ЛитМир - Электронная Библиотека

The pilots were not the most secret part of the launch site, that’s why there was no fence around the unit. The pilots themselves lived in the cosmodrome’s main camp. The wing and its barracks accommodated soldiers from two assigned separate support battalions, as well as the soldiers included directly in the separate wing.

There was quite a comfortable club with a large audience hall and quite a big screen where movies were shown at weekends. In the other part of the club there was a good gym where soldiers from the regiment and battalions sometimes played volleyball.

The acquaintance with the life of taiga pilots happened all of a sudden. There was still some time before another board was to be met, so Andrey left the ordinary military offroader near the checkpoint and went out to walk among the birches. The road bifurcated to barracks and staff office of the regiment. On a small drill field there was a row of a dozen soldiers or officers – a usual work formation or instructions before the shift.

The soldiers of the air regiment were dressed probably best of all at the launch site. One could rarely see them in ordinary uniforms. In summer they wore summer technical clothes: a dark blue cap, a light and comfortable jacket with pockets and slacks of the same color, and the main thing – they wore light and comfortable low shoes on elastic and comfortable soles, almost like trainers, instead of tarpaulin boots with foot wraps as indispensable attributes.

In autumn they had to put on boots, cold-proof bib overalls, a demi-season jacket with a cold-proof hood that could be worn in a pocket on the back. All these clothes were almost black.

In winter, when the temperature often fell to minus 30–4 °C°, they wore felt boots and thick, warm and long overalls that reached the neck. As for outdoor clothing, they wore a very thick jacket of very warm material with a tied lining of good well-dressed sheepskin. There was also a huge collar of beaver lamb which rose above the head with a hat on it, which could be fastened if necessary.

Above all that you could also put on a thick and warm hood with dog fur, and when it was especially cold, there was a knitted helmet with holes for the eyes. Moreover, all that was put on over two sets of underwear – cold (summer) and warm (winter), and then there were semi-woolen peg-top trousers with a service coat, and then the rest.

This is not like knight’s armor, but quite heavy; however, you will not be afraid of cold or wind. There were also thick and warm mittens of the same natural sheepskin with leather inserts on the palm; they were long and had lapels of different kinds – white, blue, even orange. Soldiers liked to put them in the pockets of the jacket or overalls, so that these bright lapels could be seen against the background of the rest – the jet blue uniform.

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