5th Air Army

5th Air Army

The 5th Air Army ("5 Vozdushnaya Armiya") is currently Russian Air Force's smallest Air Army, with the headquarters located in Yekaterinburg, its zone of responsibility being the Volga-Ural Military District, on the border between Europe and Asia. The commanding officer of the 5th Air Army is, since May 2006, Lieutenant-General Vadim Volkovitskiy.

The 5th Army of the VVS and PVO was first created during World War II, formed from the Air Forces of the North Caucasus Front, consisting of three fighter, one ground attack, and one bomber division. [Bonn/Glantz, Slaughterhouse, 2005, p.336] During the Battle of Kursk it fought as part of the Steppe Front, and comprised the 7th Combined Air Corps, 8th Combined Air Corps, 3rd Fighter Corps, and the 7th Fighter Corps. On 10 January 1949 it was redesignated the 48th Air Army.

5th Air Army appears to have been reformed in 1988 from the Air Forces of the Odessa Military District. [Feskov et al 2004, p.135] The Army was still serving there when the Soviet Union fell, and consisted in 1991-92 of a single MiG-29 fighter regiment and a Su-17 reconnaissance regiment. [Zaloga, 'Armed Forces in Ukraine,' Jane's Intelligence Review, March 1992, p.135] Other elements included the 86th Guards Fighter Regiment with MiG-29s at ~Markuleshcht, across the border in Moldova, whose aircraft became part of the fledgling Moldovan Air Force. The formation was later downgraded in status by the Ukrainian Air Force, which took the force over, to an Aviation Corps.

The 5th Air Army was re-created by Russia in 2001 from the 5th Independent Corps of VVS and PVO. The Air Army has no combat aircraft (except a small number of Su-25 attack aircraft located at Kant, Kyrgyzstan and only three regiments of anti-aircraft surface-to-air missiles (Yekaterinburg, Samara and Engels), but includes two helicopter regiments and some other auxiliary units. The 764th Interceptor Aviation Regiment, operating MiG-31 aircraft, stationed in Perm within the zone of the 5th Air Army, is subordinated directly to the Air Forces HQ. The Kant Air Base was commissioned in October 2003 and is also subordinated to the 5th Air Army, along with possibly another air base in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Since July 2007, the commander of the 5th Air Army is General Lieutenant Mikhail Kucheryavy. ['Kucheryavy takes up post as Urals Air Force, Air Defense Army commander', AVN Military News Agency, MOSCOW. July 10 2007 (Interfax-AVN)]

2007 Russian Structure

*Headquarters, 5th Air Army - Yekaterinburg
**128th Independent Composite Air Squadron - HQ at Koltsovo near Yekaterinburg - An-26;
**320th Independent Transport Squadron of Search & Rescue Service - HQ at Uprun (Troitsk), near Chelyabinsk - Mi-8;
**999th [Kommersant, http://www.kommersant.ru/doc.aspx?DocsID=766827, May 2007] Air Base - HQ at Kant, Kyrgyzstan - L-39, Mi-8, Su-25;
**511th Anti-Aircraft Rocket Regiment (Engels, Saratov Oblast)
**?th Anti-Aircraft Rocket Regiment (former 57th SAM Brigade) (Березовский)
**?th Anti-Aircraft Rocket Regiment (Samara) - До 1993- 134 Красн. зрбр
**Army Aviation component;
***793rd Independent Helicopter Regiment - HQ at Kinel'-Cherkasy - Mi-8, Mi-26;
***237th Independent Helicopter Squadron - HQ at Bobrovka - Mi-8, Mi-24;

1988 Soviet Structure

*Headquarters - Odessa [Feskov et al 2004, p.142]
*29th Independent Training Regiment (Su-17)
*90th Independent Attack Regiment (Su-25) (Only Feskov et al lists this regiment)
*190th Independent Fighter-Bomber Regiment (MiG-27)
*290th Independent Attack Regiment (Saki) (Su-25)
*642nd Guards Independent Fighter-Bomber Regiment
*827th Independent Reconnaissance Regiment
*119th Fighter Aviation Division
**86th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment (Moldova)
**161st Fighter Aviation Regiment
**684th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment (Tiraspol) (MiG-23MLD)


*Air Forces Monthly, July & August 2007 issues.
* [http://www8.brinkster.com/vad777/sssr-89-91/vvs/fa/5-odessa.htm Order of Battle late 1980s] (Russian)

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