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MOSCOW, November 18, /ITAR-TASS/. The General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces is completing the development of the Rapid Reaction Forces concept. The forces will be based on the airborne troops (VDV), the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper reported.
“After the approval of the concept by Russia’s Security Council, a number of organizational measures aimed at the formation of this component will be determined,” VDV Commander, Colonel-General Vladimir Shamanov said. The new combat arm will be formed in the near future.
The creation of the Rapid Reaction Forces will most likely be announced in early December 2013 at the final meeting of the collegium of the Russian Defense Ministry, which Supreme Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Putin plans to attend.
Meanwhile, the general structure of the troops that will be included in the Rapid Reaction Forces has already been determined. General Shamanov had previously said that the Rapid Reaction Forces “under the single command under the leadership of the General Staff should unite the VDV, Special Operations Forces, with affiliated special forces brigades, forces and units of the Marine Corps in the seaside areas. As a result of this, the country, that has 50,000 kilometers of land borders and washed by the seas and oceans on three sides, in addition to four strategic operational commands will have the fifth - mobile operational strategic command that will make it possible to promptly respond to threats and challenges both within and outside the country.”
“Conferring the operational strategic command functions on the Rapid Reaction Forces’ command and staff will entail a major restructuring in the command and control of all the Armed Forces, especially the command of the Ground Forces and military districts. This means a higher responsibility and greater importance of this military command body for Russia’s defense,” a military expert, Lieutenant-General Yuri Netkachev, told Nezavisimaya Gazeta.
“The formation of the Rapid Reaction Forces within the army is not Russia’s knowhow. For example, the United States had developed the rapid reaction forces’ concept back in the 1980s. NATO has a rapid reaction force since 2004. Therefore, the formation of the Rapid Reaction Forces in the Russian army is an important task,” a military expert, Colonel Vladimir Popov believes.
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