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Northern Fleet celebrates 78th birthday

Northern Fleet celebrates 78th birthday 01.06.2011
Text: Northern Fleet Information Support Group
Collage by Northern Fleet Information Support Group
On June 1, 2011 Russian Northern Fleet (NF) turned 78.

Permanently-based Soviet regular naval force in the north goes back to June 1, 1933 when Northern Naval Flotilla was founded. The fleet acquired first combat experience in Soviet-Finnish War of 1939-1940. The Great Patriotic War was a severe test for the young Northern Fleet; its mariners displayed mass heroism and bravery. The fleet scuppered and damaged over 600 enemy warships, transport and auxiliary vessels, 1 308 aircrafts, and escorted over 1 500 convoys. NF servicemen are proud that none of naval bases was captured.

Nowadays, Northern Fleet provides strategic stability and protects Russia's economic and political interests. Today NF operates nuclear-powered ballistic missile and attack submarines, aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Kuznetsov with deck-based fighters Su-33 and helicopters on board, nuclear-powered missile cruiser Petr Veliky, missile cruiser Marshal Ustinov, large ASW ships, destroyers, landing and other ships, aviation, and coast defense troops.

Presently, NF ships do not stagnate at the quay but regularly improve naval skills both in littoral and distant sea zones. Number and duration of long-range cruises has increased with the view to maintain naval presence and demonstration of St. Andrew's flag in the regions of Russia's interests. Northern Fleet has in inventory surface ships and submarines which combat capabilities yield to none foreign analogs. All Russian Navy's large-scale exercises are held with participation of NF warships. This year NF mariners will carry out missions in the Arctic, the Atlantic, and the Indian oceans as well as in the Mediterranean Sea.

Throughout recent time Northern Fleet actively broadens international relations. In May large ASW ship Vice Admiral Kulakov took part in Russian-Norwegian exercise Pomor-2011. Large ASW ship Admiral Chabanenko heads for the US to attend annual international naval exercise FRUKUS-2011 along with French, British and American warships. Large ASW ship Severomorsk will start anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden in the nearest days.

NF submariners regularly prove their ability to execute all assigned tasks as well. Recently, the crew of SSBN Yekaterinburg headed by Capt 1 rank Igor Stepanenko completed two successful launches of ballistic missiles from the Barents Sea; both missiles hit training targets at Kura Range, Kamchatka.

All NF units started the day of June 1 with solemn flag-hoisting ceremony and parades.

Festive meetings were held in all NF units; commanders issued personnel-awarding orders. NF servicemen met with veterans, representatives of patronage organizations and sponsors.

Personnel of the Northern Fleet main naval base Severomorsk was congratulated by NF Acting Commander Rear Admiral Andrei Volozhinsky.

Northern Fleet will face responsible and force-demanding missions in summer training period which starts on June 1. Personnel will begin training since the very first days of it.

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