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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

50°45'N 59°30'E
Yasnenskoe missile formation
13th Orenburg Red Banner Missile Division
ZATO Komarovsky, military unit 68545

The division was formed in February 1965. In accordance with the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR dated February 22, 1968, the unit was awarded the Order of the Red Banner. By the decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and the Council of Ministers of the USSR dated December 13, 1972, the division was awarded the Jubilee Badge of Honor in connection with the 50th anniversary of the USSR. The date of the annual connection holiday is September 15th.

In various years, the division was armed with R-36 missiles (from 1966 to 1978), R-36M (from 1974 to 1984), R-36MUTTKh (from 1979 to 2009), R-36M2 (from 1988 to the present). At present, the personnel of the Yasnensky missile formation are on alert on the Voyevoda missile systems with silo-based RS-20V intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The Yasnenskaya missile division is the only missile formation in the world in which the launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles with the launch of spacecraft into low-earth orbits were carried out directly from the positional area of the missile division.

When in 1964-1965. the deployment of the division began, the city of Yasnoye was not yet on the map. There was a small village of builders of the future Orenburgasbest plant. Nearby was the regional center Dombarovsky, where at first all mail, cargo, etc. were addressed. The division's residential town and all the infrastructure were located next to the plant under construction, since a railway line had already been connected there, which greatly simplified all construction work. Over time, the settlement of builders grew into the city of Yasny.

The unit's directorate was formed in February 1965 as part of the Orenburg Missile Corps on the basis of the unit's operational group. On October 27, 1966, the divisions, regiments and support units took up combat duty. Colonel Dmitry Chaplygin was appointed commander of the division, since 1964 - the commander of the 13th missile division. At the time of its appointment, the division did not yet exist, and its place of deployment was an open steppe. In addition, the division was to master the use of the latest strategic missile systems. At the cost of hard work and competent organization of combat training, the task was completed - in November 1966, the first regiment of the division took up combat duty, and a year later the entire division began to carry out combat service. In 1968, the unit was awarded the Order of the Red Banner.

By the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of August 29, 1969, Major General Dmitry Kharitonovich Chaplygin was awarded the title of Hero of Socialist Labor for high achievements in combat training and for the successful mastering of the latest military equipment. Currently, the missile division includes 5 missile regiments, support and security units. Strategic missile men are on alert on the Voevoda missile system with RS-20V ICBMs. During the entire existence of the famous formation, they spent more than 18 thousand days on alert.

The Dombarovskiy ICBM Complex is approximately 45 nautical miles (nm) east of the city of Orsk in the southern Urals region. The Dombarovskiy ICBM Complex is located in southwestern Siberia, just east of the Ural Mountains. The complex support facility is approximately 20 nm northeast of the town of Dombarovskiy, with the launch sites deployed over an area about 30-nm square generally north and east of the town.

Terrain in the region is gently rolling, with elevations ranging from about 850 to 1,350 feet. Drains are shallow and flow generally west to the Ural river. Few trees are apparent, and there is no evidence of extensive agricultural activity. Orsk is the largest city in the area and, except for Dombarovskiy and a few scattered villages, the area of deployment is sparsely inhabited.

The region lies within the rain shadow of the Ural Mountains, which accounts for the light precipitation throughout the year. Summers are fairly warm, with an average temperature about 68° F in July. Winters are relatively mild compared to the general weather pattern in most of the Siberian USSR. Snow cover is normally limited to the period from early November to mid-April. Maximum cloudiness over the region occurs from October through December when one-fourth or less of the days are clear; minimums are in February and March, and again in July and August when one-third to one-half the days are clear.

Transportation facilities serving the Dombarovskiy Complex do not appear to be up to the usual quality of those found at most other complexes. It is not situated on a main rail line. The complex support facility and the rail-to-road transfer point are served by a spur from a single-track branch line running from Orsk through Dombarovskiy and continuing eastward. The existing road network is poor throughout the complex, and there are no first-class connections to Dombarovskiy. However, road construction is apparent between some of the launch sites, and they probably all will eventually be served by well-engineered roads.

The complex was first notied in August 1964 when the complex support facility and 2 launch sites were present. From the status of these facilities, it was apparent that initial construction of the complex had commenced some time earlier. An unidentified rail-served installation 2.5 nm east of the complex support facility was present prior to construction of the complex.

Subsequently construction started on 2 additional launch sites and expansion of the complex has continued until it consisted of 29 launch sites in 5 groups. The 6 sites in Launch Group A had the most Type IIIC launchers of any in the Soviet Union and was the only one with 5 launch groups.

On 12 July 2006, Russia inaugurated a new spaceport with the launch of a Dnepr rocket from Dombarovskiy, a converted ICBM site located in the south of the country near its border with Kazakhstan. The Dnepr vehicle successfully carried Bigelow Aerospace’s Genesis Pathfinder inflatable demonstration mission into low Earth orbit (LEO). On July 26, a separate Dnepr launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome failed when its engines prematurely terminated 86 seconds into flight, causing the vehicle to crash 25 kilometers (15 miles) downrange. Three small satellites from Russia and Italy and several one-kilogram “CubeSats” were lost.

As of 01 July 2008 there were a total of 52 operational SS-18s deployed at Dombarovskiy, as well as 2 non-deployed SS-18s. The complex consisted of nine completed SS-9 launch groups (each group consists of six type TIC launch sites) and a tenth group, launch group A.

By 1973, of the 26 more hardened type IIIF launch sites under construction at five SS-9 complexes, the six sites at the Dombarovskiy ICBM Complex launch group A were the most advanced inconstruction. Additionally, it was the only deployed type IIIF launch group to have a type IIIX site and to have formerly completed type IIIC launch sites undergoing conversion to the type IIIF launch sites. Construction activity in launch group A at the Dombarovskiy ICBM Complex indicated that when completed the group would consist of 11 sites (one type IIX and ten type IIIF).

Launch group A, 5 nm west of the complex rail-to-road transfer point, is the oldest launch group at this complex and was completed by August 1966. No changes were noted in the group until December 1970, when construction began for new sites within or near this launch group. By March 1971 five launch sites, designated type IIIF, were under construction. The pace of construction for these five sites was very slow until November 1972, when construction was apparently halted. A resumption of construction activity was observed with the beginning of a program to convertthe formerly completed type IIIC launch sites to the more hardened type IIIF site started by April 1973.

Launch group A consisted of 11 sites: one type IIIX, six type IIIF, andfour type IIIC. The type IIIX site, site 75, was originally identified as a type IIIF launchsite under construction in December 1970, but was redesignated in March 1973 when construction activity, unique to type IIIX construction, was identified. Four of the six type IIIF launch sites (sites 72-74 and 76) were identified under construction by May 1971. The other two, sites 1A and 2A, were formerly completed type IIIC launch sites but were redesignated as type III Fs when conversion activity was identified. Based on observed activity, as of 1973 at least two and most likely all four of the completed type IIIC launch sites in this group also would be converted to the type IIIF site.

Site 75 could be confirmed as a type IIIX site when a type IIIX door and door housing ring were on the silo apron and a rectangularsubsurface building was under construction perpendicular to the silo apron. This building was similar in size (125 by 20 feet) and appearance to a building at the type IIIX sites at the Derazhnya and Pervomaysk SSM complexes and at the Tyuratam Missile Test Center. Construction at site 75 progressed slowly in the early stages, with the insertionof at least four silo wall segments into the site. Two of the segments appeared to be 30 feet high, while the other two were 20 feet high. A fifth segment was not seen at this site, although five segments were installed in the type IIIX sites at the Derazhnya and Pervomaysk SSM complexes. After the insertion of the segments no external construction at this site was observed. At that time a silo door and door housing were on the silo apron. When observed the silo door and door housing ring had been moved to a position under the bridge crane and the rectangular subsurface building was partially roofed.

New construction activity was observed at completed SS-9 launch sites 1A and 2A. This activity was identified as the beginning of aprogram to convert some of the type IIC launch sites to the more hardened type IIIF launch sites. At these two sites all type IIIC silo components including the silo door, silo liner, headworks, and personnel access were removed. The paving blocks were removed from the silo apron, the apron was widened and regraded, and new paving blocks were installed. Type IIIF launch site construction materials were first seen at site 2A, when the bridge crane was assembled and two silo wall segments were under construction on the apron. Launch site 1A was still being dismantled when observed.

New construction activity first observed at SS-9 launchgroup control site 3A indicated an increased group support role for this site. Two buildings had been started near the group support area. One building was next to one of the two original group support buildings, while the other building was approximately 300 feet further south. Another area of new construction was approximately 400 feet south of launch site3A. This area consisted of one semipermanent building under construction, and foundations for two more buildings. A small support camp was nearby with nine small buildings and eight tents.

New cable trenches were identified in the group connecting three of the type IIIF launch sites and the type IIIX site to SS-9 control site 3A. This indicated that control site 3A would at least have a portion of the group control responsibilities.

A large number of silo components were in the receiving area of the complex support facilities. There were four type IIIF silo doors, components for at least four type IIF silo door housings, two type IIIX headworks components, and a large amount of unidentified materials. This material confirmed that at least two of the remaining four completed SS-9 launch sites would be converted to the type IIIF launch site. The other two complete SS-9 launch sites also were expected to be converted.

On July 30, 1988, the first regiment armed with RS-20B Voyevoda missiles was placed on combat duty in the Dombarovka missile formation in the Orenburg region. With a takeoff weight of over 210 tonnes, the missile's maximum range is 11,000 kilometres and can carry a payload of 8,800 kilograms. The 8.8-tonne warhead includes ten independently targetable re-entry vehicles whose total power is equal to 1,200 Hiroshima nuclear bombs. A single missile can totally eliminate 500 square kilometres of enemy defences. By 1990, Voyevoda missiles had been placed on combat duty in divisions stationed outside of Uzhur, Krasnoyarsk Territory, and Derzhavinsk, Kazakhstan. Eighty-eight Voyevoda launch sites had been deployed by 1992.

The Yasnenskoye rocket compound continues to receive ARS-14KM filling stations. The ARS-14KM auto-filling station is designed for degassing, decontamination and disinfection of weapons and military equipment, separate areas of terrain and roads, temporary storage and transportation of water and degassing solutions, equipping them with various containers and special treatment kits, as well as for pumping liquid from one container to another, creating aerosol curtains, heating working solutions.

With the help of the ARS-14KM auto-filling station, an aerosol curtain is created for the hidden movement of the Strategic Missile Forces units. In addition, these stations are widely used for degassing, decontamination and disinfection of weapons, military and special equipment. In 2021, the rate of receipt of the latest models of equipment for the RCB protection troops for the Strategic Missile Forces was maintained.

Rearmament to the new Avangard missile system, decent monetary allowance, affordable housing, free places for children of military personnel in kindergartens and schools - this and much more makes the Yasnensky missile unit, which has been commanded by Major General Andrei Cherevko since 2018, one of the most attractive in the Strategic Missile Forces.

Its first commander was appointed a participant in the Great Patriotic War, Colonel Dmitry Chaplygin, who became Major General in 1967, and two years later the Hero of Socialist Labor.

At the time of the appointment of Colonel Chaplygin to the post, the division did not yet exist as such, and its place of deployment was an open steppe. In addition, the compound was to master the latest strategic missile systems. At the cost of hard work and competent organization of combat training, the task was completed - in November 1966, the first regiment took up combat duty. In 1968, the division was awarded the Order of the Red Banner for its successes in strengthening the combat power of the state.

By January 1971, all the division's missile regiments were on alert. With the development of missile weapons and equipment, the division's ballistic missile systems were also improved. Thanks to this, the regiments were removed from combat duty according to the schedule and re-equipped with the new R-36M missile system. By October 1980, the division was completely re-armed, taking over full force on combat duty.

In 1982-1992, the missile regiments were again re-equipped with the most modern and powerful nuclear missile weapons. The stage of the 1970s was repeated, but at a qualitatively new level. In 1999, at the request of the administration of the Orenburg region and the command of the formation, by the decree of the President of the Russian Federation, the division was given the honorary name "Orenburgskaya".

In accordance with the training plan for the Strategic Missile Forces (Strategic Missile Forces), from October 1 to 12, 2011, under the leadership of the Deputy Commander of the Strategic Missile Forces, Lieutenant General Valery Mazurov, a final inspection of the Yasnensky missile formation stationed in the Orenburg region was carried out. The main objectives of the test are to determine the real state of combat readiness of the missile formation, the ability to perform combat missions, to study and evaluate the organizational activities of commanders and chiefs in maintaining combat readiness, leadership of subordinate military units and subunits, as well as to provide assistance in resolving problematic issues.

In the course of its work, the commission studied and assessed the ability of the divisions and military units to carry out the tasks assigned to them, taking into account the changes in their organizational and staff structure and bringing the Strategic Missile Forces to a new combat and numerical strength, and also analyzed the activities to organize countering terrorism.

As part of the final check with the formation, a command post exercise was conducted under the leadership of the commander of the Orenburg missile formation, during which the level of training and coherence of divisional headquarters, military units and subunits was assessed in the implementation of measures for preparing combat actions and controlling subordinates in the course of their conduct.

Also, during the audit, the system of work of the officers of the formation for the prevention of incidents and crimes, the maintenance of military discipline and law and order, the security of military service, the safety of weapons, ammunition, weapons and military equipment, material resources was studied and the effectiveness of its functioning was determined. The inspectors paid special attention to studying the moral and psychological state of servicemen and members of their families, helping them in resolving social and domestic issues.

The general conclusion drawn from the results of the check is that the Yasnenskoye missile formation is combat-ready, capable of successfully completing tasks in accordance with its intended purpose in a timely manner. All checked military units of the division were assessed positively.

In March 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke for the first time about the creation of the Avangard strategic complex with an intercontinental ballistic missile equipped with a gliding cruise warhead. The warhead was developed by NPO Mashinostroyenia (Reutov, Moscow Region) and has been tested since 2004. As noted by the military, the missile system has capabilities that make it possible to carry out a guaranteed breakthrough of any enemy air defense systems. Vanguard specifications were not officially disclosed.

Russian missile forces received the first Avangard complexes in 2019. The hypersound of Putin, according to the plan, "takes over" in 2019. The Yasnenskoye missile compound is already completely ready: the complexes have been delivered, the infrastructure had been built. The construction of the infrastructure for the first regiment, which will operate and maintain the Avangard missile systems, has already been completed, the Defense Ministry said.

The commander of the Strategic Missile Forces, Colonel-General Sergei Karakaev, said that the acceptance into operation of the fifth generation mobile missile systems Yars and Avangard continued. The Yasnensky missile formation had completed the deployment of infrastructure for a missile regiment with Avangard complexes. They will take up combat duty by the end of 2019. The Defense Ministry added that in total in 2019 at least 31 silo launchers of the Yars and Avangard missile systems are to take up combat duty.

At the forefront of rearmament, on December 26, 2018, after another successful test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile from the positional area of the Yasnensky missile formation, conducted by the servicemen of the test base of the 4th State Central Inter-Service Range, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin said: “Already next year the Avangard system will go into service, a regiment will be formed, which will begin combat duty."

“So, a year later, in December 2019, the first regiment in Russia, armed with Avangard missile systems, took up combat duty,” says the regiment commander, Colonel Maxim Zotov. - Now the regiment is almost one hundred percent staffed, so this summer only two lieutenants were assigned to us. One from the Military Academy of the Strategic Missile Forces named after Peter the Great, and the other from its Serpukhov branch. The guys are very intelligent and intelligent. They know the modern equipment of our missile system. I am sure that they will become good rocket scientists. Differences between old missiles and new ones? Yes, it is, in principle, a different rocket: better, more reliable and more modern.

This missile division is located in the Orenburg region, while the distance from the point of permanent deployment to Orenburg is about 500 kilometers. This distance makes this formation the most distant of all rocket divisions from the capital of its region. For comparison: in second place on this list is the Uzhur missile division, located 300 kilometers from Krasnoyarsk.

“Young officers go to the Yasnenskaya missile division willingly,” says Colonel Vladimir Podduev, deputy commander of the division for military-political work. - This year the personnel of the division has grown by almost 40 lieutenants, of which about 10 are graduates of civilian educational institutions. Moreover, over the past 10 years in the division there was not a single case when the lieutenant did not reach Yasnoye. And not because of insufficient logistics, but because of a reluctance to serve in the army or would have written a letter of resignation at the same time as his arrival. But there was such a thing. In the same zero, young lieutenants fled en masse to civilian life. But now everyone wants to serve and grow further. What is the money allowance for the lieutenant in the missile regiment now? About 75 thousand rubles. And this is without a surcharge for the successful delivery of tests in physical fitness. For comparison: in the Orenburg region, the minimum wage is 14 thousand. The difference is obvious.

Affordable housing is one of the main advantages of serving in the Yasnenskaya missile division. Upon arrival at the compound, all lieutenants, if they are family, are settled in separate comfortable apartments, and the bachelors in the hostel. And right away. If there are children, then they are immediately out of turn, depending on age, are accepted either in kindergarten or in school. This question is one of the key ones, and it is kept under the control of both the commander of the division, Major General Andrei Cherevko, and the head of ZATO Komarovsky. There are no particular problems with the employment of wives, and not only lieutenants.

"The range of specialties of the wives of our servicemen has become wider," adds Colonel Podduev. "Now it is not only teachers, doctors and lawyers, but we have an individual approach to each new family, and we are making every effort to help the wife of a serviceman. For example, not so long ago a captain was transferred to our division. Received housing and moved to the Yasny family. I ask him: “Maxim, what about the work for your wife? What is your specialty "? It turned out that she was a psychologist. The issue was resolved on the spot. On the same day, we took her as a psychologist to our division."

Not so long ago, the repair of the road surface and sidewalks in the closed city was completed. The housing stock of the military camp was repaired. New sports towns and playgrounds have appeared. The stadium was completely reconstructed. There is a cinema with new equipment within walking distance from ZATO. And the films there are the same as in all of Russia. A new Vostok stadium with artificial turf has been built. Nearby there is a year-round sports complex "Arena", ice and football grounds.

In addition to the younger generation, the Yasnenskaya missile division does not forget about the veterans of the formation. For a long time, a branch of the Interregional Public Organization of Veterans of the Orenburg Missile Army has been successfully operating in Yasnoye, which has been headed by Retired Colonel Andrei Korenkov since 2019.

“There are about 70 veterans of military service in our organization,” says Andrey Korenkov. - The main task is to provide assistance to former colleagues, as well as to rally them. This is necessary so that no one considers themselves forgotten in retirement. Traditionally, on the eve of various holidays, be it Victory Day or Strategic Missile Forces Day, we petition the division command to encourage three or four of our veterans. I can tell you on my own that it is pleasant to receive a diploma or an anniversary medal even in retirement. The man sees that the division remembers him and that, having gone on a well-deserved rest, he was not left alone. I would like to note that this year for the first time in the history of the Orenburg missile formation and our organization on the Day of the Strategic Missile Forces, as part of a solemn meeting, there will be a veteran box on the parade ground. And she will come out not just to stand.

Despite the fact that Yasny is located quite far from large cities, most of the servicemen, when retiring, remain in ZATO. This is due to the fact that Komarovsky does not scare people away, but, on the contrary, makes him fall in love with his comfort. In addition, the local veteran organization is very closely involved in the issue of employment of military pensioners.

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Page last modified: 18-02-2022 19:01:03 ZULU