Uzbekistan Ground Forces

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Uzbek Ground Forces
Coat of arms of Uzbekistan.svg
Coat of Arms of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Active 1992 - present
Country Uzbekistan
Branch Army
Role Defense of Uzbekistan
Size 40,000 (est. 2006)
Garrison/HQ Tashkent
Engagements Tajik Civil War

The Ground Forces are the land component of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Operating since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the army is made up of former Soviet Army units that were in the territory of Uzbekistan. As of 2006, it had around 40,000 active personnel. Much of the equipment it uses is also old Soviet material, and the government of Uzbekistan has not given much effort to replace it with modern equipment.[1]

History[edit]

The armed forces were created in 1992, and along with the army, the air and air defense forces, national guard, and border service were created. Islam Karimov, the President of Uzbekistan, had begun calling native Uzbeks in the Soviet Armed Forces back to Uzbekistan to fill the ranks of the newly created ground forces, though many refused to return and renounced their citizenship. Russians made up the majority of the officer corps, while the enlisted personnel were mainly Uzbek.

Uzbekistan then became the only Central Asian state that did not allow Russian Federation citizens to serve in the army, and began to replace the Slavic officers with ethnic Uzbeks. At independence, Slavic officers made up the command of the army, and thus an effort was made to give Uzbeks higher positions, giving Slavics lower ranks. The Slavs who stayed in Uzbekistan accepted Uzbek passports.

Three major military academies, the Tashkent Higher All-Arms Command School, Tashkent Higher Tank Command School, and Samarkand Higher Military Automobile Command School,were located in Uzbekistan. This caused the government to not send Uzbek officers to Russia for training. In 1994, they established the joint Armed Forces Academy, to train officers of all branches. Though the Uzbek language was becoming more in use by the army, Russian remained the main language used in training officers, due to the fact that most manuals were in Russian and that the Central Asian Turkic languages did not have proper military vocabulary.

In 1997, the United States CENTRASBAT program paid over $5 million to fund a training exercise between Uzbek and American troops that were going to be stationed in the country. Later in 1998, a US general attended an Uzbek base that had a unit which took part in the training. After asking for a show of hands of who took part in it, only two raised them. Most Uzbek soldiers leave the service when their mandatory conscription ends. The US forces have found this to be the case in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan as well. The army was similarly run to the Soviet one, in terms of command, service, and equipment. Senior commanders gave strict orders that allowed little freedom of decision.

In 2003, the defense ministry announced that the conscription time was lowered from 18 months to 12, and those who attended officer schools only had to serve nine months. It was encouraging higher ranking personnel to serve longer. Many young Uzbeks bribed recruitment officials to not draft them into the army, as dedovshchina was widespread.[1]

Organization[edit]

The Army includes five military districts, the Northwest at Nukus, the Southwest special military district at Karshi, the central military district at Dzhizak, and the East military district at Ferghana. In 2001, the Tashkent garrison was transformed into the fifth MD - the Tashkent military district.[2]

Uzbek soldiers practice hand to hand maneuvers

The headquarters of the military districts and their areas of responsibility are confirmed. The subordinate brigades listed in the table below have been attributed to the various military districts either because they are located in the same city as the military district headquarters or are clearly within the military districts' area of responsibility - that is, the 37th Motor Rifle Brigade at Andijan.

Formation Headquarters Location Notes
Northwest Military District HQ Nukus Karakalpakstan, Xorazm Province
? Motor Rifle Brigade Nukus
Southwest Special Military District HQ Karshi Qashqadaryo Province, Surxondaryo Province, Bukhara Province, Navoiy Province
25th Motor Rifle Brigade Karshi (Nuristan) SW MD, Military Unit No.08579
Central Military District HQ Dzhizak Dzhizak Province, Samarqand Province, Sirdaryo Province
? Artillery Brigade Kattaqurgan, Samarqand former 353 artillery bde
Eastern Military District(EMD) Ferghana Fergana Province, Andijan Province, Namangan Province
17th Air Assault Brigade Ferghana EMD, up to 5000 soldiers- 4th airborne bde
37th Motor Rifle Brigade Andijan EMD, referred to as 34th MR Bde[3]
? Artillery Brigade/Regiment Ferghana EMD, Из 105th Guards Air Assault Division, Soviet Airborne Troops
Tashkent Military District HQ Tashkent Tashkent Province, Established 2001
? Artillery Brigade/Regiment Tashkent Probably training artillery regiment in Chirchik

There are four motor rifle brigades whose designations are not known,[4] and the 17th Air Assault Brigade at Fergana, the former Soviet Airborne Forces' 387th Airborne Training Regiment. Motorized brigades are located around Bukhara, Samarqand, Termez, Nukus, and Andijan.[5]

Other Listed Formations

  • 2 АК МС, Fergana, unit 49827, incl. 15 air assault bde, Chirchik training regiment and fergana airborne bde-1999[4]
  • Motor Rifle Brigade, Chirchik, unit 16707
  • Motor Rifle Brigade, Samarqand, former motor rifle division? (reserve)
  • Motor Rifle Brigade, Termez, former 108 motor rifle bde
  • Tank Regiment (тп), Used to be located in Navoi, transferred to Ahargaran
  • Engineer bde
  • SF Btn, Tashqent, former 459th SF coy
  • National Guard bde, Tashqent,1000 soldiers- including security btn, ceremonial company and SF company.

Exercises[edit]

Uzbek soldiers in the Exercise Cooperative Osprey '98

Uzbek troops participated in Partnership for Peace Exercise Cooperative Osprey '96 at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, hosted by the United States Marine Corps. They then participated as well in Exercise Cooperative Osprey '98.

In September 2004, the (then) Royal Welsh Regiment (now 3rd Bn The Royal Welsh) of the British Army participated with the Uzbek Army Peacekeeping Battalion in "Exercise Timurlane Express" in the Farish Mountain Training Area.[citation needed] This was a 3-week NATO sponsored Partnership for Peace training exercise.

Current equipment[edit]

Reportedly, Uzbek armed forces' small arms include the AK-47, AK-74, Dragunov sniper rifle, Makarov PM pistol, and PK.

Current equipment
Name Photo Origin Type Quantity
Small arms
AK-47
Автомат Калашников АК-47.jpg
USSR Assault rifle
AKM
AKM RIFLE.png
USSR Assault rifle
AK-74
Ak74assault.jpg
USSR Assault rifle
RPK
AK's modification.jpg
USSR Squad automatic weapon
PKM
PKM DD-ST-85-01257.JPEG
USSR General purpose machine gun
SVD
SVD DD-ST-85-01254.jpg
USSR Designated marksman rifle
Grenade launchers
RPG-7
RPG-7 detached.jpg
USSR Rocket-propelled launcher
Tanks
T-80
Victory Day Parade 2005-18.jpg
USSR Main battle tank 80
T-72
Verkhnyaya Pyshma Tank Museum 2011 194.jpg
USSR Main battle tank 70[6]
T-64
T-64AK at the T-34 Tank History Museum.jpg
USSR Main battle tank 100[6]
T-62
T62.jpg
USSR Main battle tank 170[6]
T-54
T-55 4.jpg
USSR Main battle tank 80[6]
Infantry Fighting Vehicles
BMP-1
Bmp-1-DMSC9112086 JPG.jpg
USSR Infantry fighting vehicle 180[6]
BMP-2
BMP-2 (2).jpg
USSR Infantry fighting vehicle 270[6]
BMD-1
Madel BMD.jpg
USSR Infantry fighting vehicle 120[6]
BMD-2
VDVHistorymuseum-17.jpg
Russia Infantry fighting vehicle 9[6]
M-ATV
M153 CROWS mounted on a U.S. Army M-ATV.jpg
United States Infantry fighting vehicle 308[7][8]
Personnel carriers
BTR-60
Btr-60.jpg
USSR Armoured personnel carrier 24[6]
BTR-70
Victory park (Kazan) (262-6).jpg
USSR Armoured personnel carrier 25[6]
BTR-80
2011 Moscow Victory Day Parade (360-05).jpg
USSR Armoured personnel carrier 210[6]
BTR-D
137 AirborneRegiment - BTR-D, MANPADS.jpg
USSR Armoured personnel carrier 50[6]
BRM-1K
BRM-1K (1).jpg
USSR Armoured personnel carrier 6[6]
BRDM-2
BRDM-2 (1964) owned by James Stewart pic5.JPG
USSR Armoured personnel carrier 13[6]
Rocket artillery
BM-21 Grad
BM-21.JPG
USSR 122mm Multiple Rocket Launcher 50[6]
BM-27 Uragan
9K57 Uragan 3.jpg
USSR 220mm Multiple Rocket Launcher 48[6]
Tactical ballistic missile systems
Tochka
Azeri Tochka-U, parad in Baku, 2013.JPG
USSR Tactical ballistic missile 5[6]
HQ-9
Chinese HQ-9 launcher.jpg
China Tactical ballistic missile 1[9]
Self-propelled artillery
2S1 Gvozdika
2S1 VS.jpg
USSR 122mm Self-Propelled Howitzer 18[6]
2S9 Nona
2S9 Nona-S.png
USSR Self-Propelled 120 mm Mortar 54[6]
2S5 Giatsint-S
2S5 Giatsint-S.jpg
USSR 152mm Self-Propelled Howitze 17[6]
2S7 Pion
2s7 pion.jpg
USSR 203mm Self-Propelled Howitzer 48[6]

References[edit]