Friday, January 17, 2014

10th 'Muharram' Air Defense Group

10th ADG Commander,
BG2 Abdullah Iraqi
 Thanks to reader "NICO" for pointing out the garrison's location.


The Sepah's 10th'Muharram' Air Defense Group is based near Shahrud in the north-eastern Semnan province. The garrison can be found about nine km N/NW of Shahrud, butted up against a range of small hills.

Unlike the air-defenses held by the Sepah Aerospace Force, the 10th ADG is subordinate to the Sepah Ground Forces. As of May 2013, it is commanded by Brig. Gen. 2nd-Class Abdulrahim Ibrahim. (1)

Iranian media reporting indicates that the group's subordinate units include at least two battalions equipped with, respectively, 23 and 57 mm guns. (2) Although it is possible that the latter is equipped with ZSU-57-2 SPAAGs, the S-60 towed gun is a far more likely option.

 Google Earth offers imagery of the base from 11/2003, 06/2005, 03/2012, and 12/2013. Bing offers slightly higher-quality of the 03/2012 imagery.

 The garrison's layout is similar to other Sepah bases examined thus far, sharing the same style of buildings, which distinguishes them from Artesh bases. This includes reception-offices near the main entrance [a], a lecture/prayer-hall [k] and a pair of buildings constituting the group's headquarters [b].

Similarly, the five barracks buildings are identical in size and number to those in Neyshabur, and Torbat Heydariyeh. [c] These correspond to housing for the two known air-defense battalions, and their support. It's constructive to compare the relative amount of available housing in a Sepah artillery-group versus the amount in an Artesh garrison. The latter will almost always be greater than the former, pointing to a greater strength per brigade-sized formation. It's reasonable to believe that the two gun-battalions are this group's total combat-strength.

Other buildings include a small engineering/construction section [d], and the usual maintenance workshops [e] north of the offices and living quarters. Further north is an open motor-pool [f] for the group's transport and logistics section, and further north still are three hardened shelters inside a security perimeter for munition storage [g]. East of the barracks are 12 small garages, each with three bays. [h]

In the far south-east corner of the compound is a cluster of buildings, one of which appears to be a barracks. [i] The cluster's identity and the purpose of its isolation is unknown.

The lion's share of the compound is undeveloped and is likely used for training given the presence of firing ranges. A number of raised concrete pads dot the compound and are also likely training aids as they are characteristic of air-defense sites across the country. [j]

Additional Imagery:
IRGC-GF air-defenses of the same sort operated by the 10th ADG
Foreground: 57 mm S-60 guns Background: 23 mm ZU-23-2
 (2009) Via IMF
Safir Jeep from the 10th ADG on parade in Shahrud

Works Cited:
(2) FNA. July 2013

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