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Masters of fire contacts

January 21, 2016 / Edition of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine "Fleet of Ukraine" No.4

Commanders will never hear the answer – "It is impossible" – from Special Forces officers. Most likely, they will say: "It is impossible, but we'll try". About the feats of these guys, most of us probably will never even know. Many of Special Forces officers sometimes even can't tell what they received orders and medals for, because they, as a rule, "work" in isolation from main forces, carry out secret missions and may rely only on themselves. Really, there are no tasks that such guys can't fulfill, but, to prove this not in word, but in deed, almost all their free time, they use for preparations, exercises on the training fields where they learn special disciplines.

The faces of the warriors are not known to the majority of Ukrainians, that's why, this time, I had an opportunity to make photos of them only with closed faces. One of my new acquaintances limped a bit, because he just came back to the ranks after hospital. Of course, he could have rested after the injury further, but it is not about Special Forces.

– It will heal after trainings, – he said and went to the firing line.

This time, the Special Forces scouts improved their skills during comprehensive exercises in fire and tactical training.

The commander said that exercises had been arranged according to the new procedure, which has been developed on the ground of personal experience obtained in combat actions. The guys also tried to implement as many world trends as possible in firearms training, which have been tested in battles.

– We gradually retreat from the old Soviet school elements, where the automatic gun fire was for 300-400 meters. We begin to use more modern standards, for example, quick contacts which demand sudden fire engagement at short distances. As the experience shows, it is very important in our work. A great attention is paid to the culture of arms treatment by the personnel. Every serviceman has to learn its organic weapon well and know what it is capable of, – the officer said.

Fully equipped reconnaissance man carried out basic exercises in shooting, mostly from unsteady positions: standing, standing on the knee, lying, in the course of sudden fire contacts from the left and right flanks etc. Special Forces officers have also practiced elements of tactical group training, where they sharpened interaction between the servicemen: shooting in couples, as well as in groups by four, from various positions and in different possible situations, for instance, in case of comrades-in-arms injury or something else. Such skills have already many times helped the fellows to successfully carry out tasks and save lives. Of course, the commander hasn't told us the precise places where his unit participated, but said that they were in all the hottest points.

– From the beginning of hostilities, a lot of work has been done. We improve ourselves, some methods that previously were considered correct, haven't justified themselves in real life. We expand our training program with new elements from personal experience, – he said.

Here everything is different. You won't see anything similar to this at the exercises of other units. It was unusual that every warrior in the military uniform has understood his fellows or commander from half a word. There was snow everywhere. It started raining, but the servicemen haven't paid any attention to it, and just continued training. After short commands, they changed tactics, shot by bursts or by single shots, from pistols, machine guns and grenade launchers of different types. The exercise lasted several hours; groups changed training points only when commander was satisfied with the accomplished work. We asked to shoot from their submachine guns, but, of course, we weren't allowed. But nobody took the offence, because a gun or a submachine gun of Special Forces officers is a very personal thing. Every soldier treats it with exceptional love, and it is quiet clear why. Later, one of the officers told about his submachine gun.

– It is Kalashnikov modernized assault rifle (AKMS) with an under-folding metal shoulder stock. Before the present state, it was an ordinary assault rifle with a folding shoulder stock. Now, a lot was changed, in particular – gas tube kit, hand guard assembly, muzzle brake, reflector sight and magazine-opening cover with Picatinny rail. The shoulder stock is also changed; it weights less and is more comfortable in use. The pistol grip makes it easier to keep the assault rifle in any weather. Safety lock with an additional lever is also modernized. Additional handle is in order not to keep the rifle by the magazine case. Three-point belt, cheek on the shoulder stock, non-standard concealed firing mechanism produced specially for the assault rifle. Such an upgrade was made from practical point of view, for example, muzzle brake extinguishes fire, gives weaker recoil and diffuses sounds in such a way that adversary can't understand, where the shooting is from. The weapon is very good, but I am sure that its characteristics may be further extended, – Oleksandr said.

Nobody knows what other hardships will the guys face. But we want to wish them to come back from all the missions alive.

Leonid Matiukhin. “Fleet of Ukraine”