Arctic soldiers training with reindeer

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.
February 01, 2016

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.

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.

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