Arctic Brigade joins Northern Fleet on exercise along Northern Sea Route

Soldiers and officers from the Northern Fleet on their way to the Kotelny island during an exercise in 2012

A vessel group from Russia’s Northern Fleet on Sunday left its home base of Severomorsk for an expedition along the Northern Sea Route. For the first time, soldiers from the Arctic Brigade in Alakurtti are taking part in the operation.


The frigate “Severomorsk” leads the vessel group, which includes the large landing vessels “Georgiy Pobedonosets” and “Kondopoga”, the tanker “Sergey Osipov” and three support vessels, B-Port  reports.

The vessels will sail along the northern Sea Route, and make calls at several Arctic ports. Commander of the Northern Fleet Admiral Vladimir Korolyov earlier this year said that the task force will sail to the New Siberian Islands, where Russia in 2013 started the process of reopening an old Soviet air base that had been abandoned since the early 1990s.

For the first time, personnel from the so-called Arctic Brigade – the 80. Independent Rifle Brigade in Alakurtti, will take part in the exercise, TV-21 reports.

As BarentsObserver reported, the Arctic Brigade was established in a partly abandoned base some 50 kilometers from Finland, with the first troops arriving in January 2015. They have since then been going through comprehensive training on combat and survival in Arctic conditions.

This is the fourth year in a row that the Northern Fleet is conducting a large exercise focusing on defense of Russia’s important economic assets in the Arctic. The main objective for this year’s exercise is to ensure Russian naval presence in important parts of the World’s Oceans, and to ensure safety for shipping and other economic activity in the Arctic.

Watch video from the Arctic Brigade’s preparations to the expedition on TV-21.