Motorized infantry brigade to Northern Fleet
On December 1 2012, the 200. motorized infantry brigade based in Pechenga close to the border to Norway becomes part of the Northern Fleet.
The Northern Fleet today announced that the 200. independent motorized infantry brigade will become part of the Northern Fleet. The brigade was planned to become one of two so-called Arctic Brigades, with soldiers trained in a special program and equipped with modern personal equipment for military operations in Arctic conditions. The Arctic Brigades were originally planned to be established in 2011, but was later postponed until 2015, when Russia receives new vehicles designed for operations in the Arctic.
“Today the Northern Fleet concluded a series of events related to incorporation of the independent brigade located above the Arctic Circle close to the Norwegian border. From December 1 the brigade’s personnel starts doing service in the fleet”, Northern Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Vladimir Korolev said according to B-port.
According to Korolev, the incorporation of the 200. independent motorized infantry brigade into the Northern Fleet means that the Kola Peninsula will get a powerful land-based force which includes units from the rifle brigade, coastal missile and artillery troops and the Northern Fleet’s Naval Infantry.
Both Vice Admiral Korolev and Commander of the Northern Fleet’s coastal defense troops Major General Andrey Gushchin have inspected the 200. brigade’s garrisons and talked to the officers and soldiers ahead of the incorporation. Korolev emphasized the importance of reception and education of recruits that are about to start their service in the Northern Fleet and gave several tasks on strengthening of military discipline, law and order.
There have been reports about problems with military discipline in the brigade's its garrisons.
The 200. independent motorized infantry brigade was established in 1997 after a regrouping of the former 131. motorized infantry division. The brigade is located in the Pechenga-Luostari area just some kilometers from the border to Norway and has its headquarters in the settlement of Pechenga.
The brigade includes infantry regiments, a tank battalion, various artillery battalions, an engineer battalion, an air defense missile battalion and other units, according to Wikipedia.