Acronyms and Abbreviations
Introduction and Overview
Footnotes and Works Cited
Acronyms and Abbreviatons:
AAA: Anti-Aircraft Artillery
ADG: Air Defense Group
BG2: Brigadier General, Second Class
FFEP: Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant
HM [ADG]: Hazrat Masumeh [Air Defense Group]
IRIADF: Islamic Republic of Iran Air Defense Force; aka Khatem ol-Anbiya Air Defense HQ
Lt. Col. : Lieutenant Colonel
SAM: Surface-to-Air Missile
UGF: Underground Facility
|Lt. Col. Abarshi|
Introduction and Overview:
The IRIADF's Hazrat Masumeh Air Defense Group (HM ADG) was formed in 2009 to protect the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP). It's current commander is Lt. Col. Hossein Abarshi.  Based on it's location near Qom, the HM ADG should be subordinate to the Central Air Defense Region, under the command of BG2 Abazar Jookar. 
The Group's primary garrison is located along the Qom-Tehran Freeway, in-between the the FFEP and the military depot to the west.
Construction began between 09/2009 and 03/2011, which is consistent with the group's reported creation date. As of the most recent imagery – 03/2013 – only a handful of buildings had been completed, and much of the available space remains undeveloped.
As least some of the group's equipment can be seen from 01/2012 onward, including AAA and equipment containers. Between 01/2012 and 08/2012, construction began on a UGF dug into the hillside to the north of the garrison.
Much of the group is deployed to the FFEP itself, where a small garrison for the site's security can be found alongside a separate facility for FFEP personnel. The two can be distinguished by the former's parade-yard, obstacle-course, and proximity to nearby firing-ranges and munition-storage shelters. This garrison pre-dates the HM ADG's formation, and is documented as far back as 06/2004.
The creation of the HM ADG in 2009 can be observed in the deployment of increasing levels of air-defense in the following years. Deployments are focused in a northward-facing arc, thanks to the passive defense provided by the range of hills running east-west, into whose north-face the FFEP is dug.
As of late-2009, no air-defense assets are visible. By 2011, several sites had been established, including:
1) Short/medium-range SAM Battery, most likely the MIM-23 HAWK. The battery is only visible at full-strength in 03/2011, with one of the firing-sections having displaced by the year's end. Four Zu-23-2s were deployed nearby.
2) Four 35 mm GDF-001/002s. Two of these were deployed in individual emplacements, while the other two were part of a Skyguard emplacement.
3) Four-gun AAA battery, organized into two firing sections. The type of gun is unknown, though the 100 mm KS-19 is a possibility. Orientation is toward the north-west.
At this time, the sites are characterized by ongoing construction, and field-expedient infrastructure. Revetments are bulldozed earth, roads are unpaved, and earth-moving equipment can be seen at work.
By the end of 2012, the sites showed increasing signs of permanency, though the overall strength was only mildly increased. This includes:
1) SAM firing-section. Though the original site is largely unchanged, except for the removal of AAA, construction had begun on a more permanent site further west with raised concrete pads reminiscent of Iran's other HAWK sites.
2) Two of the individually emplaced GDFs were relocated to permanent sites around the perimeter; a third GDF supplemented these. Meanwhile, the original Skyguard site had been vacated, and replaced with a four-gun battery of Zu-23-2s.
3) The northwest-oriented AAA battery remained, and had been further developed with raised concrete pads and crew facilities.
4) Further east, an early-warning radar – likely the Matla ul-Fajr, judging from antenna shadow and container type – had been deployed in a non-permanent site.
5) By the end of 2012, construction had begun on a permanent Skyguard site just south of the EW-radar.
Little change was evident by mid-2013, the date of the most recent imagery. Both the Skyguard and SAM sites remained under construction, while the existing sites underwent only minor changes. However, a handful of equipment was now parked in the open, including two GDFs near the EW-radar, and at least two GDFs and 11 Zu-23-2s in a motor-pool near the primary facility.
Footnotes / Works Cited:
 Commander of the Hazrat Masumeh Air Defense Base Visits with Qom's Friday Prayers Leader. Defa Press. 08/31/14.
 Iran's Air Defense Operations Center. Persian_boy. Youtube. 09/01/14.