Spetsnaz News from Russia

Triathlon of Special
Purpose 2015

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Posted in column: News Photo: specijalne-jedinice.com

At the end of June 2015 a traditional tournament of the elite units “Triathlon of Special Purpose 2015” was organized within the training center of the famous Russian unit Vityaz (Russ. Витязь). This year the competition was attended by 20 teams from Russia, Belarus and Serbia and organizer of this year`s competition was a Russian decorated hero and former Vityaz commander, Sergei Lisjuk (Russ. Сергей Лысюк), who was also the host to the operators of the Counter Terrorist Unit-CTU from the Republic of Serbia.

Among participating teams, most were representatives of the Russian Spetsnaz. Elite Department A was represented by two competing teams and next to them took part operators of the OSN[1] “Rock” (Russ. Скала), SOBR “Lynx” (Russ. Рысь), as well as OSN “Torch” (Russ. Факел) and others. Hosts from the Vityaz, as well as Alphas, participated with two teams. Belarus was represented by the operators of the famous unit Almaz, whose name in translation means “diamond”. The diamond symbol is founded in the insignia of the Belarusian counter terrorist unit, and within the unit`s tradition symbolizes the strength, power, eternity and rarity. Republic of Serbia was represented by six-member team of the Counter Terrorist Unit-CTU.

According to our interlocutor, Konstantin Lazarev, specialists from the Republic of Serbia are regular guests at events of this kind, that is another confirmation of friendly relations of two countries, as well as intensive cooperation in the security field. With exceptional hospitality of the organizers, many present Russian citizens used the opportunity to socialize with Serbian police officers.
Within the training center present participants and visitors could have learn about special gear and weaponry used by Russian Spetsnaz and were captivated by the precision rifle Orsis T 5000 (Russ. ОРСИС Т-5000) of the same-name manufacturer from Moscow. The rifle operates with a bolt action system and is available at the moment in .308 Winchester, .300 Winchester and .338 Lapua Magnum calibers. In addition, a newly promoted construction V-AR in 9x19 mm Parabellum caliber was exhibited, claimed by Czech constructors it combines proven features of the well-known systems M16/M4 and Kalashnikov. According to Konstantine Lazarev recently there is a frenzy for foreign models on the Russian gear and armament market and impressions of Spetsnaz operators are generally positive. This was confirmed by exhibited models of the Heckler&Koch company: several SMG models of the series MP5 in 9x19 mm Parabellum, as well as assault rifles models of the 416 series in 5.56x45 mm NATO. Of special gear there could have been seen excellent ballistic helmets ArmaCom FAST that provide IIIA level of ballistic protection, red dot and holographic sights, as well as flip-to-side devices[2] of the manufacturers Aimpoint, EOTech ans Russian Viking (Russ. Викинг) as well.

Visitors had a chance to familiarize with weaponry and gear of the national and foreign producers. Photo: K.Lazarev

This year`s triathlon started with lining up of all competing teams and Lisjuk`s shorter addressing, respectively, who welcomed all participants and wished good luck in the upcoming competition. Participants appeared in official uniforms of their units, as well as units insignias and national flag patches. The competition was also attended by the Russian state officials and Spetsnaz veterans, which were presented with appropriate recognitions for service achievements after the competition.

Similarly to previous ones, this year`s triathlon was divided into three phases, designed to test mental and physical readiness, skills of weapon handling and shooting, elements that must be at a very high level among special forces operators. However, unlike the previous year, stages schedule was changed and before every stage judges, operators of the Vityaz, organized short briefings during which teams could familiarize with the upcoming stages and awaiting tasks.

Konstantin Lazarev says this was also a friendly gesture over the colleagues from Serbia, so they could enter stages motivated by the previous demonstrations of colleagues whose units are considered as the very best in the world.
On the “Triathlon of Special Purpose 2015” the first team performing was one from Vityaz[3]. Operators of the CTU performed ninth, after the Belarusian Almaz team and two teams of Alpha operators.

Serbian Counter Terrorist Unit team. Photo: K.Lazarev

In the first phase contestants were crossing horizontal obstacles at infantry training ground and vertical ones in the second phase, respectively. During the third phase operators competed in shooting, according to the rules of IPSC. Ranking parameters related to total completion time that was taken by summing execution times from all the stages, as well as scores that could have been negative and positive. The scoring particularly came to the fore in the third phase and depended on the accuracy of shots on stationary targets at stages per system: A-alpha, C-charlie and D-delta.

Russian Alpha operators made few minor mistakes during vertical obstacles that colleagues from the Almaz unit used well and achieved advantage in the overall standings. Photo: K.Lazarev

In order to maximize the effort of operators at every stages, those were compounded with additional tasks mandatory to complete, so in the first phase contestants had to find specially designed human doll that represented a wounded and provide first aid in the shortest time possible. These were special training manikins used to train doctors and medical technicians for providing the first aid on the field. Within the second phase teams had to overcome the attitude obstacles, which was, besides their physical readiness, challenging for their determination as well.

Contestants had the opportunity to demonstrate techniques of urban alpinism. Photo: K.Lazarev

The peak of this phase was a multi-story tower, constructed to require the implementation of multiple skills to successfully overcome while climbing. Teams deducing from the top story using the alpine rope had to neutralize all targets set on stories with two shots at least. For this occasion semi-automatic handguns in 9x19 mm Parabellum were used and teams could choose any models available. In the third phase, teams competed in practical shooting at several stages. Although this phase was scored according to Practical Shooting rules, unlike PS practice, contestants at triathlon were not allowed to see stages. At briefings they were just told the criteria necessary to complete the stages: to neutralize all enemy targets with two shots at least in some of the A, D or C circles and in the case of shooting friendly targets presented with hostage drawings, negative scores will be given. Live 9 mm ammo was used, fired from semi-automatic handguns and submachine guns.

Appropriate awards and letters of appreciation were provided for all participants. Photo: K.Lazarev

Finally, in the overall standings, for the second year in a row, Belarusian Almaz team was the winner. Second place went to the second Alpha team, third to the 28th Special Purpose Detachment “Warrior” from Arkhangelsk.

Until last year, the Russian Alphas teams were regularly winning these competitions and were witting saying that last year`s triumph of the Belarus colleagues was a coincidence, which they confidently denied with a new victory and promised even better bidding next year.

[1] Russ. oтряд специального назначения, Special Purpose Detachment.
[2] Auxiliary aiming accessories that can be folded to the side, making it easier to aim or observe the surroundings when the shooter is behind a cover, i.e. around the corner. The aiming is achieved through the reflex sight mounted in front of the flip-to-side accessory.
[3] The second team of the unit competed at the very end of the triathlon, 18th in a row.

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