Viche 2008 11

11, 2008

Generation of unjustice

The long-livers of the last century were characterized briefly and understandable he survived in three wars (two world wars and one revolution). And only a few people realize, what those contemporaries had to suffer, being born on the edge of centuries. The character of my story the military pilot of the first class Igor Shendrygin at his 45 had such an amount of military experience, that any person would have enough till the end of days. The human tragedies were observed on the ground and from the height of the flight of he helicopter/

Everybody knew: the infamous Afghanistan will not pass by. Thats why the trainings were cruel. The battle use of the Mi-6 and Mi-8 they have complete very thoroughly. Uncontrolled rockets, C-5, tactical bombing For the moment of getting his first officers position (1984) in the glorious Nerchynsk of the Zabaykalsky military district lieutenant Shendrygin has completely knew two types of helicopters and had 350 hours of flying time, among them 250 as the crew commander. For these 6 years of service in the distant areas of Chytyn region he became a real ace in the controlling the powerful Mi-6. for this time he managed to face the Chornobyl tragedy and get the sad experience of Afghanistan. In his young 25.


Being the assistant of a crew commander he has got his first hot mission. In April, 1986 the Chornobyl exploded.


He served in the crew of Astafiev, and without being changed, chief-lieutenant Shendrygin was liquidating the catastrophe from August 12 till October 25, when the object Shelter was fully covered.


Igor Fedorovych recollects:

-         one week in the Chornobyl zone was absolutely proved itself, because even without it people got high dozes of radiation. The storage element in the shape of the pencil didnt do its work. Thats why they gave us key-like device. After the flight you put this key into the device and turn it to see the total result. Maximum was 25 roentgen for the pilot and 40 for the ground troops. But not a single chemist has dared to put the real figures. Thats why after the two month of staying in the zone I had only 8 in total. The machinery, in spite of the constant chemical proceeding was still indicating the dosimeters scale was not enough. You could become the victim not flying to the zone, but just working with the helicopter.


Also the colonel Shendrygin had to suffer a great surprise: the military base, where he served in Chornobyl was gone! He has all the papers with stamps from there, the marks in the flight-hours book, but the base itself never existed. Thats how still think the Podil and Kyiv Archives, where all the papers are stored.


The training battle system in Landing Soviet army was set. The regiment formed the squadron from 120-130 people.  If there was a lack of own specialists, the bases were formed from the other military districts. In half a year after the Chornobyl, in May, 1987 it was Sendrygis turn.


In August, 1988 the troops recall was in the air. As always no one informed, but everyone knew. The first swallows flew back home. In May, the Shendrygins regiment started to work in the northern direction through the Shinand into the Middle Asia to the Mar-1 and 2. they evacuated people and property. He remembers a case, when during the flight one engine has stopped, and for the long 40 minutes the dragged on the other one, until crossed the border. Igor just remembered about the old airdrome and landed their. And there were families, already waiting at home. After this case, an Order of the red star was handed.


One August day they got the command back home. 48 hours for everything, and the regiment has left the infernal Kandahar. 111 battle flights and over 220 flight-hours in the conditions of military actions are on the account of the 26-yeay old crew commander.


At the beginning of 90-s Ukraine started to retire the old Mi-6, and after all the financing was to poor to support such machinery. In 1994 he had to recollect all his flying skills on Mi-8, but for the major, the second class pilot it was not a problem.


The Europe was already boiling in the Yugoslavian break-up. Our troops, and then the representatives of other military professions started  to protect peace outside their native land. And then came the turn to the helicopter pilots. Their work was estimated on the highest level, and Igor Shendrygin had a chance to say the last words in the Yugoslavian conflict. He was waiting too long, for his Afghanistan experience will become useful in Kosovo. It was December 2000, when he arrived to Bonstil military base as the flying crew assistant in the terms of the rotation of Ukrainian military contingent.


The KFOR forces successfully resolved the problems in Kosovo. The results of the work of 14-th separate helicopter detachment of the Ukrainian Army didnt change the decision og the high command about the recall. Because Ukraine has to spend not only efforts, but certain funds to  support the contingent during the mission. And the peacemakers considered those years a golden standard. The state havent yet learned how to save money on the international prestige. The peacemakers got the status of the combat participants, and had more or less deserving salary. And the overall support of the military actions by the West European countries and Americans made those actions very little alike Afghanistan. Getting ahead I will say, that the helicopter pilots, sent to Africa had the peacemakers status. But it gave people only the name of it, nothing more. Today the state guarantees the peacemakers the right of benefits according to the valid legislation, that doesnt have for now some clear articles about that type of serviceman.


In four years from the beginning of rotation, the detachment was transferred to the neighboring Macedonia. On March 17, 2001 four crews of Mi-8 together with machinery and supplies have arrived to the airdrome in Skopje. The Ukrainian Special Export they transferred our helicopters to the Macedonian army, an Ukrainians had only to stay their for some time, to teach the formed crews how to control and use the helicopters in action. Of course, the experience of Shendrygin was useful not for the only one Macedonian.


In less then half a year, he got to Africa. The 20-th separate helicopter detachment of the UN Mission in Sierra-Leone was performing a double function. Four Mi-8 made flights both to cargo-and-passenger routes and battle missions, patrolling the trouble territories of the country. Crazy from blood, the rebels respected only one language the language of force.


The experience of the first  African trip became really useful for Shendrygin in January 2004. after the quick discussion, the high political command decided to take part in the peacemaking mission, that spread on the territory of another African country Liberia.


56-th separate helicopter detachment of the UN Mission (UNMIL) was formed at the terms of Kherson regiment of the military aviation, where to these days serves colonel Igor Shendrgin. He was consigned to lead the main forces and to become the fist commander of the Ukrainian army detachment on the territory of that West-African country.


On the moment of arriving of the personnel, the food and accommodations were fully organized. The camp territory became more or less safe from the outer world, where still armed gangs were wheeling around. The whole counties didnt obey the central government. The menacing weaponry chilled down even the hottest daredevils. Even if the local population started to show the unnecessary interest, on the airfields, our pilots, pointing at the external tanks, said: bombs! But still, they had to take part in special missions. Such as taking under the government control the area of Harper. Under the lead of the commander of UN Mission, the whole armada of available in UNMIL helicopters was launched in the air and transferred to the East of the country, together with quick reaction forces and easy machinery. In three days, the question of power in the area was resolved. But still our helicopter pilots constantly stay there, also in the area of Greenville, patrolling the territory. Personally, Igor Shendrugin for eight months of he first rotation of the 56-th separate helicopter detachment had over 400 flying-hours ander the red-hot African sun. 300 more he added, when again, in one year, got to the fourth rotation of the Ukrainian detachment.


3100 hours of flights in total has the pilot of the first class, colonel Shendrygin. More then 1/3 during the performing of the battle flights or the extreme conditions. Usually, the Ukrainian officers in their personal histories have the Battle Action Participant chapter blank. This man has three pages, of how people say very small letters. Today, the pilots of such a class in Ukraine can be recalled be name, so short the list is. For the next generations of the aviators, their experience in todays conditions is priceless.


Meanwhile, the people of their age took the enormous mortgages in the bank to return them after, for the price of the matchbox, created the pyramid schemes, parties, and learned how to live in the new economical conditions. Today, from the high parliament tribunes, educated, they form the military policy of the state. They form it, according to their own moral and professional principals. As the result: one of the most powerful armies on the continent after the reform has changed into we have, what we have. Thousands of officers became useless in one moment and now are a burden to the state. The character of the story took the only right decision he said So long!. Talking to me, he worried not about how to adopt to the civil life, but worried about the fact, that young officers come to service, and they have no moral principals. Once upon a time some protected the Motherland, and some made the oath. And what to protect today, if even the historical books describe the country like two different banks of the river, and this Motherland is seen differently??

Serhiy Syzonenko