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76th Airborne Division

During the Soviet era, the airborne troops consisted of seven airborne divisions (plus a training division), 12 air-assault brigades, and several air-assault battalions. by 2003, the airborne troops consisted of four airborne divisions; a separate airborne brigade; a training center, the V.F. Margelov Ryazan Military Institute of Airborne Troops; and support and maintenance units. Airborne troops continued to be the subject of restructuring in the Russian armed forces. Military transport aviation is in short supply, mainly because it was based in a non-Russian state of the former USSR at the time of Soviet dissolution.

Nevertheless, the leadership of the airborne troops points to the development of a new family of airborne vehicles, including a 125 mm self-propelled antitank gun that is being billed as a light amphibious tank. In fighting strength, it was equal to the T-80; in mobility, it is equal to the BMD-3.

The 76th Guards Airborne Division at Pskov, which is especially well-known for its Soviet service as a contingency force for intervention and crisis response, became the first division-sized unit to be converted to contract service. For years, Russian units, rather than relying on conscription, had experimented with the concept of allowing volunteers to sign contracts. But the effort to convert an elite division- sized unit to contract status tested the programs feasibility, and the relatively small size of the 76th Guards Airborne Division was a factor in its selection.

The 4,600-man division comprised only two regiments, and its nondivisional support is limited. The 76th Air Assault Division was originally established in 1939 as the 157th Rifle Division. On 1 March 1943 it became the 76th Guards Rifle Division. The Division fought in Chernigov, Odessa, Brest and Danzig with the 70th Army of the 2nd Belorussian Front in May 1945. Soon after the war it became the 76th Airborne Division, by 1946 as part of the 15th Airborne Corps.

The 76th Division originally had three regiments: the 104th, 234th, and 237th, with the 237th Guards Airborne Regiment disbanded circa 2002. After an experimental period, the 104th Parachute Regiment of the 76th Airborne Division became the first Russian ground forces regiment that was fully composed of professional soldiers (and not of "srochniki" - the conscripted soldiers aged eighteen). In 2006, the 76th Airborne Division became an Air Assault Division. Elements of the 104th Regiment were ambushed in Chechnya in March 2000. In 2008 the 76th Air Assault Division was involved in the 2008 South Ossetia war, being deployed to South Ossetia and fought in the Battle of Tskhinvali.

Units deployed in North Ossetia to participate in the active stage of large-scale military exercises in the North Caucasus. The exercise, dubbed Caucasus 2008, involved units of the North Caucasus Military District, mainly the 58th Army, the 4th Air Force Army, Interior Ministry troops, and border guards. "The personnel, equipment and ammunition are being unloaded at the town of Mozdok" in North Ossetia, a spokesperson for Russia's Ground Forces said. The paratroopers made a forced march to the assigned zone of operation in the mountains, where they conducted a series of tactical exercises, including live-fire drills. The Pskov paratroopers were later joined by units from an air assault regiment based in the Volga region, which were transported to the Krasnodar Territory by rail and conducted a forced march to the exercise zone.

The newly-appointed commander of Russia's Airborne Troops, Lt. Gen. Vladimir Shamanov said 27 May 2009 additional airborne units would be deployed in the Moscow and the Leningrad military districts. "At present, all military districts in Russia, except the Moscow and the Leningrad military districts, have their own air assault units. Therefore, we are planning to deploy an air assault brigade in the Moscow district, and the 3rd Airborne Regiment from the 76th Airborne Division based in Pskov to the Leningrad district," he said.

Prior to 2010 Russia's Ground Forces were deployed in six military districts: Moscow, Leningrad, North Caucasus, Urals, Siberian, and Far Eastern. In June 2010 it was announced that the Russia's General Staff was planning to merge existing military districts into four strategic commands. Command West, with headquarters in Moscow, will control all military personnel and hardware in the Western Military District. The new district will incorporate the former Moscow and Leningrad military districts and the Baltic and Northern Fleets. Command.

Col. Gen. Vladimir Shamanov, the Russian Airborne Forces (VDV) branch commander, said 01 August 2013 that an advanced tactical command-and-control (C20) system, dubbed Andromeda, would be gradually introduced in all paratrooper units. The Andromeda-D is as a division-to-soldier system, with stationary points for commanders down to battalion, and vehicle-mounted systems for tactical units. The system had passed troop testing and has been put in service with the 76th Guards air assault division, based in Pskov.

Airborne-unit personnel live near unit garrisons to facilitate their alert warning and deployment. Even the contract servicemen who are married are required to live in barracks. Married servicemen and their families are assigned to two-room flats that accommodate two families. Unmarried contract soldiers were required to live together in groups of three or four. Eventually, the entire Russian armed forces will be converted to contract status. The process of converting the most-ready units was to be accomplished by 2011. The 76th Airborne began its program Sept. 1, 2002, with an estimated completion date of March 1, 2003. As of late October 2002, only 519 servicemen had signed up. The 76th, which in Soviet days was deluged with conscript volunteers, offered bonuses to spur new sign-ups.

Military service under the contract to the privates, sergeants and officers organically combines public and private interests. On the one hand is a voluntary patriotic contribution in strengthening the defence of the country, increasing the combat readiness of the armed forces of Russia. On the other hand, conclude a contract for military service, then put present and future on the stable foundation of reliable social protection.

All who have signed the contract, a performance space, with the family in the comfortable accommodation; a monthly financial allowance, as well as additional rewards and payments for seniority, class, number of parachute jumps, etc; free monthly prodpaek, clothing allowance, medical care; subsidized spa services, annual leave (depending on length) with free travel holiday maker and members of his family at both ends; a number of significant tax benefits taxation, State insurance, travel by rail, air, water and road transport. Social rights and guarantees of servicemen performing military service under the contract in the 76th Airborne Division, and members of their families, provided for by the legislation of the Russian Federation, are fully implemented.

A girl from the Perm Territory in the Urals made headlines in Russia in April 2010 after she decided to join the Russian Army to serve together with her boyfriend. The Acting Chief Enlistment Officer of the Perm Territory, Anatoly Mochalkin, said the 23-year-old girl, Yulia Pankova, decided to sign a military service contract after her fianc opted to continue his military service at the 76th Guards Air Assault Division based in the northwestern Russian city of Pskov. She was found fit for military service, Mochalkin said. A military unit has hired her as a nurse and anesthesiologist at the Air Forces airmobile hospital. Pankova has already received a military rank. She will start her military service after completing her exams at a university, where she is an extramural student.

104-guards paratroop Regiment

Subordinated units as of 2009

  • 23rd Guards Airborne Regiment in Pskov (newly formed regiment)
  • 104th Guards Airborne Regiment in Cherekha
  • 234th Guards Airborne Regiment in Pskov
  • 1140th Guards Artillery Regiment in Pskov
  • 4th Air Defence Regiment in Pskov
  • 107th Air Defence Battalion in Pskov
  • 165th Air Defence Battalion in Donskoy (from disbanded 106th Guards Airborne Division)
  • 656th Engineer Battalion in Pskov
  • 728th Signal Battalion in Pskov
  • 7th Maintenance Battalion in Pskov
  • 242nd Military Transport Aviation Squadron in Pskov
  • 3996th Airmobile Hospital

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