Military training is tough at times and some of the areas that military personnel are required to access are remote, with the difficulty of coping in such environments being one of the biggest challenges that troops have to contend with. These are some of the experiences that the Russian Northern Fleet contingent is facing in the Arctic.
For some time, snowmobiles have been the main means of transport in the snowy region where temperatures are quite low. The challenge of using them is that they have been running out of gas or breaking down in the rugged terrain making it difficult for troops to continue their operations normally.
As a result, there has been found need to identify an alternative means of accessing remote areas that other modes of transport have a challenge accessing. Finally, the troops have opted to use huskies and reindeer for training and operation purposes. Not only are they fit for this environment characterized by low temperatures, but they have made it possible for the Arctic-motorized infantry brigade of the Russians, to access some of the most remote locations.
The Murmiansk region close to the village of Lovozero played host to the first training that the brigade held for what is supposed to give rise to special units, adapted to such a setting. At temperatures as low as 30 degrees Celcius, soldiers could be seen using traditional transport in the company of Arctic animals during the training.
This was done with the help of native herders in the area. Skilled mushers on the other hand, took time to enlighten the Russian soldiers on how the huskies and reindeer should be managed borrowing from wisdom that has lasted several centuries. For scouts, theirs was to work on tactical elements of the raid action in addition to use of the same as well as training on the control of the animal-drawn sledges.
The training was certainly a success and when they were finally done, the reconnaissance troops were delivered by the animals to their warm camping site, where chums were put up within a very short time in the extreme weather conditions. A chum is the name used to refer to traditional nomadic tents used in the area.
The ultimate plan is to have Russian troops deployed to the Arctic by 2018 who will not only be equipped with the high-tech weaponry required, but also arctic animals to help them find their way around the area. Currently, the Defense Ministry is working on the establishment of several facilities from Franz Josef to the Bering Strait.
Building and restoration tasks in this area began in 2012 after desolations that were experienced here, that had lasted decades. A similar situation was experienced during World War II when the Soviet Army put in place the only reindeer transport battalion known to the whole world at the time. More than 10,000 reindeer were set at the Karelian Front and this became the only successful operation by the military in such an environment to date.
Borrowing from this, it is certain that current efforts will definitely bear positive results and much more than what was achieved formerly.