“Afghan approach”: why pilots and paratroopers conducted a large-scale joint exercises

October 25, near Ulyanovsk, our troops stormed the hijacked airport. And I must say, the insurgents had no chance to thirty Il-76, 2500 Marines, attack planes, bombers. Real fighting, with the difference that the militants of the conditional, and the assault and landing training. Today it is the most large-scale joint exercises of airborne troops and Military transport aviation (VTA) videoconferencing in modern history.

In the army, October is the month of the final exercises. Relatively speaking, right now each of the genera and species of troops passes a certain examination. And I went to “take” it from airborne and VTA videoconferencing in Ulyanovsk. Military transport aviation is an integral part of OLG. One of the objectives of it — the landing of airborne units, therefore, these joint exercises are aimed at testing the interaction of these two forces.

To prepare for the exercise began in good time. 30 Il-76 aircraft and 10 Antonov-2 lifted into the air and threw three airfield in the Krasnodar region. Here they loaded more than 2,500 paratroopers, who had to throw under the Ulyanovsk.

…On the ground cold but almost windless. The sky then clears, then again, clouds leaden clouds. For landing no wind is a huge plus – will not carry.

The first point Marines will take a strong point of terrorists. This complex of buildings surrounded by a fence. The item must be captured, and the terrorists knocked out and destroyed. The landing will be from the An-2. By the way, this is one of the oldest types of aircraft standing on the arms. It was developed in 1947 and since then, the “corncob” is the faith and truth. Each An-2 about 20 paratroopers. Notice that half of them – the usual large white parachutes, but the second party already uses some smaller “dome” in dark gray.

– And why do some white parachutes, and other gray?

Grey is the new parachutes. They are called “Crossbow.” Use their special forces, says the acting Deputy commander of the airborne troops for airborne training Mikhail Osipenko.

– They’re from the usual D-6 or D-10 differ?

– They are more maneuverable. If the normal D-6 you, where the plane landed, about the same place and land, the “Crossbows” assault you can throw away 20 kilometers from the proposed place of landing. Trooper driving such a wing will fly to the desired point.

– And manage them, perhaps, more difficult?

– Of course. Before learning the paratrooper must have 25 jumps with D-6 and D-10. And then another 2 months to learn to control the “Crossbow”.

As we speak, at the base of the terrorists has already begun the fight. Several explosions at a wall of gunfire. At some point half of the complex of buildings of the clouds of smoke. After just a few minutes after landing and that’s already a strong point under their control. But this is only the beginning. Now we move closer to the airport “Ulyanovsk-Vostochny”. According to the script he’s captured by terrorists and now by video conferencing and VDV it has to be free. First, the place of operation must be cleaned from the militants. Therefore, the su-34 bombers simulate attack on terrorist groups.

– If su-34 is really kind of a blow, then this field a little that remains, says standing next to Colonel SCD.

The drop zone in the sky “monitor” interceptor MiG-31. Their task is to keep track of all unidentified objects and destroy them, whether it be an enemy aircraft or missiles of all types. Before landing the main landing, two Il-76 “throw” group guidance – about 200 people.

Even this number looks impressive in the air. By the way, the area for unfamiliar paratroopers. As in all of life.

– What if the straps get confused? I ask Mikhail Osipenko.

– Then tangled the straps cut, he explains. – In General, still on the ground operation down count so that no one each other did not interfere. But the paratrooper must be ready for any situation.

The task of the group guidance was to prepare a landing zone for the main assault. But landed the soldiers to unfasten the parachute and begin to carefully lay.

– Do in real combat situation will also collect the parachutes? – I’m surprised.

– Of course not. There unbuckled and ran, – Asipenka said, watching his subordinates. Here, we simplify the task. In a real combat situation they will be landed on the pre-stripped area. Because otherwise what’s the point in that troops shot in the air? And there landed, and ran to accomplish their mission.

But on the horizon there is the first pair of Il-76. And behind them — again and again.

Starts first time. Landing of 18 aircraft landed for 7 minutes. The first 1000 people hang in the air. It seems that the sky in those parachutes. First the idea was to count them, but I quickly got lost and left the idea. Wind is almost there. So if not shooting in the distance, it would look like it all very calming.

Aircraft flying in tight formation, very clear and accurate.

After the flight, the Colonel Sergey Voloshin, the squadron commander, said that he commanded no Board in his area of responsibility was the supervision of all military order.

– If someone lags behind or goes off course, it corrects the trailing crews. Roughly speaking, we have the entire order of battle, — he explained.

Here’s the second run, another 1,000 people. Just incredible, how can you coordinate such a number of men. Each pair of Il-76 after landing again shoots flares. Probation because we are in enemy territory, and there is a possibility that man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS). When finally all on the ground and arrived at a conditional point, we can assume that this phase is over. Our airport.

Then worked through the last episode – landing 20 Il-76 (10 planes returned to base at Ivanovo). It would seem that here difficult, but sits will be the “Afghan approach”. As the name suggests, where I first practiced this method of planting. To reduce the time spent in the air and thereby reduce the likelihood that aircraft will be shot down and the pilots literally dive to the runway. The plane is landing, not with his nose and dropping speed, but on the contrary sharply down. Before entering the shooting of heat traps in case all the same the enemy decides to use MANPADS. The aircraft performs a maneuver at maximum capacity – the maximum rate of descent for maximum roll when turning. Exactly two minutes passed since the plane shown on the horizon to when it’s landing gear in contact with a landing strip. And every time surprised at the skill of the pilots who put this 210-ton machine, bringing it almost out of the dive.

Finally, the last Il landed, exercises to be completed.

The commander of Military transport aviation, Lieutenant-General Vladimir Benediktov said that this drill, the likes of which modern history is not performed, it is still a tribute to the unjustly forgotten past.

To say that this is the first or unique teachings must be wrong out of respect for those who created a transport aircraft, to those who taught us, he said. — Everything that happened today is a repetition of undeservedly forgotten past.

– Overall, are you satisfied with how things worked?

– May not be probably all without comment, but I can responsibly say that today the BTA is on the wing, the crews of many young professionals, who are able to carry out combat missions, said the Benedictine.

Mikhail Osipenko, too, was pleased with the result.

– How are you grading fighters?

– Evaluation clearly “excellent”!


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