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I. Soviet Front Headquarters

General Information
Although Soviet Fronts vary in size, that is in the number of subordinate armies and support elements, the basic organization of the Front headquarters is standard. As of the mid 1970's about 758 military personnel were assigned or attached to the Front headquarters. This number was composed of 20 generals, 12 colonels or generals, and 540 officers, An additional 22 personnel were attached to the headquarters.


Organization of Front Headquarters
The following main components of the Front headquarters were directed by and responsible to the Commander in Chief (CINC) of Front Forces (Komanduyushchiy vojskami fronta) (see Figure 1 for the main components of Front headquarters):
- First Deputy CINC (pervyy zamestitel' komanduyushchevo voyskami fronta);
- The Front Staff (Shtab fronta) was controlled by the Front Chief of Staff (Nachal'nik shtaba fronta).  He was the principal organizer of the Front field operations and only he had the authority to issue orders in the name of the CINC. He was assisted by the First Deputy C/S. The Front staff was composed of the following elements (see Figure 2 for organization of Front staff);
- Operations Directorate (Operativnoye upravleniye) which consisted of the following elements:
- Operations Division (Operativnyy otdel);
- Information Division (Informatsiyonnyy otdel);
- Hydrometeorological Department (Girdrometeorologicheskoye otdeleniye);
- Special Department (Osoboye otdelenye).

- Intelligence Directorate (Razvedivatel'noye upravleniye) which consisted of the following departments:
- 1st Department - Military Intelligence (Otd. voyskovoy razvedki);
- 2nd Department - Clandestine Intelligence (Otd. agenturnoy razvedki)
- 3rd Department - Special Intelligence (Otd. osoboy razvedki);
- 4th Department - Information (Otd. informatsii);
- 5th Department - Signal Intelligence (Otd. radio i radiotekhnicheskoy razvedki);
- Special Communciations Department (Otd. osoboy svyazi);
- Special Department (Osoboye otdeleniye) ;

- Communications Directorate (Upravleniye svyazi) which was composed of the following departments:
- 1st Department - Radio Communications (Otd. radio svyazi);
- 2nd Department - Radio Relay Communications (Otd. radio releynoy svyazi);
- 3rd Department - Cryptology ZAS (Otd. zasekretchena avtomaticheskaya sistema);
- 4th Department - Communications for Forward and Alternate Command Post (otd. PKP i ZKP svyazi);
- 5th Department - Mail Communications (Otd. pochtovoy svyazi);
- 6th Department - Final Products (?) (Otd. ukomplektovaniya);
- Special Department (Osoboye otdeleniye).

- Administration and Resources Directorate (Upravleniye organizatsii ukomplektovaniya) which organized and managed enlisted military personnel of the Front;

- Services of the Front staff (Sluzhby shtaba fronta) which provided special support to all directorates of the Front staff and was composed of the following departments:
- Topographical Service (Topograficheskaya sluzhba);

- 8th Department of Special Communications (8-e otd. osoboy svyazi);

- Radio Electronic Jamming Department (Otd.  radio elektronnykh protivodeystviy);

- Inspectorate of Measuring Instruments (Inspektsiya izmeritel'nykh priborov);

- Military Censorship Department (Otd.  voyennoy tsensury);

- Printing Office (Tipografiya);

- Department of Physical Security and Traffic Control (Otd. okhrany i regulirovaniya);

- Department of Morale and Discipline (Otd. moral'nogo sostoyaniya i distsipliny).


There were the following Chiefs of Troops Branches (Nachal'niki rodov voysk) (see Figure 3 for organization of Front Troops Branches):

- Chief of Rocket and Artillery Troops (Nachal'nik raketnykh voysk i artillerii) who was assistad by the Staff of Rocket and Artillery Troops to control and command the following deparmtents:
- Operations Department (Operativnoye otd.);
- Intelligence Department (Razvedivatel'noye otd.);
- Special Department (Osoboye otd.).

- Chief of Air Defense Troops (Nachal'nik voysk protivovozdushnoy oborony) controlled and commanded the following departments:  - 1st Department - Operations (Operativonoye otd.);
- 2nd Department - Radar Intelligence (Otd. radiolokatsonnoy razvedki);
- 3rd Department - Communications and Automatic Guidance Systems (Otd. svyazi i avtomaticheskiye sistemy ypravleniya);
- 4th Department - Utilization of Equipment (Otd. ekspluatatsii tekhniki);
- Special Department (Osoboye otd.).

- Chiefs of Special Troops (Nachal'niki spetsialnykh voysk) were the following: (see Figure 4 for organization of Front Special Troops)
- Chief of Special Troops (Nachal'nik inzhenernykh voysk) commanded and controlled the following departments:
- Operational Reconnaissance Department (Operativno- razvedivatel'noye otd.);
- Engineer-Technical Department (Inzhenerno- tekhnicheskoye otd.);
- Reconnaissance and Estimates of Radiological Fallout
Department (Otd.  razvedki i prognoza radiotsionnoy obstanovki);
- Special Department (Osoboye otd.).


Front Rear Services (Tyl fronta) was commanded by Deputy CINC/Chief of Front Rear Service (Zamestitel'po tylu i nachal'nik tyla fronta).  The Rear Services Staff was composed of the following elements (See Figure 5 for organization of Front Rear Services):
- Food Service Directorate (Upravleniye ukomplektovaniya Prodovol'stviyem);
- POL Directorate (Upravleniye ukomplektovaniya goryucho- smazochnymi materialami);
- Uniform/clothing Directorate (Upravleniye ukompletovaniyem obmundirovaniyem);
- Medical Service Directorate (Upravleniye meditsinskoy sluzhby);
- Veterinary Service Directorate (Upravleniye veterinarnoy sluzhby);
- Combat Supplies Directorate (Upravleniye voyennogo soobshcheniya);
- Troop Billeting Department (kvartirno-ekspluatatsiyonnoye) otd.);
- Special Department (Osoboye otd.).


Chiefs of Front Services (Nachal'niki sluzhb fronta) were as follows.  (See Figure 6 for organization of Front Services):
- Chief of Armor Equipment (Nachal'nik bronetankovoy tekhniki);

- Chief of Rocket and Artillery Armament (Nachal'nik raketno-artilleryyskikh vooruzheniy) was subordinate to Front CINC and to Chief of Rocket and Artillery Troops.

- Chief of Cadre (Nachal'nik kadrov) - for officers and career NCOs only;

- Chief of Motor Transport Equipment (Nachal'nik avtotransportnoy tekhniki);

- Chief Finance (Nachal'nik finantsovogo upravleniya).


Front Political Directorate (Politicheskoye upravleniye fronta) was headed by Deputy CINC/Chief of Front Political Affars (Zamestitel' po politicheskikh delakh i nachal'nik politicheskogo upravleniya fronta), who was responsible for the political readiness of the Front forces. (See Figure 7 for organization of Front Political Affairs.)


Front Higher Military Council (Vysshiy voyennyy sovet fronta) was formed to advise Front CINC on major decisions. Front CINC was the chairman of the council and the members (in descending order of importance) were the following officers:
(1) Deputy CINC/Chief of Political Affairs;
(2) 1st Deputy CINC;
(3) Chief of Staff;
(4) Deputy CINC/Chief of Rear Services;
(5) Chief of Rocket and Artillery Troops;
(6) Two or three additional officers, as designated by Front CINC.


Guard and Direct Support Elements of the Front Headquarters
The following units provided guard, service, engineer, construction and air transportation support to the Front headquarters (See Figure 8 for the organization of the Front headquarters guard and direct support elements):
- Guard and service regiment (Polk okhrany i obsluzhivaniya) guarded and protected the Front headquarters and provided electrical, chemical defense, and engineer support to the wartime Front Command Post;
- Engineer battalion constructed Front command posts sites and improved the immediate areas;
- Mixed aircraft courier regiment (Smeshennyy aviatsonyy polk svyazi) provided air transport and courier service for the staff officers of Front headquarters.


Purpose and Capabilities of the Front Communications
The communications for the Front command and control elements were provided by the following units:
- Signal units serving various communication centers:
- The command post signal regiment was composed of two battalions which operated from two communication centers and provided communications to the Front CP; - The forward command post (FCP) signal battalion operated from one communication center and provided communications to the Front FCP;
- The rear services control post (RSCP) signal regiment consisted of two battalions which operated two communications centers and provided communications to the Front RSCP;
- The auxiliary communications centers signal battalion operated from six auxiliary communications centers;
- The communications cable-laying battalion was capable of laying up to 500 km of communications cable lines;
- The radio traffic surveillance and control center monitored and controlled military radio traffic in the Front area of operations;
- Line communications units established and operated radio-relay and telephone main lines of communications;
- Two radio-relay battalions were responsible for directional radio-relay communications up to 1000 km;
- Two long-range radio battalions were responsible for directional radio communications up to 450 km;
- The communications cable-laying battalions were responsible for laying permanent communications lines for distances from 100 to 320 km;
- Communications cable-laying battalions laid communications cables from the Front CP to the subordinate armies, up to 400 km.  There was one battalion for each army in the Front;
- Communications cable-laying battalions laid communications cables from the Front CP to the subordinate rocket/missile brigades, up to 120 km.  There was one battalion for each brigade;
- The underground cable-laying company;
- The signal company for communications with civilian centers took care of communications between Front and civilian centers in the Front area of operations;
- The rear services long-range signal battalion provided distribution points for classified documents and messages. 

Transportation to and from them was provided by the Front mixed aircraft courier regiment: 
- Front forward message center;
- Front rear services message center;
- Message stations at Front CP, FCP and RSCP;
- Message stations at Front bases and rear installations;


Only staff officers from the Front headquarters were used as couriers of classified documents and messages.

Front signal storage and repair facilities. Front communications elements were supported by four communications equipment and spare parts depots and by two mobile signal repair and maintenance bases. 


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