President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered a radical restructuring of the Russian armed forces command system with an aim to reform the Soviet-era military behemoth into a 'lean but mean' force capable of fighting the modern network centric warfare. The decree signed by Medvedev also aims to reform the logistic support system of the armed forces.
"Under the Presidential decree existing six military districts will be reorganised into four united strategic commands (USC) and an integrated logistic support system," Chief of the General Staff, Army General Nikolai Makarov announced on Wednesday. Under the reformed command structure The Moscow and Leningrad military districts will be merged into the Western Military District (USC 'West') and will now also include the Northern and Baltic Fleets.
The North Caucasus Military District will be changed to the South Military District (USC 'South') and will include the Black Sea Fleet. The Volga-Urals Military District and the western part of the Siberian Military District will be merged to form the Central Military District (USC 'Centre'). The remaining part of the Siberian Military District will be merged with the Far East Military District into the East Military District (USC 'East')
Deputy Defence Minister Colonel General Dmitry Bulgakov will be chief of the Integrated Logistic Support System, while former Chief, General Vladimir Popovkin will control the production and acquisition of weapons under the government programmes. "In the past, two deputy defence minister level officials used to look after the logistics, of which one had the means of transportation, while another had the weapons and they could not work independently," General Makarov was quoted as saying by ITAR-TASS.
Makarov said that earlier, 11 levels of command have been abolished to accommodate the new three-level system comprising of United Strategic Command, Operational Commandand Brigade. According to local defence expert Konstantin Makiyenko, the new command structure was successfully tested during the recent "Vostok-2010" war games in the far east of the country, when thousands of men and machines were swiftly redeployed from the central parts of the country to remote areas in the east to practice offensive and defensive combat.