Saturday, January 17, 2015

Russian army, a new division "Arctic Brigade" ready for battle: in the Arctic Zone

Russian army, a new division "Arctic Brigade" ready for battle: in the Arctic Zone

The fighters drill as a motorized rifle brigade in an Arctic storm simulating enemy positions on the Kola Peninsula in the Murmansk region - a new division conducting military training.

Since mid-January its officially a new member of the Armed Forces of Russia and enters in a completely new fighting force designed to protect the interests of our country in the Arctic. "The structure and objectives of the team is unique. This team is fully developed, equipped, with special all the latest equipment designed for military service in the Arctic. The taskforce is ready, "- said the brigade commander Ilya Pavlovsky. At present, the Arctic brigade fighters have learned the basics of handling wheeled and tracked combat vehicles in Arctic conditions. The core of the 80th Brigade are made up of light multipurpose armed vehicles. In 2015, there will be absolutely new and unique machines designed specifically for heavy service under these harsh Arctic conditions. The order of the formation of the Arctic Brigade was given to the supreme commander less than a year ago. Now located in the village of Alakurtti is a new military town. All who arrived in the Arctic officers command were provided office and living accommodations. In the coming months, the staff of the arctic crews will continue to grow with new soldiers and officers rotating . For them, there is also built two additional barracks facilities. At these facilities are installed multiple cameras -filming the construction progress in real-time and following the representatives of the General Staff of the Army and the Northern Fleet command. 

Russia has started moving troops towards a new military installation that's 31 miles from the Finnish border, Damien Sharkov Newsweek reports citing a press statement from Russian admiral Vladimir Korolev.

As of Jan. 13, approximately 800 servicemen from Russia's Northern Fleet had been stationed in the Russian town of Alakurtti, in the Murmansk region. Alakurtti is due to become one of Russia's key strongholds in its quest to fortify its position and influence over the Arctic region.

The rest of Russia’s Northern Fleet — which includes 3,000 ground troops trained for combat in Arctic conditions are backed by 39 ships and 45 submarines — all will be stationed there "soon."

GoogleAlakurtti Military Base

Finnish news network YLE confirms that Russia has reopened its military base in Alakurtti. The base had previously been shut down in 2009, but was now being retrofitted to fit a garrison of 3,000 radio-electronics and special-weapons experts.

Russia's drive to militarize the Arctic is in keeping with the country's new militaryexpansion, which was signed into law on Dec. 26 last year. The new doctrine explicitly states that NATO's expansion was the main external threat facing Moscow and that Russia should reinforce its three key European geopolitical fronts.

“In 2015, the Defense Ministry’s main efforts will focus on an increase of combat capabilities of the armed forces and increasing the military staff in accordance with military construction plans. Much attention will be given to the groupings in Crimea, Kaliningrad, and the Arctic,” Russian General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov said, according to Russia's Sputnik news agency.

Business Insider

Aside from relocating personnel to Murmansk, Russia has undertaken a construction blitz across the Arctic in a bid to ensure that it remains an unchallenged military power in their homeland regions. Moscow is constructing ten brand new Arctic search-and-rescue stations, 16 deep-water ports, 13 new airfields, and ten ultra modern air-defense radar stations across its Arctic coast.

According to the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM), Moscow will also create in the Arctic a naval infantry brigade, an air defense division, a mechanized brigade, a coastal missile defense system, and anti-ballistic missile regiments in outlying archipelagos in the Arctic Ocean.

Russia's focus on the Arctic stems from its portion of natural resources under the ice pack. The US estimates that a possible 15% of the earth's remaining oil, 30% of its natural gas, and 20% of its liquefied natural gas may be stored within the Arctic sea bed.

Currently, Russia, Denmark, Norway, Canada, and the US all have partial claims to the Arctic Circle.


The crew of Russia's nuclear-powered submarine Yekaterinburg line up on its deck as it returns to Gadjiyevo base in Murmansk region LEV FEDOSEEV/FILES/REUTERS

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