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The 16th Red Banner Air Army (Russian: 16-я воздушная Краснознамённая армия) was the most important formation of the Special Purpose Command. Initially formed during the Second World War as a part of the Soviet Air Force, it was from its 2002 reformation to its 2009 disbandment the tactical air force component of the Moscow Military District. The 16th Air Army took part in the Battle of Berlin with 28 Aviation divisions and 7 Separate aviation regiments, and was located with the GSFG in East Germany until 1994. Withdrawn to Kubinka in that year, the army was disbanded and reformed as a corps in 1998.

16th Red Banner Air Army
Памятный знак ветерана 16 воздушной армии.jpg
Memorial badge 16th Air Army
CountrySoviet Union Soviet Union
Russia Russia
BranchFlag of the Soviet Air Force.svg Soviet Air Force
Flag of the Russian Air Force.svg Russian Air Force
Part ofGroup of Soviet Forces in Germany
EngagementsWorld War II
DecorationsOrder of the Red Banner Order of the Red Banner
Sergey Rudenko


World War IIEdit

The army began forming on 8 August 1942 during the Battle of Stalingrad and originally included the 220th Fighter Aviation Division (IAD) and 228th Assault Aviation Division (ShAD) of the 8th Air Army, as well as two separate aviation regiments. Around the end of August and the beginning of September, the 283rd IAD and 291st Mixed Aviation Division (SAD) arrived from the Reserve of the Supreme High Command. On 4 September, the army had 152 serviceable aircraft, composed of Yakovlev Yak-1 and Lavochkin-Gorbunov-Gudkov LaGG-3 fighters, Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik ground attack aircraft, and Petlyakov Pe-2 dive bombers.

It took part in Operation Uranus, the counteroffensive that successfully cut off German troops in Stalingrad, as part of the Don Front during November and December 1942, under the command of Major General Sergei Rudenko.[1] On 19 November, when the offensive began, the army had a total of 249 serviceable aircraft.[2]

It was involved in the Battle of Kursk, and was part of the First Belorussian Front for the liberation of Belarus, the Lublin-Brest Offensive, and the assault on Berlin.

In GermanyEdit

On 29 May 1945, Stavka directive No. 11095 was issued (effective from 10.6.45), by which order the 1st Belorussian Front became the Group of Soviet Occupation Forces in Germany. The order also promulgated the new structure of 16th Air Army:[3]

For a long period after the war, the army was stationed with the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, headquartered at Zossen-Wünsdorf. In 1949, it was renamed the 24th Air Army, but was reformed as the 16th in 1968.

Withdrawal from GermanyEdit

Armies of the Western Group of Forces, 1991
Sperenberg airfield, one of the main bases of the air army

The 16th Air Army ceremonially said farewell to Germany at the Sperenburg Open Day on 27 May 1994.[4] On that day the Air Army Headquarters was moved to Kubinka in the Moscow Military District.[5] However the last aircraft from the 226th Separate Mixed Aviation Regiment did not leave Sperenberg Airfield until 6 September 1994. A visiting Il-76MD was the last aircraft movement three days later.

In 1989 it consisted of subordinate units and formations as follows:[6]

Headquarters, Zossen-Wünsdorf
  • 6th Guards Fighter Aviation Division (Merseburg)
    • 296th Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment (Großenhain)
    • 31st Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment (Falkenberg)
    • 85th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment (Merseburg)
    • 968th Fighter Aviation Regiment (Kobiz)
    • 139th Aviation Technical Regiment (Merseburg)
  • 16th Guards Fighter Aviation Division (Damgarten)
    • 33rd Fighter Aviation Regiment (Wittstock)
    • 773rd Fighter Aviation Regiment (Damgarten)
    • 787th Fighter Aviation Regiment (Finow)
  • 126th Fighter Aviation Division (Zerbst)
  • 125th Fighter-Bomber Aviation Division (Rechlin)
    • 19th Guards Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment (Lerz)
    • 20th Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment (Groß Dölln)
  • 105th Fighter-Bomber Aviation Division (Großenhain)[7]
    • 296th Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment (Großenhain)
    • 559th Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment (Finsterwalde)
    • 911th Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment (Brand)
  • Separate units, directly subordinated to the 16th Air Army
See also

Airfields on German territoryEdit

The list below contains the main airfields of the 16th Air Army. The appropriate airfield call sign with the correlating nickname of the communications center is put in "quotation marks":

site call sign coms center
Ahlstedt «vodoyom (Russian: водоём «tonus (тонус)» tbd
Altenburg airfield «proran (проран)» «stolbik (столбик)» 50°58′55″N 12°30′23″E / 50.98194°N 12.50639°E / 50.98194; 12.50639
Altes Lager airfield «lektsya (лекция)» «kniga (книга)» 51°59′46″N 12°59′2″E / 51.99611°N 12.98389°E / 51.99611; 12.98389
Brand airfield «zveroboy (зверобой)» «prosyolok (просёлок)» 52°2′20″N 13°44′56″E / 52.03889°N 13.74889°E / 52.03889; 13.74889
Brandis airfield «zapayka (запайка)» «optika (oптика)» 51°19′42″N 12°39′25″E / 51.32833°N 12.65694°E / 51.32833; 12.65694
Damgarten airfield «sobol (cоболь)» «urozhay (урожай)» 54°15′56″N 12°25′58″E / 54.26556°N 12.43278°E / 54.26556; 12.43278
Dresden «aryol (aрёол)» «mebel, lira (мебель, лира)» tbd
Falkenberg airfield «baikal (байкал)» «samokatsik (самокатчик)» 51°32′52″N 13°13′41″E / 51.54778°N 13.22806°E / 51.54778; 13.22806
Finow airfield «narzan (нарзан)» «napayka, meshalka (напайка мешалка)» 52°49′38″N 13°41′37″E / 52.82722°N 13.69361°E / 52.82722; 13.69361
Finsterwalde airfield «gorodok (городок)» «probar (проба)» 51°36′27″N 13°44′17″E / 51.60750°N 13.73806°E / 51.60750; 13.73806
Grossenhain airfield «ararat (aрарат)» «tsekan bagatzrskiy (чекан, богатырский)» 51°18′42″N 13°33′33″E / 51.31167°N 13.55917°E / 51.31167; 13.55917
Köthen airfield «zemelnyi (земельный)» «zenitnyi (зенитный)» 51°43′16″N 11°57′42″E / 51.72111°N 11.96167°E / 51.72111; 11.96167
Mahlwinkel «osenniy (осенний)» «mukha, uksus (муха, уксус)» 52°23′24″N 11°46′59″E / 52.39000°N 11.78306°E / 52.39000; 11.78306
Magdeburg (Cochstedt) «садовый» «аэроплан» 51°51′21″N 11°25′5″E / 51.85583°N 11.41806°E / 51.85583; 11.41806
Merseburg airfield «muskat (мускат)» «tsaevod, radost (чаевод, радость)» 51°21′43″N 11°57′2″E / 51.36194°N 11.95056°E / 51.36194; 11.95056
Neuruppin «khuydor (хуторок)» «powodok, plavshchik (поводок, плавщик)» 52°47′36″N 12°45′37″E / 52.79333°N 12.76028°E / 52.79333; 12.76028
Nohra «voevoda (воевода)» «nagrad (нагар)» 50°57′55″N 11°14′2″E / 50.96528°N 11.23389°E / 50.96528; 11.23389
Oranienburg airfield «zadar (задар)» «rtunyi (ртутный)» 52°44′4″N 13°12′58″E / 52.73444°N 13.21611°E / 52.73444; 13.21611
Parchim airfield «pushistyi (пушистый)» «klits (клич)» 53°25′37″N 11°47′0″E / 53.42694°N 11.78333°E / 53.42694; 11.78333
Rechlin–Lärz Airfield «gusar (гусар)» «metallist (металлист)» 53°18′23″N 12°45′11″E / 53.30639°N 12.75306°E / 53.30639; 12.75306
Stendal-Borstel airfield «kukan (кукан)» «kumysny (кумысный)» 52°37′58″N 11°49′54″E / 52.63278°N 11.83167°E / 52.63278; 11.83167
Sperenberg airfield «souvenir (сувенир)» «izvoztsik (извозчик)» 52°08′13.21″N 13°18′25″E / 52.1370028°N 13.30694°E / 52.1370028; 13.30694
Templin airfield (Groß Dölln) «leopard (леопард)» «nozh, povelitel (нож, повелитель)» 53°1′44″N 13°30′59″E / 53.02889°N 13.51639°E / 53.02889; 13.51639
Tutow airfield (Demmin) «baas (баас)» «serdolik (сердолик)» 53°55′19″N 13°13′8″E / 53.92194°N 13.21889°E / 53.92194; 13.21889
Welzow airfield «baas (баас)» «serdolik (сердолик)» 51°34′22″N 14°8′22″E / 51.57278°N 14.13944°E / 51.57278; 14.13944
Werneuchen airfield «galerny (лагерный)» «postament (постамент)» 52°37′59″N 13°1′22″E / 52.63306°N 13.02278°E / 52.63306; 13.02278
Wittstock aifield «gazovy (газовый)» «postament (подкос, водонос)» 53°12′8″N 12°31′20″E / 53.20222°N 12.52222°E / 53.20222; 12.52222
Zerbst «karetny (каретный)» «kinzhal, tsaynik (кинжал, чайник)» 52°0′3″N 12°8′55″E / 52.00083°N 12.14861°E / 52.00083; 12.14861

In the Russian FederationEdit

A mеdal commemorating 70 years of the army

On 1 June 1998, the 16th Air Army was disbanded and its units incorporated into the Moscow District of VVS and PVO, in accordance with the amalgamation of the Air Forces and the Russian Air Defence Forces (former Soviet Air Defence Forces).[5] This was quickly reversed and on 25 November 1998, the 16th Mixed Aviation Corps was formed from the former units of the army. The corps was reformed as the 16th Air Army on 1 February 2002.[9]

Savasleyka is another airbase within the Moscow Military District's boundaries, but its exact operational status is currently unclear, as the formerly resident unit, the 54th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment, was not listed as operational in the most widely available recent survey of Russian air power, which was done by Air Forces Monthly in August and September 2007. The 54th Regiment had previously been withdrawn from Vainode Air Base in Latvia.[10] Russian internet sources now say it has been reorganised as the 3958th Air Base.[11]

The 16th Air Army was planned in 2007 to receive two regiments of the advanced Su-34 Fullback fighter-bombers.[12] General Belevitch said the arny would also receive MiG-29SM Fulcrum fighters to replace outdated MiG-29s and modernized Su-25 Frogfoot close support aircraft, which showed outstanding performance during operations in Afghanistan, Chechnya and other "hot spots."[12]

As part of the extensive reorganization of the Russian Air Force in 2009, the army was withdrawn from the Special Purpose Command on 1 July, and its disbandment was completed by 1 December.[13]

2007 structureEdit

16th Air ArmyKubinka[14]

Combat Aircraft magazine's June 2010 issue issued a more up to date order of battle. The army was then disestablished and incorporated into the 1st Air and Air Defence Forces Command after a later wide-ranging reorganisation in 2008-09.

Commanding generalsEdit

Commanding generals of the 16th Air Army were as follows:

  1. Pavel Stepanov, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1942)
  2. Sergey Rudenko, Colonel general of the aviation (1942-1947)
  3. Filipp Agaltsov, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1947-1949)
  4. Vyatseslv Zabaluev, Major general of the aviation (1949-1950)
  5. Konstantin Vershinin, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1950-1951)
  6. Ivan Podgorny, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1951-1954)
  7. Evgeny Loginov, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1954-1956)
  8. Geory Zimin, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1956-1960)
  9. Ivan Pstygo, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1960-1967)
  10. Aleksey Katrits, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1967-1973)
  11. Aleksandr Babaev, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1973-1978)
  12. Vladimir Korotskin, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1978-1983)
  13. Aleksey Goryaniov, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1983-1987)
  14. Yevgeny Shaposhnikov, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1987-1988)
  15. Anatoly Trasenko, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1988-1993)
  16. Boris Kazatsky, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1993-1998)
  17. Valery Retunsky, Lieutenant general of the aviation (1998-2007)
  18. Aleksandr Belevits, Major general of the aviation (2007-2009)



  1. ^ "Uranus Order of Battle". Archived from the original on 2008-05-18. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  2. ^ Prussakov et al. 1973, p. 45.
  3. ^ Holm, Michael. "16th Red Banner Air Army". Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  4. ^ Chris Lofting & Kieron Pilbeam, 'Sperenburg,' Air Forces Monthly, February 1995, p. 41.
  5. ^ a b Pyotr Butowski, Air Power Analysis: Russian Federation, Part 2, International Air Power Review, AIRTime Publishing, No.13, Summer 2004, ISBN 1-880588-84-6, p.87
  6. ^ Советские войска в Германии, 1945-1994 : памятный альбом / Sowjetische Truppen in Deutschland : 1945-1994 : Gedenkalbum [Soviet Troops in Germany, 1945–1994: Memorial Album] (in Russian and German). Moscow: Molodaya Gvardiya. 1994. p. 22. ISBN 5-235-02221-1.
  7. ^ See also Michael Holm, 105th Fighter-Bomber Aviation Division, accessed November 2011
  8. ^ Separate units list is translated from, translation of base names from, Archive – Warsaw Pact in 1989 Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Bozhyeva, Olga (7 February 2002). Возвращение Знамени [Return of the Banner]. Krasnaya Zvezda (in Russian). Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  10. ^ 'Twin Base Training,' Air Forces Monthly, December 2002
  11. ^ Vad777. 16-я воздушная армия [16th Air Army]. (in Russian). Archived from the original on 10 January 2008. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  12. ^ a b "Russia to equip two air regiments with Su-34 strike planes soon". Sputnik News. 2 August 2007. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  13. ^ Завершается история Шестнадцатой воздушной армии [Story of the 16th Air Army Ends]. (in Russian). 8 August 2009. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  14. ^ Butowski, Piotr (July 2007). "Force Report: Russian Air Force". Air Forces Monthly. p. 82.


External linksEdit