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Russian Navy Organization

The naval forces include shore-based troops, naval aviation units, four fleets, and one flotilla. The shore-based forces and naval aviation forces are operationally subordinate to the fleets. The Northern Fleet is headquartered at Severomorsk, at the top of the Kola Peninsula near Murmansk, with additional home ports at Kola, Motovskiy, Gremikha, and Ura Guba. The Baltic Fleet is headquartered in Kaliningrad, where it controls naval bases at Kronshtadt and Baltiysk. Headquartered at Sevastopol', the Black Sea Fleet has an additional home port in Odessa. Pacific Fleet headquarters is in Vladivostok, with additional home ports in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Magadan, and Sovetskaya Gavan'. Each of the Fleets is in turn organized into a variety of subsidiary units.

The Admiralty Building is one of the favorite tourist sites in St. Petersburg. The cornerstone of this conspicuous landmark near the confluence of the Neva River and Baltic Sea was laid by Peter the Great in 1704, and served to illustrate Russias maritime ambitions. After the Revolution and WW I, the Russian Naval Headquarters was transferred to Moscow, but St. Petersburg has always retained a strong naval tradition. It has long been home to Russias finest naval academies, research institutes, and ship construction facilities. In 2007 discussions began and a tentative decision was made to again move Russias Naval Headquarters back to St. Petersburg. However, prickly domestic politics and an even larger military reform complicated matters.

In the middle of December 2008 the final decision about the General Staff of the Russian Navy was made and its relocation to St. Petersburg tarted. This MD structure would be deployed in the Admiralty building, which was vacated by the Staff of Leningrad Navy base (it moved to Kronstadt). Relocation of GS of Russian Navy to St. Petersburg was completed in the second quarter of 2009.

In the mid-1990s, Russia's naval aviation force was almost entirely shore based, after having achieved substantial sea-based strike capability in the Soviet era. In 1996 only the steam-powered aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, assigned to the Northern Fleet, conducted active flight operations at sea. Two new nuclear-powered carriers were scrapped before completion, indicating abandonment of that program, and older aircraft-carrying cruisers were sold to the Republic of Korea (South Korea) for scrap.

Each of Russia's four fleets has a subordinate, land-based naval air force. The Caspian Flotilla has no naval air arm. The naval shore-based troops consist of naval infantry and coastal defense forces. The naval infantry forces include one infantry division subordinate to the Pacific Fleet and four naval infantry brigades--one in the Baltic Fleet, one in the Black Sea Fleet, and two in the Northern Fleet. The coastal defense forces are a combination of infantry regiments, brigades, and divisions with air defense missile regiments. Amphibious landings are a low priority; according to intelligence estimates, only 2,500 marines and 100 tanks could be put ashore by Russia's thirteen amphibious ships.

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Page last modified: 30-01-2016 19:11:59 ZULU