Special Operations: Russian Special Operations Troops Become More Special


December 4, 2013: Russia is forming a new major command, the VDV (Rapid Reaction Force) which will consist of the current airborne, special operations, and marine troops. All these will operate under one VDV commander and VDV staff. The air force and navy will supply transportation in addition to vehicles each unit has and access to the national railroads. The air force and navy will also provide fire support as needed. The VDV staff will prepare and maintain lists of potential trouble spots and come up with a plan for which VDV units can most quickly respond and exactly how they will do that.

VDV will have control of about ten percent of Russian military personnel. This is also the most skilled lethal personnel in the Russian military. They are a diverse group. Currently Russia has ten Spetsnaz special operations brigades with about 12,000 of these elite troops in service. The Spetsnaz brigades contain about 1,600 troops, at full strength, and the army is still having a hard time getting volunteers for these units. Airborne forces consist of four divisions and four separate brigades of airborne (parachute and air landing) troops with a total strength of 35,000 troops. There are about 9,000 marines, which include several hundred naval commandos. VDV will also have some support troops based with their fighting units.

Russia has long used these units as quick reaction forces but now that will be the main task of these elite units and more money and effort will be applied to improve skills and speed of execution.


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