Ukrainian Naval Infantry

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Naval Infantry
Морська пiхота України
БЕ МП 1.png
Cap badge (cockade) of the Ukrainian Naval Infantry
FoundedMay 23, 1918 (1918-05-23)[1]
Country Ukraine
Branch Ukrainian Navy
TypeCoast guard and marines
RoleAmphibious warfare, coastal defense
SizeDivision (3 marine brigades, 1 artillery regiment, and independent units)
Garrison/HQMykolaiv
Motto(s)"Always faithful!" (Ukrainian: Вірний завжди!)
ColorsLight green[1]
AnniversariesMay 23[2]
EngagementsUkrainian War of Independence
Ukrainian–Soviet War
2014 Crimean crisis
War in Donbass
Commanders
Commanding General Marine Corps/
Commanding Officer Fleet Marine Division
Maj. Gen. Yuri Sodoly
Insignia
Tactical recognition flashMarines ukraine5.jpg
Service flagFlag of the Ukrainian Naval Infantry.png
Garrison colourПрапор МП.png

The Ukrainian Naval Infantry (Ukrainian: Морська піхота України) is part of coastal defense troops of the Ukrainian Navy. It is used as a component part of amphibious, airborne and amphibious-airborne operations, alone or in accordance with formations and units of the Army in order to capture parts of the seashore, islands, ports, fleet bases, coast airfields and other coast objects of the enemy. It can also be used to defend naval bases, vital areas of the shore, separate islands and coast objects, and security of hostile areas.[3]

Mission[edit]

The Naval Infantry's missions are to:

  • Act independently during attacks on enemy's naval installations, ports, islands and coastal areas
  • Clear the enemy's coastal areas & provide security during the landing of the main forces.[4]

Its motto is Вірний завжди! ("Always Faithful!") .

History[edit]

Hetmanate[edit]

A Ukrainian Naval Infantry BTR-80 takes part in Exercise Sea Breeze 2010.

Former Russian Imperial army general Pavlo Skoropadskyi understood the importance of naval infantry in providing security to the country. Being the commander-in-chief of land and naval forces, Skoropadskyi brought attention to creating the naval infantry during his first month in power. On May 23, 1918 he ordered the Department of Navy to Begin forming a Brigade of naval infantry consisting of three regiments.[2][5]

The mission of the Naval Infantry was protecting the coastal areas, serving as a garrison force for forts and conducting landing operations. According to the order the Brigade was divided into three regiments. First regiment was responsible for the areas between the western border until the village of Suchavka, near Odesa. Second regiment was responsible for territory between Suchavka and Stanislavov. Third regiment protected the areas from Stanislavov until Perekop. Brigade was also put in charge of guarding the property of the Navy Department.[5]

Each of the three regiments consisted of three kurins. Each kurin consisted of three Sotnia and a machine gun unit. Commandant of the first regiment was Ilarion Isaievych.[5]

On August 31, 1918 each unit was given the permanent headquarters. First regiment's HQ was located in Odesa, second's HQ in Mykolaiv and third's HQ in Kherson. Also at this time 3 squadrons of cavalry were formed. First was stationed in Odesa, second in Ochakiv and third in Perekop.[5]

In October 1918 new recruits born in 1899, would have joined the ranks of the naval infantry, however due to the political situation of that autumn the recruits had to wait until a better time.[5]

Not long after, Pavlo Skoropadskyi was removed from power in an uprising led by Symon Petliura. The Naval Infantry continued to faithfully serve their nation under the banner of the Ukrainian People's Republic. Many of them have died for freedom and independence.[5]

Modern history[edit]

A Ukrainian naval infantryman armed with a Dragunov sniper rifle takes part in Exercise Northern Light '03 on the west coast of Scotland.

On February 22, 1993, the 880th Separate Naval Infantry Battalion of the Black Sea Fleet commanded by Major Vitaliy G. Rozhmanov pledged their allegiance to Ukraine.[4][6]

After the Naval Forces were created on July 1, 1993, the first battalion of the Naval Infantry was formed in the city of Sevastopol.[4][7] The first naval infantrymen were transferred from the airmobile units. On September 1, 1993, the 41st Separate Naval Infantry Battalion was formed. By September 20, 1994, the 4th Naval Infantry Brigade was stationed in the Tylove village of Crimea.[7] From May 1996 until 1998, the Brigade was a part of the Ukrainian National Guard.[7] In 1998, it was transferred to the Navy and re-designated the 1st Separate Naval Infantry Brigade.[7] In 1999, the Brigade consisted of two battalions numbering 1,500 marines.[8] During 2003–04, the Ukrainian armed forces underwent a program to reduce the number of brigades, and the Naval Infantry Brigade was reduced to a Battalion.[7]

Ukrainian marines and US naval corpsmen simulating casualty extraction using a Mi-8 during the multinational Sea Breeze exercise in 2011.

The command of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine made a decision to form a new naval infantry battalion by force of a mechanised battalion located in Kerch. In December 2013 the militaries of the new 501st Separate Naval Infantry Battalion have taken the Naval Infantry Oath.[9]

The 1st Separate Naval Infantry Battalion was under the jurisdiction of the 36th Separate Coastal Defence Brigade,[4] and it was stationed in Feodosiya and there was also another one battalion (501st Bn.) which was stationed in Kerch; both were in the Crimea until late March 2014. After the Russian annexation of the Crimea the battalions were deployed to another location out of the peninsula. After the annexation of Crimea Ukraine's marine forces composed of only about 200 active duty personnel.[10]

Special reconnaissance units of the marine corps were deployed against insurgents during the 2014 War in Donbass. Oleksandr Zinchenko of the 73rd marine spetsnaz detachment was the first Ukrainian Marine killed during the War in Donbass.[11] The Ukrainian Marine Corps was particularly hard hit by the Crimea Crisis as all of their forces except for the 73rd spetsnaz detachment were stationed on the peninsula, due to this the unit had to undergo extensive reorganization before being able to be deployed to the war in the Donbass.[12][13][14][15] In September 2014 Ministry of Defense announced that the marine corps were reforming from the Crimea Crisis and the remaining members of the 1st Marine Battalion which was stationed in Feodosya would take an active part in the War in Donbass.[16] On 29 October 2014 Ukraine's Marine Corps conventional forces, recently recovered from the Crimea Crisis suffered their first casualty near Mariupol, the Marine was a Major and was killed when his unit's position came under Russian artillery fire.[17]

On 8 November 2014 Ukrainian marines returned to their permanent place of deployment in Mykolaiv as part of a regular rotation of Ukrainian forces during the War in Donbass.[18]

On 23 May 2018, the NI celebrated the first Marine Corps Birthday celebrations, the holiday being officially sanctioned by no less than President Petro Poroshenko as part of a nationalization of the former Soviet holidays, replacing those with the ones celebrating Ukrainian military history, the holiday marking the formation of the first marine units in May of 1918, during the Ukrainian War of Independence. New colours were awarded incorporating the speciality badge awarded to the unit in 2007, and the NI was transformed into the Fleet Marine Division with 2 brigades and an independent brigade of marine artillery, while the former black berets were changed to light green following the practice of the British Royal Marines and the Italian Army Lagunari. [19][20][21]The new colours include the blue cross from the naval ensign as an acknowledgement of its role as a constituent service of the Navy. Plans are underway for the formation of a 3rd Marine brigade, bringing the total number of brigades to four plus one MRL regiment.

Reform[edit]

The ideal goal in the reform of the Naval Infantry Corps is to form a unit which would be similar to the units sent to Iraq. It is planned that there will be no more conscripts in the Naval Infantry, only professional naval infantrymen.[22]

Armed Forces of Ukraine
Emblem of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.svg
Main branches
Emblem of the Ukrainian Ground Forces.svg Ground Forces
Emblem of the Ukrainian Air Force.svg Air Force
Emblem of the Ukrainian Navy.svg Navy
Emblem of Airmobile troops of Ukraine.svg Airmobile Forces
Special Operations Forces of Ukraine.svg Special Operations Forces
Other Corps
Емблема морської піхоти (2007).png Naval Infantry
Related Services
Emblem of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.svg Ministry of Defence
General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.svg General Staff
Геральдичний знак - емблема МВС України.svg Ministry of Internal Affairs
NSAU Logo1.svg National Space Agency
Intelligence
Security Service of Ukraine Emblem.svg Security Service
Емблема СЗРУ.png Foreign Intelligence Service
Emblem of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine.svg Military Intelligence Service
History of the Ukrainian Military
History of Ukraine
History of Ukraine during WWII
History of Ukraine during WWI

Organization[edit]

1918 structure[edit]

  • 1st Regiment - Odessa
    • 1st Kurin
      • 1st Sotnia
      • 2nd Sotnia
      • 3rd Sotnia
      • machine gun unit
    • 2nd Kurin
    • 3rd Kurin
  • 2nd Regiment - Mykolaiv
  • 3rd Regiment - Kherson
  • 1st Cavalry Squadron - Odesa
  • 2nd Cavalry Squadron - Ochakiv
  • 3rd Cavalry Squadron - Perekop

1998 structure[edit]

  • Separate Air Assault Battalion "Lion"
  • Separate Air Assault Battalion "Berkut"
  • Separate Air Assault Reconnaissance Battalion "Sword"
  • Separate Combat Engineer Battalion "Crab"
  • Separate Signal Company
  • Anti-Tank Battalion
  • Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion
  • Artillery Battalion
  • Artillery Battalion

Fleet Marine Division[edit]

Ukrainian marines practicing urban warfare during the Rapid Trident 2014 exercise on 23 September 2014.

As of 2018 the Fleet Marine Division's structure is as follows:

  • Fleet Marine Division of the Ukrainian Navy, Mykolaiv
    • Division HQ
    • Division HQ Services Battalion
    • 36th Marine Brigade, Mykolaiv
      • Headquarters & Headquarters Company
      • 1st Marine Battalion, Mykolaiv (BTR-80)
      • 501st Marine Battalion, Mariupol (BTR-80)
      • 503rd Marine Battalion, Berdiansk (BTR-80)
      • 505th Marine Battalion (under formation)
      • 4th Marine Battalion (Air Assault) (under formation)
      • 1st Marine Tank Battalion (T-80)
      • 1st Marine Brigade Artillery Group
        • Regimental HQ and Target Acquisition Battery
        • Marine Self-propelled Field Artillery Battalion (2S1 Gvozdika)
        • Marine Rocket Launcher Artillery Battalion (BM-21 Grad)
        • Marine Anti-tank Artillery Battalion (MT-12 Rapira)
        • Marine Artillery Reconnaissance Battalion
        • Security Company
        • Engineer Company
        • Replacement and Maintenance Battery
        • Logistics Company
        • Signals Platoon
        • CBRN-defense Platoon
      • 1st Marine Anti-Air Defense Missile Artillery Battalion
      • 1st Marine Engineer Battalion
      • Marine Maintenance Battalion
      • Marine Logistics Battalion
      • Force Reconnaissance Company
      • Sniper Company
      • Electronic Warfare Company
      • Signals Company
      • Anti-Aircraft Radar Company
      • CBRN-defense Company
      • Medical Company
      • Military Police Company
      • Marine Brigade Band
    • 35th Marine Brigade, Dachne
      • Headquarters & Headquarters Company
      • 136th Marine Battalion (under formation)
      • 137th Marine Battalion
      • 18th Marine Battalion (under formation)
      • 88th Marine Battalion (Air Assault) (under formation)
      • 2nd Marine Brigade Artillery Group
        • Regimental HQ and Target Acquisition Battery
        • Marine Self-propelled Field Artillery Battalion (2S1 Gvozdika)
        • Marine Rocket Launcher Artillery Battalion (BM-21 Grad)
        • Marine Anti-tank Artillery Battalion (MT-12 Rapira)
        • Marine Artillery Reconnaissance Battalion
        • Security Company
        • Engineer Company
        • Replacement and Maintenance Battery
        • Logistics Company
        • Signals Platoon
        • CBRN-defense Platoon
      • 2nd Marine Tank Battallion (under formation)
      • 2nd Marine Anti-Air Defense Missile Artillery Battalion
      • 2nd Marine Engineer Battalion
      • 2nd Marine Maintenance Battalion
      • 2nd Marine Logistics Battalion
      • Force Reconnaissance Company
      • Sniper Company
      • Electronic Warfare Company
      • Signals Company
      • Anti-Aircraft Radar Company
      • CBRN-defense Company
      • Medical Company
      • Military Police Company
      • 2nd Marine Brigade Band
    • 32nd Marine Rocket Artillery Regiment, Altestove
      • Headquarters & Headquarters Battery
      • Rocket Artillery Battalion (BM-27 Uragan)
      • Rocket Artillery Battalion (BM-21 Grad)
      • Rocket Artillery Battalion (BM-21 Grad)
      • Security Company
      • Engineer Company
      • MRL Replacement and Maintenance Company
      • Logistic Company
      • Signal Platoon
      • CBRN-defense Platoon
    • 406th Marine Field and Coastal Defense Artillery Brigade (Amphibious)
      • Headquarters & Target Acquisition Battery
      • 1st Marine Howitzer Field Artillery Battalion, Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi
      • 2nd Marine Howitzer Field Artillery Battalion, Berdiansk
      • 3rd Marine Howitzer Field Artillery Battalion, Sarata
      • 4th Marine Howitzer Field Artillery Battalion, Dachne, Odessa Oblast
      • 1st Marine Anti-tank Artillery Battalion (MT-12 Rapira)
      • Marine Artillery Reconnaissance Battalion
      • Security Company
      • Engineers Company
      • Maintenance and Replacement Battery
      • Logistics Company
      • Signals Platoon
      • CBRN-defense Platoon
      • Marine Brigade Band
    • 37th Marine Signals Regiment, Radisne, Odessa Oblast
    • Marine Engineer Battalion (to be expanded to Regiment size)
    • Marine Maintenance Battalion
    • Marine Division Logistics Battalion
    • Force Reconnaissance Company (to be expanded to the Division Force Reconnissance Battalion)
    • Sniper Company
    • Electronic Warfare Company
    • Signal Company
    • Anti-Aircraft Radar Company
    • CBRN-defense Company
    • Divisional Medical Company (to be expanded to battalion)
    • Military Police Company (to be expanded into battalion)
    • Marine Division Band Mykolaiv


The Marine infantry battalions are organized as follows:

  • Marine Battalion Headquarters & Headquarters Platoon
    • 1st Marine Air Assault Company[23]
    • 2nd Marine Infantry Company
    • 3rd Marine Infantry Company
    • Mortar Battery
    • Logistic Company
    • Reconnaissance Platoon
    • Anti-Aircraft Missile Artillery Platoon
    • Anti-tank Artillery Platoon
    • Engineer Platoon
    • Landing Equipment Platoon
    • Signal Platoon
    • Medical Platoon

The tank and artillery battalions are organized similarly but with one to 4 tank companies or artillery batteries.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Poroshenko enacts law on Ukraine's Air Assault Forces, UNIAN (23 May 2018)
  2. ^ a b (in Ukrainian) Marines received new berets and a new holiday, Ukrayinska Pravda (23 May 2018)
  3. ^ Structure of Ukrainian Armed Forces
  4. ^ a b c d "Військо України" Archived 2007-10-15 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b c d e f Морська Держава :: Головна сторiнка - Анонси Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Тенюх Ігор Йосипович Archived 2014-03-08 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ a b c d e Морская пехота - состав и дислокация ч2 Archived 2007-09-21 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Microsoft Word - Neutrality-UA_m.doc
  9. ^ Воїни керченського батальйону склали клятву морського піхотинця (in Ukrainian). Уніан. 2013-12-27. Retrieved 2014-06-23.
  10. ^ "КорреспонденT.net. На маленьком флоту. На что сейчас способны остатки украинского флота". Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  11. ^ "Під Донецьком героїчно загинув командир очаківських морських піхотинців". ТСН.ua. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  12. ^ "Новости Одессы. В Одессе, Николаеве и Киеве собирают помощь для морских пехотинцев, отправляющихся в АТО". Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  13. ^ "Викна-Одесса. В Одессе, Николаеве и Киеве собирают помощь для морских пехотинцев, отправляющихся в АТО". Викна-Одесса: Художественная интернет-галерея. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  14. ^ "Одесская жизнь. Стало известно, кого из военных моряков отправляют в зону АТО". Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  15. ^ "Vesti.lv. Остатки морской пехоты отправят на Донбасс (видео)". Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  16. ^ "Одессе, Николаеве и Киеве собирают помощь для морских пехотинцев, отправляющихся в АТО : Новости : Викна-Одесса". Викна-Одесса: Художественная интернет-галерея. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  17. ^ "Українські морпіхи зазнали перших втрат в АТО". UA Press.
  18. ^ "На первую ротацию вернулась из Донбасса легендарные крымские морские пехотинцы". TSN.
  19. ^ "Порошенко урочисто змінив колір беретів морпіхів і встановив День морської піхоти". https://espreso.tv/. Еспресо TV. 2018-05-23. Retrieved 23 травня 2018. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help); External link in |website= (help)
  20. ^ "Морські піхотинці отримали нові берети та нове свято". https://www.pravda.com.ua/. Українська правда. 2018-05-23. Retrieved 23 травня 2018. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help); External link in |website= (help)
  21. ^ "100 років тому була створена морська піхота України". https://novynarnia.com/. Новинарня. 2018-05-23. Retrieved 23 травня 2018. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help); External link in |website= (help)
  22. ^ Міністерство оборони України - Новини Archived 2012-08-05 at Archive.today
  23. ^ (in Ukrainian) Marine paratroopers received German jump wings