Russia: September 24, 2003


Efforts to upgrade the combat capabilities of the armed forces are getting serious. There is now more money for pilots to fly training missions and maintain their skills, and for spare parts and maintenance on aircraft to keep the aircraft flyable. The many combat missions flown in Chechnya have also given Russia hundreds of combat experienced pilots. In  the navy, where money is now available for shipyard refits and spare parts, sailors are getting more experience. There is fuel for more training time at sea than locals around naval bases have seen since the 1980s.  But the army is still a major problem, because there is still no NCO corps (as in Western armies), and too many officers who still thing they are in the Soviet Era Red Army. The army has more money for new equipment and training, but so far true reform has only been implemented in a few divisions and special brigades. The rest of the army is mired in corruption and bad habits.


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