16th Air Army

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This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the Russian Wikipedia.
16th Red Banner Air Army
– XXXX –
Памятный знак ветерана 16 воздушной армии.jpg
Memorial badge 16th Air Army
Active 1942–2009
Country Soviet Union Soviet Union
Russia Russia
Branch Flag of the Soviet Air Force.svg Soviet Air Force
Flag of the Air Force of the Russian Federation.svg Russian Air Force
Part of Group of Soviet Forces in Germany
Engagements World War II
Decorations Red Banner
Aleksandr Belevits

The 16th Red Banner Air Army (Russian: 16-я воздушная Краснознамённая армия) was the most important formation of the Special Purpose Command. Initially formed during the Second World War as a part of the Soviet Air Force, it was from c.2002–2009 the tactical air force component of the Moscow Military District, headquartered at Kubinka. The 16th Air Army took part in the Battle of Berlin with 28 Aviation divisions and 7 Separate aviation regiments, and was located in East Germany until 1994.

Formation and WW II[edit]

The army was formed on August 10, 1942 during the Battle of Stalingrad on the basis of military units and organizations of the 8th Air Army (220th Fighter division and 228 Attack aircraft division), and included the 228th and 291st Assault aviation divisions and two separate aviation regiments. The end of August / beginning of September came the 283rd Fighter division and the 291st Mixed aviation division from the reserve of the Stavka added. The starting inventory stood on 4 September to 152 aircraft types Yak-1, LaGG-3, IL-2 and Pe-2. Until the beginning of the first jobs whose number has been increased to 300. It took part in Operation Uranus as part of the Don Front in November–December 1942, being commanded by Sergei Rudenko.[1]

It was involved in the Battle of Kursk, and was part of the First Belorussian Front for the liberation of Belarus, the Lublin-Brest Offensive, and the assault on Berlin. For a long period after the war, the army was stationed with the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany (GSFG), headquartered at Zossen-Wünsdorf. In 1949, it was renamed to 24th Air Army, but was reformed as the 16th Air Army in 1968.

On 29 April 1945, Stavka directive No. 11095 was issued (effective from 10.6.45), by which order the 1st Belorussian Front became the Group of Soviet Occupation Forces in Germany (GSOFG). The order also promulgated the new structure of 16th Air Army.[2]

In the 1990s (GSFG, WGF)[edit]

Dislocation map HQ WGT and HQ of the WGT Armies on territory of the former GDR
One of main military airfields – the Sperenberg airfield

The 16th Air Army ceremonially said farewell to Germany at the Sperenburg Open Day on 27 May 1994.[3] On that day the Air Army Headquarters was moved to Kubinka in the Moscow Military District.[4] However the last aircraft from the 226th Separate Mixed Aviation Regiment did not leave Sperenberg Airfield until 6 September 1994. A visiting Il-76MD was the last aircraft movement three days later.

In 1989 it consisted of subordinate units and formations as follows:[5]

Headquarters, Zossen-Wünsdorf
  • 6th Guards Fighter Aviation Division (Merseburg)
    • 296th Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment (Großenhain)
    • 31st Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment (Falkenberg)
    • 85th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment (Merseburg)
    • 968th Fighter Aviation Regiment (Kobiz)
    • 139th Aviation Technical Regiment (Merseburg)
  • 16th Guards Fighter Aviation Division (Damgarten)
    • 33rd Fighter Aviation Regiment (Wittstock)
    • 773rd Fighter Aviation Regiment (Damgarten)
    • 787th Fighter Aviation Regiment (Finow)
  • 126th Fighter Aviation Division (Zerbst)
  • 125th Fighter-Bomber Aviation Division (Rechlin)
    • 19th Guards Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment (Lerz)
    • 20th Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment (Groß Dölln)
  • 105th Fighter-Bomber Aviation Division (Großenhain)[6]
    • 296th Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment (Großenhain)
    • 559th Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment (Finsterwalde)
    • 911th Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment (Brand)
  • Separate units, directly subordinated to the 16th Air Army
    • 11th Separate Reconnaissance Aviation Regiment (Welzow, later withdrawn to North Caucasus and joined 4th Air Army)[7]
    • 226th Separate Mixed Aviation Regiment (Sperenberg, later relocated to Kubinka, see below)
    • 357th Separate Assault Aviation Regiment (Brandis, Germany)
    • 368th Separate Assault Aviation Regiment (Tutow, later withdrawn to North Caucasus and joined 4th Air Army)
See also

Airfields on German territory[edit]

The register below contains the main airfields of the 16th Air Army. The appropriate airfield call sign with the correlating nickname of the communications center is put in «quotation marks»:

site call sign coms center
Ahlstedt «vodoyom (Russian: водоём «tonus (тонус)» tbd
Altenburg airfield «proran (проран)» «stolbik (столбик)» 50°58′55″N 12°30′23″E / 50.98194°N 12.50639°E / 50.98194; 12.50639
Altes Lager airfield «lektsya (лекция)» «kniga (книга)» 51°59′46″N 12°59′2″E / 51.99611°N 12.98389°E / 51.99611; 12.98389
Brand airfiel «zveroboy (зверобой)» «prosyolok (просёлок)» 52°2′20″N 13°44′56″E / 52.03889°N 13.74889°E / 52.03889; 13.74889
Brandis airfield «zapayka (запайка)» «optika (oптика)» 51°19′42″N 12°39′25″E / 51.32833°N 12.65694°E / 51.32833; 12.65694
Damgarten airfield «sobol (cоболь)» «urozhay (урожай)» 54°15′56″N 12°25′58″E / 54.26556°N 12.43278°E / 54.26556; 12.43278
Dresden «aryol (aрёол)» «mebel, lira (мебель, лира)» tbd
Falkenberg airfield «baikal (байкал)» «samokatsik (самокатчик)» 51°32′52″N 13°13′41″E / 51.54778°N 13.22806°E / 51.54778; 13.22806
Finow airfield «narzan (нарзан)» «napayka, meshalka (напайка мешалка)» 52°49′38″N 13°41′37″E / 52.82722°N 13.69361°E / 52.82722; 13.69361
Finsterwalde airfield «gorodok (городок)» «probar (проба)» 51°36′27″N 13°44′17″E / 51.60750°N 13.73806°E / 51.60750; 13.73806
Grossenhain airfield «ararat (aрарат)» «tsekan bagatzrskiy (чекан, богатырский)» 51°18′42″N 13°33′33″E / 51.31167°N 13.55917°E / 51.31167; 13.55917
Köthen airfield «zemelnyi (земельный)» «zenitnyi (зенитный)» 51°43′16″N 11°57′42″E / 51.72111°N 11.96167°E / 51.72111; 11.96167
Mahlwinkel «osenniy (осенний)» «mukha, uksus (муха, уксус)» 52°23′24″N 11°46′59″E / 52.39000°N 11.78306°E / 52.39000; 11.78306
Magdeburg (Cochstedt) «садовый» «аэроплан» 51°51′21″N 11°25′5″E / 51.85583°N 11.41806°E / 51.85583; 11.41806
Merseburg airfield «muskat (мускат)» «tsaevod, radost (чаевод, радость)» 51°21′43″N 11°57′2″E / 51.36194°N 11.95056°E / 51.36194; 11.95056
Neuruppin «khuydor (хуторок)» «powodok, plavshchik (поводок, плавщик)» 52°47′36″N 12°45′37″E / 52.79333°N 12.76028°E / 52.79333; 12.76028
Nohra «voevoda (воевода)» «nagrad (нагар)» 50°57′55″N 11°14′2″E / 50.96528°N 11.23389°E / 50.96528; 11.23389
Oranienburg airfield «zadar (задар)» «rtunyi (ртутный)» 52°44′4″N 13°12′58″E / 52.73444°N 13.21611°E / 52.73444; 13.21611
Parchim aifield «pushistyi (пушистый)» «klits (клич)» 53°25′37″N 11°47′0″E / 53.42694°N 11.78333°E / 53.42694; 11.78333
Rechlin–Lärz Airfield «gusar (гусар)» «metallist (металлист)» 53°18′23″N 12°45′11″E / 53.30639°N 12.75306°E / 53.30639; 12.75306
Stendal-Borstel aifield «kukan (кукан)» «kumysny (кумысный)» 52°37′58″N 11°49′54″E / 52.63278°N 11.83167°E / 52.63278; 11.83167
Sperenberg airfield «souvenir (сувенир)» «izvoztsik (извозчик)» 52°08′13.21″N 13°18′25″E / 52.1370028°N 13.30694°E / 52.1370028; 13.30694
Tenplin aifield (Groß Dölln) «leopard (леопард)» «nozh, povelitel (нож, повелитель)» 53°1′44″N 13°30′59″E / 53.02889°N 13.51639°E / 53.02889; 13.51639
Tutow aifield (Demmin) «baas (баас)» «serdolik (сердолик)» 53°55′19″N 13°13′8″E / 53.92194°N 13.21889°E / 53.92194; 13.21889
Welzow aifield «baas (баас)» «serdolik (сердолик)» 51°34′22″N 14°8′22″E / 51.57278°N 14.13944°E / 51.57278; 14.13944
Werneuchen aifield «galerny (лагерный)» «postament (постамент)» 52°37′59″N 13°1′22″E / 52.63306°N 13.02278°E / 52.63306; 13.02278
Wittstock aifield «gazovy (газовый)» «postament (подкос, водонос)» 53°12′8″N 12°31′20″E / 53.20222°N 12.52222°E / 53.20222; 12.52222
Zerbst «karetny (каретный)» «kinzhal, tsaynik (кинжал, чайник)» 52°0′3″N 12°8′55″E / 52.00083°N 12.14861°E / 52.00083; 12.14861

In the Russian Federation[edit]

Меdal "70 years 16th Red Banner Air Army"

On 1 June 1998, the 16th Air Army was disbanded and its units incorporated into the Moscow District of VVS and PVO, in accordance with the amalgamation of the Air Forces and the Russian Air Defence Forces.[4] This was quickly reversed and on 25 November 1998, the 16th Composite air corps was re-raised. The 16th Composite air corps was reformed as the 16th Air Army on 1 February 2002.

Savasleyka is another airbase within the Moscow Military District's boundaries, but its exact operational status is currently unclear, as the formerly resident unit, the 54th Guards fighter aviation regiment, was not listed as operational in the most widely available recent survey of Russian air power, which was done by Air Forces Monthly in August and September 2007. The 54th Guards fighter aviation regiment had previously been withdrawn from Vainode Air Base in Latvia.[8] Russian internet sources now say it has been reorganised as the 3958th Air Base.[9]

The 16th Air Army will soon receive two regiments of the advanced Su-34 Fullback fighter-bombers in the near future.[10] General Belevitch said the 16th Air Army would also receive MiG-29SM Fulcrum fighters to replace outdated MiG-29s and modernized Su-25 Frogfoot close support aircraft, which showed outstanding performance during operations in Afghanistan, Chechnya and other "hot spots."[10]

2007 structure[edit]

In 2009 the Russian Air Force was extensively reorganised. Details as to the correct structure might be critical. However, in line to the Combat Aircraft magazine's June 2010 issue the following information was published:

16th Air ArmyKubinka[11]

Commanding generals[edit]

Commanding generals of the 16th Air Army were as follows:

  1. Pavel Stepanov, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1942)
  2. Sergey Rudenko, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1942-1947)
  3. Filipp Agaltsov, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1947-1949)
  4. Vyatseslv Zabaluev, Major general of the aviation (1949-1950)
  5. Konstantin Vershinin, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1950-1951)
  6. Ivan Podgorny, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1951-1954)
  7. Evgeny Loginov, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1954-1956)
  8. Geory Zimin, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1956-1960)
  9. Ivan Pstygo, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1960-1967)
  10. Aleksey Katrits, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1967-1973)
  11. Aleksandr Babaev, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1973-1978)
  12. Vladimir Korotskin, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1978-1983)
  13. Aleksey Goryaniov, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1983-1987)
  14. Yevgeny Shaposhnikov, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1987-1988)
  15. Anatoly Trasenko, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1988-1993)
  16. Boris Kazatsky, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1993-1998)
  17. Valery Retunsky, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1998-2007)
  18. Aleksandr Belevits, Major general of the aviation (2007-2009)


  1. ^ Uranus Order of Battle
  2. ^ Holm, Michael. "16th Red Banner Air Army". ww2.dk. Retrieved 23 April 2016. 
  3. ^ Chris Lofting & Kieron Pilbeam, 'Sperenburg,' Air Forces Monthly, February 1995, p. 41.
  4. ^ a b Pyotr Butowski, Air Power Analysis: Russian Federation, Part 2, International Air Power Review, AIRTime Publishing, No.13, Summer 2004, ISBN 1-880588-84-6, p.87
  5. ^ Советские войска в Германии, 1945-1994 : памятный альбом / Sowjetische Truppen in Deutschland : 1945-1994 : Gedenkalbum [Soviet Troops in Germany, 1945–1994: Memorial Album] (in Russian and German). Moscow: Molodaya Gvardiya. 1994. p. 22. ISBN 5-235-02221-1. 
  6. ^ See also Michael Holm, 105th Fighter-Bomber Aviation Division, accessed November 2011
  7. ^ Separate units list is translated from http://www.genstab.ru/gsvg_16.htm, translation of base names from Orbat.com, Archive – Warsaw Pact in 1989
  8. ^ 'Twin Base Training,' Air Forces Monthly, December 2002
  9. ^ http://www8.brinkster.com/vad777/russia/air/va/16va_mvo.htm
  10. ^ a b Russia to equip two air regiments with Su-34 strike planes soon
  11. ^ Structure drawn from Air Forces Monthly, July 2007 issue, p.82.

External links[edit]