said the Defense Minister has decided inspections like this will now take place on a regular basis.

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Arsenal Explosion Blows Up a Couple Careers

Friday Kremlin.ru published Defense Minister Serdyukov’s list of those responsible for the June 2 fire and explosion at the 102nd Artillery Munitions Arsenal.

Not surprisingly, small fish got dismissed while large ones got off with reprimands.

The text of Serdyukov’s report to President Medvedev concludes:

“The basic causes of what happened were nonobservance of the requirements of explosives and fire safety while working with munitions, a negligent attitude by the Central Military District directorate and the command of the 102nd arsenal toward fulfilling their immediate duties in organizing and supporting daily functions, but also not fulfilling the requirements of Russian Federation Government order No. 135 from 17 February 2000 regarding the establishment and designation of prohibited zones and areas.”

Those dismissed for failures before or during the disaster:

  • General-Major S. V. Khokh, Chief, Technical Support Directorate, Central MD.
  • Colonel L. V. Chumakov, Chief, Material-Technical Support Planning and Coordination Directorate, Central MD.

Those getting reprimands:

  • Deputy Defense Minister, Army General D. V. Bulgakov.
  • Commander, Central MD, General-Colonel V. V. Chirkin.

Those receiving severe reprimands:

  • Acting Chief of Staff, Central Military District, General-Major S. A. Chuvakin.
  • Chief, Main Missile-Artillery Directorate, RF Ministry of Defense, General-Major A. L. Romanovskiy.
  • Chief, Material-Technical Support Planning and Coordination Department, RF Ministry of Defense, General-Lieutenant S. A. Zhirov.  

Warned about incomplete duty fulfillment:

  • Deputy Commander of the Central Military District for Material-Technical Support, General-Major Yu. A. Svintsov.

Dismissed early for nonfulfillment of contract terms:

  • Acting Chief, Missile-Artillery Armaments Service, Central Military District, Colonel A. N. Kozlov.
  • Section Chief (base, arsenal, and depot administration and security), Material-Technical Support Planning and Coordination Directorate, Central Military District, Colonel Kh. Kh. Beglov.
  • Chief, 102nd Arsenal (artillery munitions, 1st rank), Central Military District, Colonel Yu. I. Banin.

Blaming Yudashkin

Aleksandr Kanshin has reemerged . . . late of the Public Chamber, he’s now Deputy Chairman of the Defense Ministry’s Public Council, and he blames new army uniforms designed by fashion mogul Valentin Yudashkin for the recent outbreak of illnesses among conscripts in the Central Military District.

Vesti.ru and Newsru.com picked up what Kanshin told Interfaks:

“Judging by documents I’ve been made familiar with, one of the causes of illnesses among the young reinforcements in the troops, particularly in the Central Military District (TsVO), is manufacturing defects in the new winter field uniform supplied to conscripts at the assembly points of the military commissariats.  In other words, the new type uniform ‘from Yudashkin’ doesn’t defend soldiers against freezing in low temperatures.”

“At times, TsVO servicemen have to wear warm things under the new winter uniform.”

Kanshin also said he’s talked with TsVO Commander, General-Lieutenant Vladimir Chirkin who recognizes the new uniform needs improvement, but he also indicates 80 percent of his personnel are dressed in the old field uniform which is much warmer.

Vesti.ru reported the majority of the district’s servicemen are negative about the Yudashkin uniform because the air temperature is -20° (-4° F) and the wind blows through it outside.

Newsru.com pointed back to several scandals over the Yudashkin uniform, including last December when it said 250 soldiers became seriously ill in their unit in Yurga.  It was proposed at the time that they became sick because the new uniform didn’t protect them against the cold.

These new digital cammies were developed between May 2007 and 2010.  Besides fashion designer Yudashkin, specialists from the Central Scientific-Research Institute of the Garment Industry and the Defense Ministry’s Central Clothing Directorate participated in creating them.

Gzt.ru claims Yudashkin isn’t to blame.  The winter uniform was changed and sewn in defense industry factories with cheap materials.  Perhaps these are Kanshin’s “manufacturing defects.”  Sounds like corruption though, if someone substituted inferior materials.

Doctors told journalists that Yudashkin’s boots don’t keep out the cold either.

According to Gzt.ru, the military prosecutor is checking the situation in the TsVO.  Meanwhile, the military officially denies the uniforms are to blame, and maintains the emergency situation is just a seasonal outbreak of illness.