Unit History: Aviation Regiment
An Aviation Regiment (Russian: авиационный полк) was a type of unit employed to organise aircraft and their crews in air combat in the Military Air Forces of the Red Army during the Second World War, the Military Air Forces of the Soviet Union, Forces of Anti Aircraft Defence of the Soviet Union (PVO) and Aviation of the Military Naval Fleet, and since 1991 remain major formations within the Military Air Forces of the Russian Federation and the Military Air Forces of the Fleets of the Russian Federation.
The aviation regiments were constituent units of the aviation divisions and aviation Corps, and, the separate aviation regiments, as part of the Air Armies. The aviation regiments were homogeneously equipped with aircraft designed for specific types of combat, bombardment, assault, fighter and reconnaissance for the most part.
Fighter and assault air regiments organisationally consisted of 4 aviation squadrons of 15 aircraft each, for a total of 63 aircraft on their flight log. In the fighter regiment there were 78 pilots, in the assault regiment - 82.
In the high-speed bomber and light bomber regiments there were 5 squadrons of 12 aircraft each, which in all accounted for 61 aircraft and 77 crews. The long-range bombardment air regiment were approximately same in composition, and the heavy (bombardment) regiments had 40 aircraft.
The reconnaissance aviation regiment was organised into 4 squadrons of 12 aircraft, 49 in all, while the signals squadron that were integral to aviation division had 12 aircraft and one aircraft in the regiment HQ. The reconnaissance regiments had an establishment of 74 crews.
For some specialised long-term operations mixed aviation regiments were created with the organisation of two bombardment or assault aviation squadrons and one or two fighter aviation squadrons. Night bombardment squadrons were also formed from the summer of 1941 using the training Po-2 aircraft exemplified by the Night Witches, and night reconnaissance squadrons using the Polikarpov R-5 aircraft.
The Rifle and Tank Corps air squadron had 12 reconnaissance aircraft with 18 crews. The squadrons of Front aviation consisted of flights, while those of the long-range bombers from detachments of 3 aircraft each. The number of crews in the air regiments and the Corps squadrons take into account reserve aircraft, which exceeded the number of aircraft in them by 25-50%, which made it possible in the course of combat to produce with the same number of aircraft more aircraft sorties on combat missions and to compensate the loss of crews because of the combat losses.