Who sold Alaska? Russian paratroopers and marines are ready to correct the mistake
This post was published in Free Press. The point of view expressed in this article is authorial and do not necessarily reflect BM`s editorial stance.
MOSCOW, (BM) – On September 21, 2020, the Russian-American geopolitical confrontation in the Arctic entered a new, very dangerous stage. Never before have our artillery and heavy machine guns rumbled so close to the coast of the United States as on this day.
What happened? In short, the marines of the Northern Fleet, under cover of the artillery of the large anti-submarine ship Severomorsk, from the large landing ship Kondopoga landed on the unequipped coast of Provideniya Bay in the Anadyr Bay of the Bering Sea. Then on standard equipment – armored personnel carriers BTR-82A and specially designed for military operations in the Arctic two-link tractors DT-10P “Vityaz” – “black berets” made a march to the area of the settlement of Ureliki. Where, as it is politically correct in the press release of the RF Ministry of Defense, they took part in “blocking and destroying illegal armed groups with the execution of live fire”.
Although, in fact, this time in front of us in the official paper is an example of great military-bureaucratic stupidity and thoughtless adherence to templates. God have mercy, what kind of “illegal armed formations” are there in the deserted and almost the whole year filled with impenetrable snows in the expanses of Chukotka? What is the combat mission of the mythical terrorist gangs, if they suddenly started up there by some unknown means, could they solve on the shores of the cold Anadyr Bay?
An important circumstance: for the landing of amphibious assault forces in Provideniya Bay, the Northern Fleet’s naval group consisting of the Severomorsk large landing craft, the Kondopoga large landing craft, the Pamir rescue tug and the Ilya Muromets icebreaker, from August 5, 2020, made the most difficult crossing in the polar ice with a total length of 4.5 thousand nautical miles. September 20 through the Bering Strait, our unit came into the Pacific Ocean. And such difficulties were overcome by naval sailors solely for the sake of a training “fight against illegal armed groups” in Chukotka?
It is clear after all that the belligerent press-release formulations of the Ministry of Defense are not really worth a dime. They are simply written in the spirit of the times for a diversion. The main thing is obvious to everyone on both sides of the Pacific Ocean: last Monday, Moscow sent a new and very clear warning to the United States from Chukotka. Because the big fire took place only a hundred kilometers away from the American island of St. Lawrence, administratively part of the state of Alaska. And only 270 kilometers from the coast of Alaska itself.
Therefore, the military demonstration that took place in Providence Bay instantly acquired a dagger-like political acuity for Washington. The essence of this warning, I believe, is this: day after day you are escalating the military-political situation in the Black and Baltic Seas near our Crimea and Kaliningrad? We also know where your “Achilles’ heel” is. This is Alaska, which is just a stone’s throw from the Russian shores. We will put pressure on her in response for Sevastopol and Kaliningrad. And it hurts a lot for Washington.
In order to make sure that this is exactly the case, that the Monday landing in Providence Bay is not an isolated episode, but part of a meaningful “policy of containment” on the part of Moscow, it is enough, I think, just to give a list of exercises of Russian paratroopers in these parts for the last year and a half. If you look at the map, it turns out very clearly: they are all without a doubt aimed specifically at Alaska!
Some confusion of the West in front of this reality was most clearly manifested last fall. The British newspaper Daily Express called the launch of the Russian supersonic cruise missile P-800 “Onyx” from Chukotka, which took place on September 27, 2017, “a dramatic moment.” And then the video from these exercises of the Pacific Fleet was published – “terrifying”.
In fact, on that day, the launcher of the mobile coastal missile system RK-300 “Bastion-P” of the 520th separate coastal missile and artillery brigade of the Pacific Fleet was transferred to Chukotka on a large landing ship. Under its own power, it made a march along a deserted snow-covered road and directly from the road, together with the Varyag missile cruiser and the Tomsk multipurpose nuclear submarine, launched a missile strike at a target ship in the Chukchi Sea from a distance of 350 kilometers.
Presumably, the Western military immediately understood the very “transparent” signal from Russia addressed to them. This Onyx, which came from almost nowhere, at a speed of Mach 2, was then directed at a target ship near Alaska. And if something happened, it could hit anything on the territory of the American state itself. This cruise missile, which was previously considered exclusively anti-ship, clearly demonstrated such technical capabilities in Syria back in 2016. When, in a semi-desert area, with amazing accuracy she destroyed a well-fortified militants’ ammunition depot.
Six months have passed and another equally large-scale maneuver of the same kind took place in Kamchatka in July 2020. In addition to ships, aviation and coastal missile and artillery troops, both brigades of the Pacific Fleet marines took part in them almost in full force – the 155th separate (Vladivostok) and the 40th separate Krasnodar-Harbin twice Red Banner (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky). In total there are 4 thousand servicemen and about 500 pieces of equipment. At the same time, the “Kamchatka” depicted the defenders. And their colleagues, who arrived from Vladivostok, under the cover of aviation and artillery, a group of small missile and small anti-submarine ships fought for a landing on an unequipped coast.
On August 12, 2020, the Pacific Fleet marines for the first time in history landed a parachute assault on an unfamiliar site on the Commander Islands, located in the southwestern part of the Bering Sea. The landing was carried out from the An-26 military transport aircraft. “Black berets” used the latest parachute systems “Crossbow”. As announced, during the exercise, “the Marines improved their jumping skills in full combat gear with standard weapons, organizing the defense of the facility in a tight time frame.”
Less than a month ago, from August 24 to September 1, in the water area of the Bering Sea, in the Anadyr Bay, on the Chukotka Peninsula and in Kamchatka, under the leadership of the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Nikolai Evmenov, a large-scale exercise of the Pacific Fleet “Ocean Shield-2020” took place. The missile cruiser Varyag and the nuclear-powered submarine Omsk carried out a joint missile strike against a sea target in the Bering Sea.
Then, for the first time in history, a combined airborne assault was landed on the coast of Chukotka. The Bastion coastal mobile missile systems fired at a complex target in the water area of the Anadyr Bay. Finally, a tactical group of corvettes conducted artillery fire at the coastal target, which was out of sight.
If indeed all this over the course of just the last six months by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is aimed specifically at Alaska (which I personally have no doubt about!), Then what ground forces (a fairly strong aviation grouping of the 11th Air Force of the US Air Force this time leave out of brackets) can a probable enemy resist our landing there?
First of all, by two brigades of the 25th Division: 1st Stryker (Fort Wainwright) and 4th Infantry (Fort Richardson). In addition, in Fort Richardson deployed 2nd separate engineering team and 53rd battalion communications. And Fort Wainwright is home to the Arctic Training Center.
In addition, units of the US National Guard are on the other side of the Bering Strait. Its 297th Combat Patrol Brigade controls the most remote areas of the coast. There is also a training regiment, a military police battalion and an army aviation battalion.
Small garrisons are deployed at the military base on the Adak Island, which is part of the Aleutian Archipelago, and in the port of Nome.
In principle, it is not so little for only two brigades of the marines of the Russian Pacific Fleet. But, firstly, as the current exercises in Providence Bay show, in the event of a military threat in the struggle for Alaska, the marines of the 61st separate Kirkenes Red Banner Marine Brigade of the Northern Fleet are also ready to join the Pacific.
And, secondly, we must not forget about our Airborne Troops in these situations. Without which in such an operation you definitely cannot do.
Meanwhile, the Russian Airborne Forces have also been explicitly and openly preparing for several years to wage fierce hostilities with a strong enemy in the Arctic. For them, this page of the combat chronicle was opened in the spring of 2014. At that time, if not forgotten, the terrible events around the Crimea, which had already rushed to Moscow from the tenacious paws of Kiev, who had gape at the division of power, were boiling with might and main.
So: on March 14, 2014, the first in the history of the Airborne Forces, a mass landing of airborne troops and military equipment in the Arctic was carried out. An airborne battalion from the 98th Ivanovo airborne division, numbering 350 people, took part in the landing.
On the already mentioned parachute systems “Arbalet”, the Ivanovites were landed at the Temp airfield, which is located on the Arctic island of Kotelniy (the Novosibirsk Islands archipelago). According to the legend of the exercises, a strong enemy tried to prevent them on snowmobiles and paragliders. Nevertheless, in less than forty minutes the Temp was captured by the battalion. And immediately prepared to receive heavy military transport aircraft with reinforcements and military equipment.
And in April of this year, a group of “blue berets”, clearly for the first time in history in the Arctic latitudes on special-purpose parachute systems, jumped from a height of 10 thousand meters. That is, from the lower boundary of the stratosphere. For the success of such a risky operation in the Franz Josef Land archipelago, our paratroopers had to put on special oxygen equipment.
What is the practical significance of this record for the Russian Armed Forces? Well, for example, this way you can achieve the surprise of a strike. After all, an echelon of 10 thousand meters is usually used by civilian aircraft, the group landing of “blue berets” usually occurs from an altitude of 400-800 meters.
So let’s imagine: a seemingly ordinary civil liner flies over the same air corridor as usual for this purpose. On the way, the one who is supposed to leave it. Who can expect this on earth?
Naturally, such things in the Airborne Forces are prepared in advance in the Arctic, not necessarily for the capture of Alaska. But why not for her too?
But you must agree: even a simple list of the efforts of the Russian army in this direction makes us shiver chilly from the dangerous prospects not only of the Americans, but also of us. However, the flywheel of the great war creeping over all of us is gaining momentum before our very eyes.
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