Continuing my series on the structure and locations of the Russian Armed Forces. Today, it’s the turn of the airborne troops. A bit late for VDV day (August 2), but close enough. Once again, the information comes primarily from ryadovoy.ru, with cross-checking at warfare.ru.
Note that the airborne troops are the one part of the military that was not shifted to brigade structure in the reform. Most analysts attribute this to the power and influence of General Shamanov, the VDV commander.
Altogether, the airborne troops consist of four divisions and one brigade, with an additional two brigades that are mixed airborne and infantry and were listed in the earlier Ground Forces postings. All locations for subordinate units are the same as for the division, unless otherwise noted.
Russian Airborne Troops
- 7th Airborne Division (Novorossiysk, Krasnodar Krai, North Caucasus MD)
- 108th Airborne Regiment
- 247th Airborne Regiment (Stavropol)
- 1141st Artillery Regiment (Anapa, Krasnodar Krai)
- 3rd Air Defense Regiment
- 162nd Reconnaissance Company
- 309th Engineering Company (Temryuk, Krasnodar Krai)
- 743rd Communications Battalion
- 6th Maintenance Battalion
- 1681st Logistics Battalion
- 76th Airborne Division (Pskov, Leningrad Military District)
- 23rd Airborne Regiment
- 104th Airborne Regiment
- 234th Airborne Regiment
- 1140th Artillery Regiment
- 4th Air Defense Regiment
- 656th Engineering Battalion
- 728th Communications Battalion
- 7th Maintenance Battalion
- 1682nd Logistics Battalion
- 98th Airborne Division (Ivanovo, Moscow Military District)
- 217th Airborne Regiment
- 331st Airborne Regiment (Kostroma)
- 1065th Artillery Regiment (Kostroma)
- 5th Air Defense Battalion
- 661st Engineering Battalion
- 674th Communications Battalion
- 15th Maintenance Battalion
- 1683rd Logistics Battalion
- 106th Airborne Division (Tula, Moscow Military District)
- 51st Airborne Regiment
- 137th Airborne Regiment (Ryazan)
- 1182nd Artillery Regiment (Naro-Fominsk, Moscow Oblast)
- 107th Air Defense Regiment (Naro-Fominsk, Moscow Oblast)
- 173rd Reconnaissance Company
- 388th Engineering Battalion (Plavsk, Tula Oblast)
- 731st Communications Battalion
- 1060th Logistics Battalion
- 43rd Repair Battalion, (Plavsk, Tula Oblast)
- 31st Airborne Brigade (Ulyanovsk, Volga-Urals Military District)
- 45th Special Forces Reconnaissance Regiment (Kubinka, Moscow Oblast)
- 38th Communications Regiment (Moscow Oblast)
Tables of organisation on paper are one thing, but what’s the reality?
How much personnel do these units have, what shape are personnel and material in?
How quickly can they deploy using the Air Force’s assets?
What’s their present doctrine and training focus?
Do they train as divisions, regiments or battalions (in addition to ‘show’ exercises)?
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Researching Soviet airborne forces at the moment for my forth coming novel. Useful site.
It would be more advantage to Russia to restructure these so called divisions into 6 airborne brigades, 3 air assault brigades, and an independent Spetsnaz regiment. These brigades could be used independently or grouped into division size task forces depending on the mission. The idea of fixed divisional structure is a passé, depending on the terrain, mission etc… Brigades of several types and attached support units be grouped into task or field forces to accomplish a specific goal.