Defense

April 9, 2014

Joint Staff official discusses Russian military evolution

SFC Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

Russias conventional military is a regional power, but has limited capability for global power projection, the Joint Staffs director for strategic plans and policy told Congress April 8.

Navy Vice Adm. Frank C. Pandolfe discussed the evolution of Russian conventional military power during testimony alongside Derek Chollet, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, before the House Armed Services Committee.

Today, Russia is a regional power that can project force into nearby states, but it has very limited global power projection capability, Pandolfe said. It has a military of uneven readiness. While some units are well trained, most are less so.

Pandolfe said the Russian military suffers from corruption, and its logistic capabilities are limited.

Aging equipment, infrastructure and demographic and social problems will continue to hamper reform efforts, he added.

The U.S. military, in contrast, employs a military of global reach and engagement, Pandolfe said.

The readiness of our rotationally deployed forces is high, he said. We are working to address readiness shortfalls at home. And we operate in alliances, the strongest of which is NATO.

Composed of 28 nations, Pandolfe said, NATO is the most successful military alliance in history.

Should Russia undertake an armed attack against any NATO state, it will find that our commitment to collective defense is immediate and unwavering, the admiral said.

At the height of its military power, Pandolfe said, the Soviet Union was truly a global competitor. With millions of people under arms, a vast number of tanks and planes, a global navy and an extensive intelligence gathering infrastructure, he said, the Soviet military machine posed a very real threat.

Following the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Pandolfe said, its arsenal fell into disrepair. Starved of funding and fragmented, he added, Russian military capability decayed throughout the 1990s.

From the start of his term in 2000, President [Vladimir] Putin made military modernization a top priority of the Russian government, he said.

When Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, a number of shortcomings were noted in its military performance Pandolfe said.

This led the Russian government to further increase investment in its military services, and since 2008, those efforts have had some success, the admiral told the panel.

Russian military forces have been streamlined into smaller, more mobile units, Pandolfe explained. Their overall readiness has improved, and their most elite units are well trained and equiped. They now employ a more sophisticated approach to joint warfare. Their military has implemented organizational change, creating regional commands within Russia.

Pandolfe said these regional commands coordinate and synchronize planning, joint service integration, force movement, intelligence support and the tactical employment of units.

Finally, the Russian military adopted doctrinal change placing greater emphasis on speed of movement, the use of special operations forces, and information and cyber warfare, he said.

They instituted snap exercises, the admiral said, with these no-notice drills serving the dual purpose of sharpening military readiness and inducing strategic uncertainty as to whether they would swiftly transition from training to offensive operations.

Pandolfe noted Russias military objectives are difficult to predict, but said it is clear that Russia is sustaining a significant military force on Ukraines border.

This is deeply troubling to all states in the region and beyond, he said. And we are watching Russia military movements very carefully.

The admiral noted he recently spoke with Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, commander of U.S. European Command, and NATOs supreme allied commander for Europe.

He is formulating recommendations for presentation to the North Atlantic Council on April 15, Pandolfe said. These recommendations will be aimed at further reassuring our NATO allies. As part of this effort, he will consider increasing military exercises, forward deploying additional military equipment and personnel and increasing our naval, air and ground presence.

Breedlove will update members of Congress on those recommendations at the earliest opportunity, Pandolfe said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Joe W. McFadden

Polish, U.S. forces improve interoperability at Lask AB

Four F-16 Fighting Falcons, two F-22 Raptors and a C-130 Hercules arrived at Lask Air Base Aug. 31. The airmen and aircraft are in Poland for separate flying training events with allies to demonstrate the countries’ share...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Ron Bradshaw

First operational F-35As arrive at Hill AFB

The Air Force ushered in a new era of combat air power Sept. 2 as Hill Air Force Base, Utah, received the service’s first two operational F-35As. Hill’s active duty 388th Fighter Wing and Reserve 419th Fighter Wing ...
 
 
Navy photograph

Air-to-air missile reaches production milestone

Featuring a “lock on after launch” capability and other advances, the joint Navy and Air Force air-intercept missile (AIM)-9X Sidewinder Block II reached the full rate production milestone Aug. 17. Sean Stackley, As...
 

 

Navy Lt. j.g. John Salguero of Palmdale, serves with the Navy Reserve

Navy photograph by PO2 Jamie Hawkins Lt. j.g. John Salguero, a 1981 Palmdale High School graduate and Palmdale, Calif., native, is a Navy Reservist serving with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Eighteen, Detachment 2118 in Bremerton, Wash., in the U.S. Navy, which protects and defends America on the world’s oceans. The Navy Reserve is celebrating its...
 
 

MQ-1s test deployment capability in Latvia

Two MQ-1 Predator remotely piloted aircraft and approximately 70 airmen deployed to Lielvarde Air Base, Latvia, to test the unit’s ability to forward deploy, and to conduct air operations while assuring NATO allies of our commitment to regional security and stability. Airmen and aircraft from the 147th Reconnaissance Wing of the Texas Air National Guard...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

F-22 inaugural deployment to Europe

Courtesy photograph A pair of F-22 Raptors fly near the coastline of Panama City Beach, Fla. Four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III, and approximately 60 airmen arrived at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, to train with allie...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>