Russia to reorganize military forces in the Arctic
Russia’s Northern Fleet will be the base of a new strategic formation – Northern Fleet-United Strategic Command - that will have as its main objective to defend Russia’s interests in the Arctic. The new formation will include forces on the border to Norway and in the high Arctic.
Northern Fleet-United Strategic Command (Severny Flot-Obedinyonnoye Strategicheskoye Komandovaniye, SF-OSK) will be established already in 2014, a source says to ITAR-TASS.
According to the source, the establishment of the new formation is a result of the need to defend Russia’s national interests in the Arctic, including providing security for its naval and civilian vessels and protection of its natural resources.
The strategic command will have status of a military district, although it will not be called so officially. In that way, the number of military districts in Russia will not change – they will still be four.
SF-OSK will consist of the Northern Fleet and units of other military branches located in the northern parts of the country. This will probably include the 200. motorized infantry brigade based in Pechenga close to the border to Norway. This unit became part of the Northern Fleet in December 2012. Also newly formed units on Novaya Zemlya, the New Siberian Islands and Franz Josef Land will also be part of SF-OSK, ITAR-TASS reports.
The Russian Air Force in October 2013 re-opened the Temp airfield on the Kotelny Island, which is planned to be the first in a chain of similar bases all along the northern coast of Russia.