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Vladimir Missile Association (the Vitebsk Red Banner Guards Missile Army)

In 1960, the 46th artillery training range and the 7th Vitebsk Red Banner Guards gun artillery division of the Supreme High Command Reserve (SHCR) became the initial base for forming three missile brigades re-formed in February 1961 into the 3rd Vitebsk Red Banner Guards Separate Missile Corps’ Administration with simultaneous reorganization of subordinate brigades into missile divisions.

In 1970, the Corps was re-formed into the Vitebsk Red Banner Guards Missile Army. It included the following formations:

  •  the Melitopol" Red Banner missile division (the urban-type settlement [uts] of Yurya, the Kirov Region) armed with missiles R-16. Organizationally it came from the 5th Separate Missile Corps (SMC) disbanded (the city of Kirov);

  •  the Red Banner Order of Suvorov Guards missile division (the city of Kostroma), armed with missiles R-16 and UR-100;

  •  the Kiev-Zhitomir Order of Kutuzov missile division (the city of Yoshkar-Ola, the Republic of Mari El), armed with missiles R-16 and RS-12. Organizationally it came from the 5th SMC disbanded (the city of Kirov);

  •  the Red Banner Guards missile division (the city of Kozel?sk) armed with missiles R-9A and UR-100;

  •  the Order of Kutuzov Guards missile division (the city of Teykovo) armed with missiles R-16, RS-10 and UR-100;

  •  the Taman Red Banner missile division (the uts of Tatishchevo, the Saratov Region) armed with missiles UR-100. Organizationally it came from the 18th SMC (the city of Orenburg);

  •  the Rezhitsa Red Banner Guards missile division (the uts of Vypolzovo of the Bologoye district, the Tver? Region). Organizationally it was transferred into the combat strength of the 50th Missile Army (the city of Smolensk).

In 1973–1985 the SMF was equipping its troops with ICBM systems with multiple independently-targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs), and the means for overcoming missile defenсe, as well as mobile systems RSD-10.

According to the plans of the USSR Armed Forces’ General Staff and the Main Staff of the SMF the Army’s troops conducted organizational measures in the context of divisions’ rearmament with new combat missile systems:

  •  in the missile division (the uts of Yurya) – with mobile missile system RSD-10 Pioner;

  •  in the missile division (the city of Kostroma) – with the missile system using missiles RS-16A and RS-16B;

  • in the missile divisions (the city of Kozel?sk and the uts of Tatishchevo) – with the missile system using missiles RS-18, which were subsequently refined to the other modification.

In October 1973, the Missile Army participated in the exercise on controlling the Strategic Nuclear Forces (SNF) of the country. During the exercise a successful combat training launch of missile RS-10 was carried out from the Teykovo missile division’s regimental combat launching site (CLS). The Order of the USSR Defence Minister expressed a high opinion of the SMF’s exercise activity, and the Teykovo missile division was awarded the USSR Defenсe Minister’s Pennant For courage and military valour displayed during the exercise.

On 18 December 1976 the Tatishchevo missile division’s missile regiment took up combat duty for the first time in the SMF using self-protected missile system RS-18.

On 1 September 1977 the missile division (the uts of Yurya) armed with missiles R-16 was removed from combat duty. R-16 missile system’s utilization and new regimental combat launching sites’ construction began. Direct forming of RSD-10 Pioner mobile combat missile system’s missile regiments and retraining of personnel began, too. The missile regiment commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel A.V. Rukobratsky was the first to take up combat duty in December 1978. By the end of 1980 the rest of missile regiments with self-propelled launchers within the division’s combat strength were carrying out combat duty.

Thus, after adoption for service of the new missile systems in the Army there were nine types of missiles in 1976–1978: R-16, R-9A, UR-100, RS-12, RS-10, RS-16А and RS-16B; RS-18, RSD-10.

According to the plans of the Main Staff of the SMF in 1983 the Teykovo and Yoshkar-Ola missile divisions began to select position areas for Topol’ land-based mobile missile system (LBMMS)’s regiments. Preparation of the Yoshkar-Ola division’s Topol’ LBMMS missile regiment began for taking up combat duty for the first time. A great deal of work was carried out in the Kostroma missile division for deploying a rail-mobile missile system (RMMS), including RMMS missile regiments’ forming.

In July 1983, the RMMS missile regiment (the commander – Colonel S.D. Gorbatyuk) was the first in the missile division and SMF to be formed.

Simultaneously with putting into the division’s combat strength of RMMS missile regiments phased removing from combat duty of missile regiments with individual launches (IL), their re-forming or disbandment were also taking place.

In January 1984, the Combat Red Banner was presented to the Missile Army after its naming as The Vitebsk Red Banner Guards Missile Army.

From August 1984, under the plan of the Main Staff of the SMF the Yurya missile division’s missile regiments of the RSD-10 Pioner mobile system were phase-by-phase removed from combat duty. The missile division began to be prepared for Topol? LBMMS’ entry on combat duty.

Topol? LBMMS missile regiments began to be formed within the Teykovo and Yoshkar-Ola missile divisions, as well as phased de-alerting and disbanding of regiments with individual launches began to be carried out. On 23 July 1985, the missile regiment commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel V.V. Dryomov became the first in the SMF, which took up combat duty using Topol? LBMMS armed with missile RS-12M.

In 1989, the Tatishchevo missile division’s missile regiment armed with missile RS-22 entered on combat duty. On 30 June 1990, the Rezhitsa Red Banner Guards missile division (the uts of Vypolzovo) armed with missiles RS-16A and RS-16B became operational within the Missile Army after its withdrawal from the 50th Missile Army (the city of Smolensk).

So, in 1990, the Army was armed with five types of missiles RS-18, RS-16B, RS-12M Topol?, RS-22 (for RMMS), PC-22 (for silo launchers). On 7 November 1990 7 Topol? LBMMS regimental launchers participated in the Moscow garrison’s military parade on the Red Square in Moscow for the first time.

In March 1993, in accordance with the Directive of the Main Staff of the SMF the Missile Army’s combat strength organizationally included the missile divisions stationed in the Republic of Belarus (the 32nd, 33rd and 49th missile divisions) after their withdrawal from the 43rd MA (the city of Vinnitsa).

The Melitopol Red Banner missile division (the uts of Yurya, the Kirov Region) and the Kiev-Zhitomir Order of Kutuzov division (the city of Yoshkar-Ola, the Republic of Mari-El) were removed from the combat strength of the Missile Army and organisationally transferred to the strength of the Missile Army (the city of Orenburg).

After its entry the 32nd missile division was subjected to disbandment. On 31 December 1993 the 32nd missile division was disbanded. The 33rd and 49th missile divisions (the city of Mozyr and the city of Lida) were carrying out combat duty as before using Topol LBMMS and performing combat training.

In 1995, according to the plans of the SMF’s Main Staff the 33rd and the 49th missile divisions (the city of Mozyrand the city of Lida, the Republic of Belarus) began to be phase-by-phase disbanded.

On 25 December 1997 the missile division (the uts of Tatishchevo) put for combat experimental duty the launch minimum of the SMF’s first missile regiment armed using Topol?-M missile system with missile RS-12M2. On 30 December 1998 the primary missile regiment armed with silo-based Topol'-M missile system (the uts of Tatishchevo) entered on combat duty.

The Order of the RF Defence Minister on the 1999 results of troop training marked the Missile Army as the SMF’s best and one of the best in the RF Armed Forces on the whole.

In July 2002, the Kiev-Zhitomir Order of Kutuzov missile division (the city of Yoshkar-Ola) armed with missiles RS-12M Topol? was excluded from the Orenburg Missile Army’s combat strength for including it into the Vladimir Missile Army’s combat strength.

On 22 February 2003, the Standard of the Vladimir Region’s Governor was presented to the Vitebsk Red Banner Guards Missile Army at a solemn meeting of the leadership of the Vladimir Region and the city of Vladimir, garrison and military units’ command, regional and city community.

The Order of the RF Defence Minister on the 2003 results of troop training marked the Missile Army as the SMF’s best and one of the best in the RF Armed Forces. According to the 2004 results of RF Armed Forces’ combat training the Missile Army was marked as the SMF’s best and one of the best in the RF Armed Forces оn the whole.

In 2005, a special attention of the Army’s command, its departments and services’ chiefs was paid to the Kostroma 10th Missile Division’s disbandment completed by 1 December 2005. Since 2006, the missile division (the city of Teykovo) has been rearming with Topol?-M LBMMS, and since 2010 – with Yars LBMMS.

Nowadays, the Vladimir Missile Association’s missilemen are carrying out combat duty using Topol' LBMMSs with missile RS-12M, Topol?-M LBMMSs (stationary and mobile basing) with missile RS-12M2, Yars LBMMSs with missile RS-24 and missile systems with missile RS-18.
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SMF – the Strategic Missile Force as a Service of the RF Armed Forces (1959–2001) and the Strategic Missile Forces as a self-sustaining Arm of the RF Armed Forces (since 2001)

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