Russian army orders horses for paratrooper division

August 7, 2013 RBTH, Interfax
“The Airborne Paratrooper Calvary helps troopers handle tasks in such conditions where the usual military equipment is powerless,” said Anatoly Kontsevoi, head of the Ryazan Paratroopers College, in an interview with RIA.

“The Airborne Paratrooper Calvary helps troopers handle tasks in such conditions where the usual military equipment is powerless,” said Anatoly Kontsevoi, head of the Ryazan Paratroopers College, in an interview with RIA. 

“You would think: At the turn of the 21st century? But, no matter which way you turn it, not a single vehicle can get through high in the mountains or in desert places. Not one!” said Kontsevoi.

According to the head of the training center, it is very difficult to use heavy equipment when carrying out military activities in mountainous or forested areas. Thus, the use of horses is necessary for speed and mobility.

“The speed of a man carrying weapons and munitions is limited to 5-6 kilometers an hour [3 miles per hour]. On a horse, it is possible to increase his speed to 30 kilometers per hour [18 miles per hour],” said Kontsevoi.   

In Kontsevoi’s opinion, another benefit to horses is their physical power. “Controlling this power, one learns the etiquette of conduct with animals. The horse must be trained to itinerate and become adapted to dressage. This, I tell you, is titanic work,” the officer said, emphasizing that these and other skills help soldiers overcome many other future difficulties.

Nikolai Ignatov, chief of staff for the Airborne Paratrooper division told journalists earlier that cavalry preparations are being handled in the only paratroopers’ college in the country.

“Sixty horses in total have been purchased; exercises are in progress. Thirty horses are already being used for exercises in the Ryazan school, and the other 30 horses are being used in other units,” said Ignatov.

First published in Russian in RIA Novosti.

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