As previously reported, the Russian Northern Fleet has decided to reestablish its base in Alakurtti, the small town located about 50 km from the border to Finland. Military sources now confirm to newspaper Izvestia that the base will be manned by about 3000 radioelectronics experts.
The Alakurtti base was originally closed in 2009 and operations moved to a unit in Moscow. Now, the Defence Ministry is moving both equipment and manpower back. The base is reportedly to be reopened in the course of 2014. Since 2009, Alakurtti has hosted only a border guard unit.
The reopening of the base could be linked with the current expanded Russian engagement in the Arctic. Enhanced military activities in the region, as well as a more shipping and industrial activities, gives Russia a bigger demand for regional information. A key objective for the new base personnel will be to keep track of international air activities in the Arctic, Izvestia informs.