18:35 GMT +319 October 2019
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    Russian paratroopers gathered round a Mi-26 helicopter during drills in the country's Western Military District. File photo

    'Best of the Best': Meet Russia's Airborne Strike Forces

    © Sputnik / Igor Russak
    Military & Intelligence
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    Commenting on the establishment of special strike groups within the Russian Airborne troops, Moscow-based military expert Viktor Litovkin told Sputnik that this status is related to those units which have reached the highest level of military skill.

    On Saturday, Russian Airborne Troops commander Andrey Serdyukov said that the strike groups have been formed within the country's Airborne Forces.

    He touted these groups as flawless military units in terms of staffing and security, as well as the results of personnel training.

    Serdyukov added that this status pertains to one regimental tactical group and one battalion tactical group within the Pskov air assault division, as well as several battalions and several company tactical groups and reconnaissance units.

    Servicemen of a special purpose unit of Russia's Southern Military District during drills on airborne landing from the Mi-8AMTSh helicopters. File photo
    © Sputnik / Vitaliy Timkiv
    Servicemen of a special purpose unit of Russia's Southern Military District during drills on airborne landing from the Mi-8AMTSh helicopters. File photo

    Speaking to Sputnik, Russian military expert Viktor Litovkin said that the strike status is assigned to the most combat-effective military units.

    "These are units which that have achieved high results in combat training, and which have reached a certain level of military skill, coherence and ability to fight in modern-day conditions," Litovkin said.

    According to him, these strike units, which are equipped with the most advanced military equipment, are capable of carrying out the tasks assigned to them by the command within the shortest possible time frame.

    "I lay emphasis on the word 'strike' precisely because they are, of course, the best of the best," Litovkin pointed out. 

    He also stressed that the status of a strike group is assigned in line with an order issued by the Russian Defense Minister. 

    Litovkin recalled that "once we had the guards units in the Soviet Army, a status that was given on the basis of World War II results."

    "As for the Russian airborne strike forces, they will have to prove this honorable status annually. They should make themselves into an avatar of the modern army and navy of Russia. And they must regularly confirm their high military skills and mission," he concluded.

    The Russian Airborne Troops remain an elite force, on par with the Strategic Rocket Forces.

    First formed before the Second World War, the troops undertook a spate of significant airborne operations and a number of smaller jumps during WWII. 

    For many years after 1945 the troops was the largest airborne force in the world.

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    command, military equipment, skill, unit, strike groups, airborne troops, World War II, Russia
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