Soldiers from the Northern Fleet’s Arctic Brigade have for the first time learned how to use traditional means of transportation of the indigenous peoples of the North – reindeer and dog sledding.
The training was conducted in Lovozero on the Kola Peninsula, in the heartland of the Sami population in Russia. The participants came from the Arctic Brigade’s reconnaissance company.
In temperatures down to -30°C the soldiers learned how to handle dog sleds and reindeer sleds and how they can be used tactically in raids. Reindeer herders and dog mushers told the soldiers about how to keep the animals and what their skills are, the Ministry of Defense’s website reads.
Reindeer battalions in WW2
During World War II the Red Army established several reindeer battalions in the Arctic. Reindeer were used for transportation of equipment, evacuation of wounded, getting scouts behind the enemy lines, and even evacuation of wrecked aircraft and their crews.
Men from the indigenous people of Sami, Nenets and Komi were mobilized in the battalions together with more than 10.000 reindeer.
Watch video from the Arctic Brigade’s training on TV Zvezda
Related stories from around the North:
Asia: Asia ahead on preparing for polar climate change, says U.S. Arctic rep, Eye on the Arctic
Canada: Arctic Council Ministerial – Winners and Losers, Blog by Heather Exner-Pirot
Denmark: Nordics to step up security cooperation on perceived Russian threat, Yle News
Finland: Finland confirms 6th Russian airspace violation in just over a year, Yle News
Iceland: U.S. military could return to Iceland, The Independent Barents Observer
Norway: Norway must ramp up military in response to Russia: report, Barents Observer
Russia: Russian governor praises role of Barents Cooperation, Barents Observer
Sweden: New security landscape in the Arctic, Radio Sweden
United States: U.S. general says Alaska military cuts not final without Arctic plan, Alaska Public Radio Network