Wednesday Defense Minister Serdyukov presided over a collegium dedicated primarily to military bases, housing issues, and flight security, according to available accounts.
Mil.ru reported Serdyukov and his subordinates discussed the deployment of troops in military towns, the outfitting of garrisons, and preparations for the coming heating season.
Rossiyskaya gazeta was more forthcoming stating that the Defense Ministry owes fuel suppliers the not-small amount of 4.5 billion rubles for earlier deliveries.
According to the paper, the Defense Minister repeated past declarations that the military plans to consolidate its current inventory of 7,500 facilities into 300 by concentrating personnel and units in larger bases and garrisons.
Serdyukov, in Kursk, said five units numbering 5,000 men will move to a military town near that city. But he also indicated new infrastructure (barracks, housing, medical, recreation, and parking facilities) has to be built to accommodate them.
So it’s not just as easy as ordering them to go there.
Mil.ru wrote that the Defense Minister called provision of permanent housing to former servicemen in accordance with the president’s and prime minister’s instructions a “priority mission.” He provided more details:
“Since the beginning of the year, 34 thousand servicemen have received apartments. The number of territorial housing support organs has increased, the normative-legal base is being completed, and the simultaneous transmission of essential information to all levels of housing presentation has also been organized in the interest of fundamentally improving resolution of housing issues.”
Serdyukov also demanded that military leaders eliminate “violations of time periods for making decisions on the receipt of distributed housing by servicemen.”
Serdyukov met with President Putin a week ago to discuss military apartments.
According to Kremlin.ru, Serdyukov told the Supreme Glavk some 54,000 servicemen were owed apartments at the start of this year, and 33,000 have gotten them. He said the handover of 1,500 to 1,650 apartments is completed every week, and, at that rate, he believes the housing line will disappear by early next year, at the latest.
Then Putin asked his Defense Minister if he dealt with excess bureaucracy in the process of giving out apartments. Serdyukov replied that 37 additional offices are open for this purpose, and paperwork requirements have been cut.
Putin and Serdyukov seem focused only on procedure and process problems in handing over housing. But military men have refused large numbers of proffered apartments because they aren’t ready to inhabit, lack essential infrastructure, or are simply in places they have no desire to live. It is more likely than not housing will still be an issue well into 2013 and beyond. For background on substantially larger amounts of money required and 167,000 men awaiting housing, see Kommersant.ru here and here.
But back to the collegium . . .
RG noted the talk about flight safety came against a backdrop of more new airplanes and helicopters arriving — reportedly 150 in 2010 and 2011, 190 thus far in 2012, and perhaps 1,200 over the next seven years. RIA Novosti hinted the fatal crash of a new Mi-35 helo, blamed on weather and human error, might have prompted discussion of aircraft accidents.