80th Airmobile Brigade (Ukraine)

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80th Airmobile Brigade
80-а аеромобільна бригада.svg
Sleeve patch of the Brigade
Active 3 May 1955 – present
Country Ukraine
Branch Ukrainian Ground Forces
Type Airmobile
Size 1,600 (2004–05)
Part of Operation Command West
Garrison/HQ Lviv
Motto(s) Nobody but Us[1]
Anniversaries 19 December (formation)
Equipment BTR-80
Engagements Soviet war in Afghanistan
Nagorno-Karabakh War
Operation Iraqi Freedom
War in Donbass
Decorations Order of the Red Star Order of the Red Star (Removed)
Commanders
Commanding officer Colonel Volodymyr Shvorak
Insignia
Airmobile Forces insignia Емблема аеромобільних військ (2007).png
Patch of the 81st Tactical Group in Iraq 81-а тактична група.jpg

The 80th Airmobile Brigade (Ukrainian: 80-та окрема аеромобільна бригада; Military Unit Number A0284)[2] is an airmobile formation of the Ukrainian Ground Forces. The brigade is part of Operation Command West. The brigade traces its history back to the 80th Airborne Regiment, formed in 1955 as part of the Soviet airborne's 7th Guards Airborne Division. Four years later, the regiment transferred to the 104th Guards Airborne Division. It participated in Operation Whirlwind in 1956 and Operation Danube in 1968. In 1979, the regiment was disbanded and used to form the 39th and 40th Separate Air Assault Brigades of the Soviet Army. The 39th Separate Air Assault Brigade became the 224th Training Center after transfer back to the Soviet airborne in 1990. The training center was taken over by Ukraine in 1992 with the dissolution of the Soviet Union and became the 6th Separate Airmobile Brigade in 1995. In 1999, the brigade was reorganized into the 80th Airmobile Regiment, part of the 13th Army Corps.[3] In 2013, the regiment was upgraded and became a brigade. The brigade fought in the War in Donbass.

History[edit]

80th Airborne Regiment[edit]

The 80th Airborne Regiment was formed on 3 May 1955 in the Lithuanian SSR, the only non-Guards Soviet airborne regiment.[4] The regiment celebrates its anniversary on 19 December.[5] It originally formed part of the 7th Guards Airborne Division of the Soviet Airborne Forces at Gaižiūnai. The regiment fought in Operation Whirlwind, the Soviet invasion of Hungary, and landed in Budapest on 4 November 1956. In 1959, it transferred to the 104th Guards Airborne Division and was based in Baku. On 22 February 1968, for its achievements in training, the Regiment was awarded the Order of the Red Star.[5][6] Division headquarters was at Kirovabad (now Gyandzha) in the Azerbaijan SSR. Carey Schofield writes that the 104th Guards Airborne Division "had only two regiments from 1975 to 1980 after the disbandment of the 80th Guards [sic] Airborne Regiment in Baku".[7] In August 1968, the regiment participated in Operation Danube, the crushing of the Prague Spring.[8]

39th Separate Air Assault Brigade[edit]

On 3 August 1979, the regiment was disbanded. The 39th Separate Air Assault Brigade was formed from elements of the regiment at Khyriv in Lviv Oblast on 19 December.[5][9] The 40th Separate Air Assault Brigade was formed in Nikolayev from other parts of the regiment.[10] In January 1980, the 1st Battalion of the 39th Separate Air Assault Brigade was deployed to Termez for fighting in the Soviet–Afghan War and became the 48th Separate Air Assault Battalion. The battalion was absorbed by the 66th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade in May.[11] In 1986, the 39th Brigade participated in the Chernobyl cleanup. Between January and April 1990, the 39th Separate Air Assault Brigade was deployed to restore order in during the Nagorno-Karabakh War.[12][13]

1990s[edit]

In June 1990 the 39th Separate Air Assault Brigade became the 224th Training Center of the Soviet Airborne Forces. The brigade included the 1st and 2nd Airborne Training Battalions, as well as an artillery training battalion.[12] In May 1992 the training center became part of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.[5] In September 1993, the 224th Training Center was renamed the 39th Separate Airborne Brigade.[14] It became the 6th Separate Airmobile Brigade on 1 November 1995. The brigade participated in Exercise Peaceshield in 1995 and 1996. In December 1999, the brigade was reorganized into the 80th Airmobile Regiment.[13]

80th Airmobile Regiment[edit]

Troops of the 80th Airmobile Regiment parachute from a C-17 during Exercise Peaceshield 2000

In July 2000, the regiment participated in Exercise Peaceshield 2000 with US troops and forces from other countries.[15] In April 2003, the regiment was moved to Lviv.[13] In 2004, the regiment was scheduled to be sent to Iraq as part of the Ukrainian contingent there. An airmobile battalion, mortar batteries, an engineer platoon, a chemical defense platoon, communications company and military police company were drawn from the regiment and deployed to Iraq on 15 May 2005 as the 81st Tactical Group.[16] The troops were part of Multinational Division Central-South and were withdrawn at the end of the year, the last Ukrainian unit in Iraq.[17] In 2006, the regiment contributed troops to the Kosovo Force UkrPolBat joint Ukrainian-Polish peacekeeping battalion.[18]

A mortar barrel rupture during a tactical exercise of the regiment's 1st mortar battery mortally wounded four soldiers on 6 August 2008.[19] On 27 May 2010, the regiment was visited by then-President Viktor Yanukovych.[20]

80th Airmobile Brigade[edit]

Donetsk Airport New Terminal ruins, which the 80th Airmobile Brigade's 3rd Battalion defended during January 2015

On 25 November 2013, the regiment became the 80th Airmobile Brigade.[21] Between 7–8 April 2014, the brigade relocated to defend the Luhansk Airport. The brigade defended the airport until September, when a Russian attack forced them to retreat.[22] The brigade fought in the battle for Shchastya in June 2014. During a night battle on 17–18 June, 11 personnel from the brigade and the 128th Mountain Brigade were killed.[23] On 1 August, the brigade ambushed a separatist column moving from Sukhodolska to Luhansk, destroying seven tanks, five armored vehicles, 3 BM-21 Grad MLRS, seven cars with ammunition and killing 120–150 separatists.[24] On 5 September, personnel from the brigade and the Aidar Battalion were ambushed between Luhansk and Metalist. 40 bodies of men from both units were returned by the separatists after negotiations.[25] 28 unidentified bodies were buried at Starobilsk on 2 October.[26] On the night of 13–14 October, the brigade reconnaissance group repulsed attacks by the separatist Don Battalion, which was attempting to penetrate Ukrainian territory.[27] On 28 October, seven brigade personnel were released from captivity by the separatists.[28]

The brigade's 3rd Battalion fought in the Second Battle of Donetsk Airport in January 2015. The unit became known as the "Cyborgs" along with other Ukrainian units defending Donetsk Airport. Along with the 90th Separate Airborne Battalion of the 81st Airmobile Brigade, the unit was forced to retreat from the new airport terminal,[29] reportedly under heavy artillery fire and chemical attack. Over 50 soldiers from both units died in the fighting between 19 and 21 January.[30] After the Ukrainian withdrawal from the airport on 21 January, at least 15 soldiers from the brigade were captured by the separatists. Several of the soldiers were subjected to frequent beatings.[31]

Since at least May 2015, the brigade has been equipped with 28 M1114 Up-Armored Humvees.[32] On 24 August 2015, President Petro Poroshenko presented the brigade a battle flag for bravery and courage during a review in Kiev on the 24th anniversary of Ukrainian independence.[33] Brigade Junior sergeant and medic Igor Zinych was posthumously awarded the title Hero of Ukraine on 14 October for his actions in caring for the wounded at Donetsk Airport.[34] On 18 November 2015, the brigade's Order of the Red Star award was removed as part of a general removal of Soviet awards and decorations from Ukrainian military units.[35] In June 2016, a platoon of the brigade participated in the multinational Anakonda 16 exercise at Nowa Dęba training ground, attached to a Polish battalion.[36] In August 2016, the brigade's mortar platoon and some of its staff officers participated in the multinational Flaming Thunder exercises near Pabradė in Lithuania.[37] On 23 August, former brigade commander Andrey Kovalchuk was awarded the titile Hero of Ukraine for his leadership.[38]

Deployments[edit]

Soldiers from the brigade have served in Afghanistan, Nagorno-Karabakh, Kosovo,[18] Sierra Leone, and Iraq.[22]

Structure[edit]

The 80th Airmobile Regiment included the following units.[39]

  • Headquarters Company[40]
  • 1st Airmobile Battalion[40]
    • 1st Airmobile Company
    • 2nd Airmobile Company[40]
    • 3rd Airmobile Company
    • Separate Platoons
  • 2nd Airmobile Battalion[40]
    • 4th Airmobile Company
    • 5th Airmobile Company[41]
    • 6th Airmobile Company
    • 2nd Mortar Battery
  • 1st Mortar Battery[19]
  • Antitank Battery
  • Howitzer Artillery Battalion

The brigade currently includes the following units.

  • 1st Airmobile Battalion (Landing)
    • 1st Airmobile Company
    • 2nd Airmobile Company
    • 3rd Airmobile Company
    • 1st Mortar Battery
    • Separate platoons
  • 2nd Airmobile Battalion (Airmobile)
    • 4th Airmobile Company
    • 5th Airmobile Company
    • 6th Airmobile Company
    • 2nd Mortar Battery
    • Separate platoons
  • 3rd Airmobile Battalion (Landing)
    • 7th Airmobile Company
    • 8th Airmobile Company
    • 9th Airmobile Company
    • 3rd Mortar Battery
    • Separate platoons (based in Chernivtsi)
  • 87th Separate Airmobile Battalion (Landing)
  • Antitank Battery
  • Separate Communications Company
  • Separate Sniper Company
  • Separate Commandant (possible Curfew?) Platoon
  • Separate Financial Security Company
  • Separate Landing Security Company
  • Separate Repair Company
  • Separate Sapper-Engineering Company
  • Separate Chemical Defense Company
  • Brigade Orchestra
  • Club

Past commanders[edit]

  • Colonel Ihor Overin – 2005[42]
  • Lieutenant Colonel (later Colonel) Viktor Kopachynskii (2008[41]–March 2015)[43]
  • Colonel Andrei Kovalchuk (2015[33][44]–March 2016)[38]
  • Colonel Volodymyr Shvorak (2016)[45]

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 81st Tactical Group patch
  2. ^ "Високомобільні десантні війська" [Airmobile Forces] (in Ukrainian). Ukrainian Military Pages. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Майже 200 військовослужбовців строкової служби призову «Осінь – 2007» на базі 80-го окремого аеромобільного полку 13 АК, дислокованого у Львові склали Військову присягу на вірність українському народові" [Almost 200 conscripts call "Autumn - 2007" of 80th separate airborne regiment take oath]. mil.gov.ua (in Ukrainian). 26 November 2007. Archived from the original on 11 February 2012. Retrieved 11 February 2012. 
  4. ^ Feskov et al 2013, p. 249
  5. ^ a b c d "52-річницю від дня заснування відзначив 80-й окремий ордена Червоної Зірки аеромобільний полк 13-го армійського корпусу Сухопутних військ ЗС України, що дислокується у Львові" [52nd Anniversary 80th Airmobile Regiment]. mil.gov.ua (in Ukrainian). 19 December 2007. Archived from the original on 7 June 1011. Retrieved 19 December 2007. 
  6. ^ "ІСТОРІЯ 80 ОКРЕМОГО АЕРОМОБІЛЬНОГО ПОЛКУ" [History of the 80th Separate Airmobile Regiment]. www.usva.org.ua (in Ukrainian). Ukrainian Union of Veterans of Afghanistan. Archived from the original on 31 January 2016. Retrieved 31 January 2016. 
  7. ^ Schofield, Carey (1993). The Russian Elite: Inside Spetsnaz and the Airborne Forces. Greenhill Books. p. 135. ISBN 9781853671555. 
  8. ^ Holm, Michael. "80th Guards Parachute Regiment". www.ww2.dk. Retrieved 2016-01-29. 
  9. ^ "Состав и дислокация Воздушно-десантных войск" [Composition and deployment of the Airborne troops] (in Russian). vad777. Archived from the original on 10 December 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  10. ^ Holm, Michael. "40th independent Landing-Assault Brigade". www.ww2.dk. Retrieved 2016-01-29. 
  11. ^ Holm, Michael. "48th independent Landing-Assault Battalion". www.ww2.dk. Retrieved 2016-01-29. 
  12. ^ a b Holm, Michael. "39th independent Landing-Assault Brigade". www.ww2.dk. Retrieved 2016-01-29. 
  13. ^ a b c "ІСТОРІЯ 80 ОКРЕМОГО АЕРОМОБІЛЬНОГО ПОЛКУ" [History of the 80th Separate Airmobile Regiment]. www.khust-vlada.gov.ua (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 31 January 2016. Retrieved 31 January 2016. 
  14. ^ "Десантники вкрили себе славою легендарних воїнів" [Paratroopers won the honor of legendary warriors]. Unofficial website of the Ukrainian Airmobile Forces (in Ukrainian). 19 August 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  15. ^ Strengthening Transatlantic Security: A U.S. Strategy for the 21st Century (PDF). United States Department of Defense. 2000. p. 37. 
  16. ^ "Проводи в Ірак" [Seeing Iraq]. Lviv Gazeta (in Ukrainian). 14 April 2007. Archived from the original on 9 January 2006. Retrieved 9 January 2006. 
  17. ^ "ВІЙСЬКОВА СИМВОЛІКА /МИРОТВОРЧІ ПІДРОЗДІЛИ ЗСУ" [Military Symbols / UAF Peacekeeping Units]. uht.org.ua (in Ukrainian). Ukrainian Heraldry Society. Archived from the original on 29 Jan 2016. Retrieved 29 Jan 2016. 
  18. ^ a b "З поверненням на Батьківщину останньої групи українських миротворців з Косового завершилася чергова ротація національної складової спільного українсько-польського миротворчого батальйону "УкрПолбат" багатонаціональної тактичної групи "East" сил КФОР" [Ended regular rotation the Ukrainian-Polish peacekeeping battalion "UkrPolBat"]. mil.gov.ua (in Ukrainian). 11 August 2006. Archived from the original on 7 June 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  19. ^ a b "На Яворівському загальновійськовому полігоні внаслідок розриву ствола міномету отримали поранення чотири військовослужбовці" [Four soldiers wounded by mortar barrel rupture in Yavoriv]. mil.gov.ua (in Ukrainian). 6 August 2008. Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  20. ^ "Президент України Віктор Янукович відвідав 80-й окремий аеромобільний полк" [President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych visited 80th Separate Airmobile Regiment]. www.kmu.gov.ua. Archived from the original on 29 Jan 2016. Retrieved 29 Jan 2016. 
  21. ^ "80th Airmobile Brigade. Heroes of the Luhansk Airport". Ukraine Crisis Media Center. 5 August 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  22. ^ a b "80-та аеромобільна. Невідомий подвиг оборони Луганського аеропорту" [80th airborne. Unknown feat defense Lugansk airport]. tyzhden.ua (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 2015-12-14. Retrieved 2016-01-29. 
  23. ^ "У нічному бою на Луганщині загинуло 15 військових, доля ще 13 невідома" [15 military personnel killed in Luhansk Oblast night battle, fate of 13 still unknown] (in Ukrainian). Ukrayinska Pravda. 18 Jun 2014. Archived from the original on 29 Jan 2016. Retrieved 29 Jan 2016. 
  24. ^ "Львівські десантники знищили колону терористів, що рухалася до Луганська" [Lviv paratroopers destroyed a terrorist column moving to Luhansk]. Ukrainian Independent Information Agency (in Ukrainian). 2 August 2014. Archived from the original on 9 May 2015. Retrieved 30 January 2016. 
  25. ^ "Бойовики повернули батальйону "Айдар" тіла 40 загиблих у засідці" [Militants returned bodies of Aidar Battalion 40 killed in ambush]. espreso.tv (in Ukrainian). 9 September 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2016. 
  26. ^ "Москаль став на коліна перед загиблими силовиками" [Moskal knelt on knees before the dead of the security forces]. Ukrinform (in Ukrainian). 2 October 2014. Archived from the original on 30 January 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2016. 
  27. ^ "На Луганщині за останню добу загинули двоє українських військових, - ОДА" [Yesterday Luhansk Oblast killed 2 Ukrainian military personnel - OSA]. espreso.tv (in Ukrainian). 14 October 2014. Retrieved 31 January 2016. 
  28. ^ "З полону звільнено військових 80 аеромобільної бригади - П.Порошенко" [From captivity freed 80th Airmobile Brigade personnel - P. Poroshenko]. UNN (in Ukrainian). 28 October 2014. Archived from the original on 31 January 2016. Retrieved 31 January 2016. 
  29. ^ Carroll, Oliver (2 Mar 2015). "Inside the Bloody Battle for Ukraine's Donetsk Airport". Newsweek. Archived from the original on 29 Jan 2016. Retrieved 29 Jan 2016. 
  30. ^ Prokopenko, Maria (19 Jan 2016). ""Cyborgs." Do we deserve our defenders?". Den. Archived from the original on 29 Jan 2016. Retrieved 29 Jan 2016. 
  31. ^ Tereshchuk, Halyna (2015-08-19). "Ukrainian 'Cyborg': 'They Tried To Break Me, But It Didn't Work'". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Archived from the original on 2016-01-29. Retrieved 2016-01-29. 
  32. ^ "Багатоцільовий автомобіль HMMWV: служба в ЗСУ" [HMMWV Multipurpose Vehicle: Service in the Armed Forces] (in Ukrainian). Ukrainian Military Pages. 13 April 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  33. ^ a b "24-ту річницю Незалежності Україна відзначила урочистим Маршем — Офіційне інтернет-представництво Президента України" [24th anniversary of Independence of Ukraine noted in review]. Office of the President of Ukraine (in Ukrainian). 24 August 2015. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 30 January 2016. 
  34. ^ "Президент присвоїв звання Герой України медику ДАПу Ігорю Зіничу (посмертно), танкістам Василю Божку та "кіборгу" Євгену Межевікіну" [President awards title Hero of Ukraine to Medic Igor Zinych (posthumously), tanker Vasily Bozhko and "cyborg" Eugene Mezhevikinu]. Office of the President of Ukraine (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2016-03-22. 
  35. ^ "УКАЗ ПРЕЗИДЕНТА УКРАЇНИ №646/2015" [Ukaz President of Ukraine No. 646/2015] (in Ukrainian). President of Ukraine. 21 November 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2016. 
  36. ^ "LITPOLUKRBRIG starts a realistic training near Nowa Dęba". Ministry of Defence of Ukraine. 7 June 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  37. ^ "Ukraine paratroopers to take part in 2016 Flaming Thunder drills in Lithuania". Ukraine Today. 31 July 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  38. ^ a b "Ковальчук Андрій Трохимович" [Kovalchuk Andrey Trokhymovych]. ukrgeroes.narod.ru (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2016-08-30. 
  39. ^ "80-й окремий аеромобільний полк – desant-ukrain" [80th Separate Airmobile Regiment]. desant ukrain (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 29 Jan 2016. Retrieved 29 Jan 2016. 
  40. ^ a b c d Skorostetskyy, Volodymyr (2007). "СТРОКОВА У СТИЛІ "МОДЕРН"" [In the modern style]. Viysko Ukrainy (in Ukrainian). No. 1. Archived from the original on 22 December 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  41. ^ a b "Військовослужбовці 80-го окремого аеромобільного полку 13-го армійського корпусу Сухопутних військ ЗС України демонструють свої вміння з вогневої, тактичної повітряно-десантної підготовки під час польового виходу" [80th Airmobile Regiment servicement demonstrate skills]. mil.gov.ua (in Ukrainian). 26 February 2008. Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  42. ^ "Яворівський 80-ий аеромобільний полк готовий до ротації в Ірак, де замінить 6-ту окрему механізовану бригаду" [Yavoriv 80th Airmobile Regiment ready for Iraq rotation, will replace 6th Separate Mechanized Brigade]. ZIK (Western Information Corporation) (in Ukrainian). 16 February 2005. Archived from the original on 12 February 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2012. 
  43. ^ "До Міноборони та Генштабу переведено вісім бойових комбригів" [To the defense ministry and General Staff promoted eight combat brigade commanders]. news.ru.ua (in Ukrainian). 24 March 2015. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  44. ^ "80 окрема десантно-штурмова бригада святкує свій день народження" [80th Airmobile Brigade celebrates its birthday]. Ministry of Defence of Ukraine (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 31 January 2016. Retrieved 31 January 2016. 
  45. ^ "До львівських десантників завітали школярі" [Paratroopers visit Lviv students] (in Ukrainian). Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. 10 June 2016. Retrieved 2016-08-30. 
  • Feskov, V.I.; Golikov, V.I.; Kalashnikov, K.A.; Slugin, S.A. (2013). Вооруженные силы СССР после Второй Мировой войны: от Красной Армии к Советской [The Armed Forces of the USSR after World War II: From the Red Army to the Soviet: Part 1 Land Forces] (in Russian). Tomsk: Scientific and Technical Literature Publishing. ISBN 9785895035306.