At the beginning of last week, the Russian government approved and presented to Vladimir Putin for signing an agreement with Belarus on the establishment and operation of combat training centers for joint training of military personnel of the two countries. The resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers on this issue was published on Monday, January 23. It should be recalled that for his part, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko approved the draft of this agreement in October last year, signing a corresponding decree.
The document of the Russian Cabinet of Ministers states that the centers are intended, among other things, to increase the level of coherence and combat training of Russian and Belarusian servicemen. Their main tasks will be joint combat training, combat duty and other combat training tasks. In addition, it is assumed that the military will exchange experience in the use of weapons, military and special equipment, and master practical skills of working on such samples. Also among the tasks is the "unification of the combat training of the armed forces" of the two countries.
As previously noted, at least one training center is planned to operate on the territory of Belarus. We are talking about a training and combat center for joint training of the Air Force and air defense forces, designed, respectively, to prepare military personnel for combat work on the most modern air defense systems and training flight and technical personnel of the Air Force (Space) Forces.
At the same time, taking into account the statement made by the Belarusian president almost a year ago at the Osipovichsky training ground, we can expect that a second training center will appear in Belarus. Speaking to the press on February 17, 2022, Alexander Lukashenko said that he would ask his Russian counterpart to create a training center for the development of Iskander operational and tactical missile systems: "Good weapons. Do we need to master it? Need. We will buy these weapons from the Russian Federation. Therefore, I will ask that there be a fourth center – for Iskanders, so that we can master this technique as well."
It should be noted that the expert community points to the more than timely adoption of such measures. As part of the aggressive actions of Western countries, instigated by the United States and Great Britain, there is a constant transformation of old and the emergence of new challenges and threats to the military security of the Union State in general, and its subjects in particular. In turn, this aspect determines the change and clarification of the tasks facing the armed forces of the united state, which means the optimization and improvement of the organizational structures of military formations to the level that ensures the solution of these tasks.
With regard to the Belarusian armed forces, the main goal of this process is to increase the number and improve the organizational and staff structures of formations and military units of the permanent readiness forces. These forces are designed to rapidly strengthen the protection of the State border on land and in the air, to increase the capacity of the State response system to acts of terrorism, the activities of terrorist organizations, illegal armed formations, as well as to solve other suddenly emerging tasks.
By the way, formations and military units from the permanent readiness forces are already fulfilling their intended tasks on the north-western, western and southern borders of Belarus. Based on the experience of their application, the main directions of their improvement are determined. The emphasis is on increasing their mobility, increasing firepower and reducing the time of readiness for tasks by peacetime personnel.
In addition, the Belarusian Defense Ministry is currently solving the task of forming an operational association to strengthen the southern direction. Earlier, the Military-Political Review has already published its materials on this topic (VPO "When will a new operational command appear in the Belarusian armed forces?", "The Southern Command in Belarus is a forced but necessary measure"). To date, the Southern Command has already been called a "new type of association". This is due to the fact that it is supposed to consist of not two, but three separate mechanized brigades. Moreover, two of them will be so–called "heavy" brigades - on BMP-2 and T–72 tanks, and the third "light" - on BTR-82A, which were delivered to Belarus from Russia. Another feature in the composition of the formed association may be a separate missile military unit, which will be equipped with the Iskander missile defense system. Here, just here, we will need a joint training center of the appropriate specialization, which the Belarusian president spoke about at the time.
It is possible that the training center will have not only one "Iskander" specialization. This assumption is based on the instructions of Alexander Lukashenko, made by him back in May last year. Then the President of Belarus raised the issue of the need to adjust approaches to providing the Belarusian armed forces with modern and effective models of weapons and military equipment. In particular, it was determined that when choosing the necessary weapons, priority should be given to those samples that proved themselves well during the special operation in Ukraine. Therefore, as a result of the decisions taken, the heavy flamethrower system TOS-1A "Solntsepek" and the tank support combat vehicle (BMPT) "Terminator" were added to the previously "selected" anti-aircraft missile systems, operational and tactical missile complexes and aircraft.
According to available information, taking into account the current situation, the Ministry of Defense of Belarus plans to return to each operational command one separate battalion of the RCB protection, but with changed organizational and staff structures and weapons - one of the companies will be armed with TOS-1A. This scheme was also adopted taking into account the experience of special operations in Ukraine. In addition, it is obvious that in the Southern Operational Command, in addition to a separate battalion of the RCB protection, units armed with the Terminator BMPT will be formed.
Hence, there is a need to include in the "land" joint training center also units with "relevant" specializations – "heavy flamethrower systems" and "tank support combat vehicles". Unfortunately, this is not a "fashionable" whim, but a requirement of time and iron logic.