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More on the Military Effectiveness Question

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Russia Navy Blog has a translation of a Russian article investigating the effectiveness of the Army in Georgia. Reaction speed: Good. Communications: Bad, especially with the Air Force. Recon and night operations bad; T-72s and various APCs also bad. For your humble blogger, this was an especially interesting point:

Examining the war one must recognize that the 1998 decision of the Ministry of Defense to withdraw Army Aviation from the Infantry has turned out unsuccessful. In contrast, every American Army Corps has more than 800 helicopters (up to 350 attack helicopters) and a division has 100 to 150.

The War in the Caucusus has shown that Army Aviation regiments were directly subordinated to the unified Air Force command in vain. As a matter of fact it couldn’t allocate aviation assets or give daily assignments to squadrons in support of the motorized troops. It is doubtful that this could be accomplished given the overload of the communications system with requests for support from the infantry. It’s obvious since 58th Army Aviation didn’t participate in operational-tactical and tactical airmobile landings…

It also makes sense to transfer control of Army Aviation from the Air and Air Defense Forces back to the Army and re-establish command of Army Aviation in Combined Arms Armies and Corps. Simultaneously give responsibility for Army Aviation and Air Defense to the CinC Army, the command troops of the military district and the combined arms units along with the re-creation of aviation control detachments. Putting Army Aviation back with the Army allows development of plans in support of the ground troops and also allows approximately a 30 percent reduction in Air Force staffs and increases the effectiveness in the utilization of aviation in the interests of the operations and combat actions of units.

According to the article, the Russian Army and Air Force also need precision guided weapons and better positional locating systems. Altogether, the recommendations more or less suggest that the Russian armed forces need to get themselves “networked”. One interesting point towards the end suggested that the Russian troops fought poorly while surrounded. Also see David Axe on Russian armored forces, and how the Russians cleverly used overwhelming numerical superiority to defeat the Georgians.

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