Military


Ground Forces

The Army is the largest and multifunctional armed service of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus. Formations and units of the Army have great fire and striking power, high combat maneuverability and self-sufficiency. The Army is intended to counter land strikes and to defeat hostile forces in the case of aggression against the Republic of Belarus. The Army is able to effectively fight against a land hostile in a close conjunction with Air Force and Air Defence.

Up to 1992 the Red Banner Belorussian Military District contained the 5th Guard Tank Army, the 7th Tank Rrmy, the 28th Army, the 120the Guard Motorized Rifle Division, the 51st Guards Artillery Division, the 72-1 Guard united Training Center, and also elements of combat, rear and technical support. On the territory of republic, besides troops of region, the parts subordinate to So-called Central authority were located.

In 1994 Belarus had ground forces of 52,500, organized into three corps headquarters, two motor divisions, one airborne division, one artillery division, three mechanized divisions, one airborne brigade, three surface-to-surface missile brigades, two antitank brigades, one special duties brigade, and seven surfaceto -air missile brigades. Equipment included 3,108 main battle tanks (seventy-nine T-54, 639 T-55, 291 T-62, 299 T-64, eight T80 , and 1,800 T-72), 419 medium-range launchers, sixty surfaceto -surface missiles, and 350 surface-to-air missiles.

On 17 July, 1992, the army had available 3457 tanks, 3824 combat armored vehicles, 1562 artillery pieces, 390 combat aircraft, and 79 assault helicopters. In accordance with the agreement about the armed forces in Europe and the accepted in its development lawful successors of the USSR on 15 May 1992, in Tashkent " by agreement about the principles and order of performance of the agreement about the usual armed forces in Europe ", " by protocol about the maximum levels for the presence of conventional armaments and of Azerbaijan republic, republic of Armenia, of republic technique Belarus', republics Kazakhstan, the republics Of moldova, Russian federation, Ukraine and republic Georgia in connection with the agreement about the usual armed forces in Europe ", Belarus agreed to have 1800 tanks, 2600 combat armored vehicles, 1615 artillery pieces, 260 combat aircraft, 80 assault helicopters. In other words, for republic it was in prospect to get rid from 1773 combat tanks, 1441 combat armored vehicle, 130 combat aircraft. This reduction was realized at the beginning of 1996.

Thanks to powerful weapons and sophisticated tools a T-72 tank can destroy tanks and other armored vehicles, antitank weapons and artillery. A T-72 boasts low weight, compact size, a low profile, a launcher and reactive armor. BRDM-2 vehicles are designed for operational reconnaissance as part of scout units that operate far from friendly troops. BRDM-2 vehicles boast high dynamic qualities, long cruising endurance, a good cross-country ability and the ability to traverse water barriers on the go. BMP-1P vehicles are designed to suppress and destroy lightly armored enemy installations, transport and support mechanized infantry in all kinds of combined arms operations. A BMP-1P boasts enhanced firepower thanks to modern hardware with high killability and an advanced gun control system.

MLRS Grad and Belgrad are designed to suppress manpower and combat equipment in concentration areas, to destroy and suppress artillery and mortar batteries, to destroy fortifications, strong points and defensive posts of the enemy. Vasilek mortars are designed to suppress manpower and firepower of the enemy. All operations - breech opening, round feeding, breech closing and firing are performed automatically. Mobile ADSM Strela-10M systems are designed to cover ground troops against low-altitude targets.

In essence the process of the structural reformation of the army was concluded to the same time: general military and tank armies were converted into the army corps, motorized rifle and tank division into the individual mechanized brigades, and their bases of storage of armament and technology, airborne division and individual airborne brigade - by the mobile forces, which consist of three mobile brigades, air divisions and air bases.

By January 1, 1995, the order of battle for the Belarusian army had changed. Ministry of Defense forces included the 103d Guards Air Assault Division and the 38th Separate Assault-Landing Brigade; the 28th Army Corps (Hrodna and Brest regions), composed of headquarters at Hrodna, the 6th Detached Mechanized Infantry Brigade, the 11th Detached Mechanized Infantry Brigade, the 50th Detached Mechanized Infantry Brigade, the Armament and Equipment base, and corps units (missile troops, antiaircraft, chemical and engineer troops, signals, and rear services); the 65th Army Corps (Minsk and Vitsyebsk regions), composed of headquarters at Barysaw, three armament and equipment bases, and corps units; and the 5th Guards Army Corps (Minsk and Mahilyow regions) made up of headquarters at Babruysk, the 30th Detached Mechanized Infantry Brigade, two Armament and Equipment bases, and corps units.

In early 1995, the armed forces were in the midst of adopting five main reforms. The first was a gradual move toward a goal of 50 percent professional soldiers. By mid-1995 there were 22,000 professional soldiers on contracts of five years or longer and another 9,000 soldiers on contracts of two to five years. These accounted for 32 percent of the uniformed establishment.

The second reform is to redivide the country into military territorial districts whose district commanders will be part of the structure of local government. The Ministry of Defense hoped that after implementing this system, recruits will be able to serve closer to home and that draft avoidance will decline.

The third reform is to create a mobile operational force. Such a force would likely be composed of three brigades: airmobile, helimobile, and airborne/special forces.

The fourth reform is the adoption of a new structure to permit maximum flexibility. The army's new post-Soviet structure, built on corps and brigades, suits Belarus's needs better than the Soviet-era divisions.

Last is the army's increased role in internal security. According to a presidential decree of January 1, 1995, entitled "On Reinforcing the Fight Against Crime," troops have been transferred from the Ministry of Defense to the Ministry of Interior. Belarus's Border Guards are under the control of the Ministry of Interior. They numbered 8,000 in early 1995.

To the command of ground forces, besides the tasks of maintenance at the necessary level of combat readiness and combat efficiency, is entrusted also the function of management of preparation and of conducting territorial defense. Bobruysk city became the place for the location of the command of ground forces. On 21 December 2001, a major reorganization of the Ground Forces produced two operational-territorial commands, formed from two former corps headquarters. All Belarus ground forces are now grouped within these two commands, the Western Operational Command at Grodno, formed from the previous 28th Army Corps, the former Soviet 28th Army, and the North Western Operational Command, the former 65th Army Corps, at Borisov. This began the work on the reorganization of 120-1 guard motorized rifle division into the individual mechanized brigade and the base of storage of armament and technology. The process of the disbandment of 350-1 guard individual mobile brigade was completed. This made it possible to complete by commissioned personnel the 38th and 317th Guard Individual Mobile Brigades.

The "Northwest Strategic Command forces command staff exercises" began in Belarus near the borders with Lithuania and Latvia 08 August 2006. About 4500 troops and 50 pieces of armored equipment were involved. The Belarusian military worked on the interaction of strategic command organs and military units "in the organization and implementation of the antiterrorist struggle." Military units from the Northwestern Strategic Command, the 103rd Independent Mobile Guard Brigade, territorial defense department organs, including district defense staffs and subdivisions of territorial forces of the Verkhnedvincky District of Vitebsk Region (on the border with Latvia) and the Vileisky District of Minsk Region (near the border with Lithuania), subdivisions of the 5th Independent Special Forces Brigade, an Air Force helicopter detachment and air defense forces.




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