DOD Confirms Russian Troops Perform Terror Drills on US Soil
DOD Confirms Russian Troops Perform Terror Drills on US Soil
Friday, 27 April 2012 10
Russian “Airborne Assault Forces” will be arriving in Colorado this May for joint terror-war exercises with U.S. soldiers, according to U.S. officials and Russian military personnel cited in media reports. The Kremlin’s Defense Ministry and the U.S. Department of Defense both said it would be the first time in history that American and Russian airborne special operations troops would be training together on U.S. soil.
Analysts and commentators across the alternative media expressed alarm about the controversial announcement, likening it to a scene out of the movie Red Dawn or the predictions made by the late radio host Bill Cooper. It was not immediately clear exactly why the Obama administration decided to allow the scheme.
“The Russian soldiers are here as invited guests of the U.S. government; this is part of a formal bilateral exchange program between the U.S. and Russia that seeks to develop transparency and promote defense reform,” Cmdr. Wendy L. Snyder, U.S. Defense Press Officer for policy, told The New American in an e-mail. “This is the first time that American and Russian special operations troops have participated in a bilateral exercise.”
According to Snyder, the exercises — which she said would last about three weeks in all — will serve to train and improve skills related to terror-war fighting. About 20 Russian soldiers will be participating, with most of the training to take place on the Fort Carson, Colorado, Army base and a mountain training area several hours away.
“Aside from typical military training, the exchange will include discussions on the rule of land warfare, developing appropriate rules of engagement, and employing cultural literacy and competency in the tactical environment,” Snyder explained. “This type of training is routinely conducted by 10th Special Forces Group.”
While U.S. officials remained largely silent on the operation until contacted by the press, the Russian government has been touting the unprecedented terror drills through official announcements and news reports in state-controlled media for over a week. In fact, virtually all of the details about the exercise that emerged publicly early on came from Kremlin sources.
“According to the exercise scenario, soldiers of the two countries will hold a tactical airborne operation, including reconnaissance of an imaginary terrorists' camp and a raid,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Aleksandr Kucherenko was quoted as saying in official news reports, also noting that it was the first time such an exercise would be held. “The Russian Airborne Assault Force will contribute a special task group that will exercise with U.S. special service weapons.”
Before the official drills begin on May 24, the Russian government’s forces will reportedly be training to use a wide array of American military equipment at the U.S. Army's Fort Carson base. Parachuting, operations planning, reconnaissance, assaults, raids, and evacuations will all be on the agenda. The training is expected to last until May 31, though U.S. officials said it would go until early June.
One of the highlights of the cooperation will be a joint terror assault and raid on a “camp.” The exercise will apparently bring together U.S. and Russian troops from the planning stages to the final evacuation from the scene by helicopter. Russian forces will also be attending a baseball game at some point during their stay, Kremlin sources reported.
According to a report entitled “The Russians are coming! First joint 'Top Gun' drills to be held in US” in the state-funded Russian media outlet RT, the agreement to hold the drills was drafted late last year by the Russian Airborne Command and a U.S. military delegation in Moscow. It was not immediately clear which government proposed the scheme or what the precise goals were, though apparently the Russians were invited to participate by the U.S. government.
“The U.S. military routinely conducts such joint exchanges with foreign forces to strengthen relationships, provide familiarization with each other's tactics and procedures, and to exchange best practices,” DoD spokesperson Snyder explained. “The end result of this type of program is that our military has improved operational effectiveness with foreign forces as well as, and in this case, supporting the defense reform of Russia.”
President Obama has made improved ties with the Russian government a top priority it seems. Last month during a security summit, Obama even promised to pursue yet another controversial agreement with Russian officials to further slash both governments’ nuclear arsenals, saying the U.S. already controls more than enough atomic weapons.
Despite several high-profile apparent disagreements in recent years — on Syria, Libya, missile shields, and more — outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev praised the Obama administration, saying relations between the two governments had reached their “best level” in a decade. Obama, meanwhile, thanked Medvedev for his “cooperation” and said he could not have asked for a “better partner” in Russia.
"Going forward, we'll continue to seek discussions with Russia on a step we have never taken before — reducing not only our strategic nuclear warheads, but also tactical weapons and warheads in reserve," Obama said during a speech at South Korea’s Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. “We can already say with confidence that we have more nuclear weapons than we need.”
After the summit, Obama also came under fire when he was overheard telling then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that, “This is my last election. After my election, I'll have more flexibility.” Critics pounced on the statement from all angles to criticize Obama, with some claiming that he had sold out to the Russians.
Meanwhile, e-mails from the private intelligence firm Stratfor released by WikiLeaks show that top executives in the company — well-connected individuals, obviously — believed President Obama had taken Russian money for his campaign. The news has already become something of a scandal among alternative media outlets and commentators.
“The hunt is on for the sleezy Russian money into O-mans coffers. A smoking gun has already been found,” wrote Fred Burton, Stratfor’s Vice President of Intelligence. “My source was too giddy to continue. Can you say Clinton and [Chinese Communist] ChiCom funny money?” The company refused to confirm whether the e-mails were genuine, but most analysts believe they are.
This week, the Russian Navy is also engaged in unprecedented joint “war games” with the Communist regime ruling mainland China. The training exercises, taking place in the Yellow Sea, involve more than two-dozen vessels including submarines and destroyers.
The U.S. government, meanwhile, is simultaneously engaged in war games in the Asia-Pacific region with the Communist regime ruling Vietnam and the government of the Philippines. And in August of 2010, U.S., Russian, and Canadian air forces worked together on terror drills involving hijacked airplanes.
Foreign troops — from Europe, Latin America, and more — have been engaged in countless training exercises on U.S. soil over the years. Critics, meanwhile, have been sounding the alarm about the controversial drills for over a decade.
Several prominent media outlets reporting on the Russian terror training in the U.S. picked up information from a well-known disinformation source. The almost certainly false “article” claimed — citing official “reports” allegedly circulating in the Kremlin — that Russian troops would also be tasked with taking over and holding certain CIA and NSA facilities.
However, the original source of claims — “whatdoesitmean.com” — is widely known as notoriously unreliable. Aside from the Department of Homeland Security, which used the hoax website to compile a report labeling most Americans potential right-wing terrorists, virtually all reputable information services have been aware of the disinformation peddling for years. DHS later retracted the report and apologized.
U.S., Russian Troops to Patrol Kosovo TogetherBy Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 16, 1999 – U.S. and Russian troops will soon be conducting combined patrols in the American sector of Kosovo to ease the fears of ethnic Albanian and Serb civilians and to enhance communications between the two peacekeeping forces, Army Brig. Gen. John Craddock said July 13.
"I've talked with the Russian commander of forces in Kosovo ... and he seemed agreeable," Craddock told Pentagon reporters in a two-way telephone interview from his Kosovo headquarters. Operational details will be worked out when the main body of a Russian battalion sets up camp. Right now, an advance element of about 80 Russian troops is in place and is expected to swell about 500 in a few days, said Craddock, commander of U.S. forces in Kosovo.
An agreement between Moscow and NATO calls for more than 3,000 Russian troops to be stationed in NATO-designated sectors of Kosovo, but they won't have their own sector.
The Russian presence has sparked some peaceful ethnic Albanian protests, Craddock noted. "Obviously, there's concern there with the perceived relationship between the Russians and the Serbs," the general said. "We're watching that carefully, but I'm not worried about that situation at this time."
Craddock said a U.S. liaison element with the advanced Russian force will remain with the Russian battalion. "We're pretty much using the Bosnia model in terms of how we will communicate, liaison and operate," he said. "There will be representatives from the Russian element at my headquarters, but not on my staff."
The total force in the U.S. sector is about 6,500 troops, which will stabilize at about 7,000. This includes a 750-man Polish airborne infantry battalion and a 550-man Greek mechanized infantry battalion.
Emphasizing the peacekeepers protect everybody, Craddock said Serbs and Albanians receive equal protection. "We're here to provide a safe and secure environment and we don't discriminate. Everybody has a right to live ... without being endangered [by] others," he said.
He said the Serbs are "reticent and concerned" about their safety, and Serb enclaves are more withdrawn than Albanian ones. "When you move through a Serb town or village, they don't come out and welcome you like the Albanians do," Craddock said. "They're not as friendly."
Lawlessness is down, "but still not to the point we want it," Craddock noted. He has set up military police stations throughout the sector to respond to cries for help from Serbs and Albanians alike. He's also clamping down on instances of house burning and random shootings.
"If a Serb family calls and needs help, we're there," he said. "If a Serb wants protection for movement from one place to another, we'll do what we have to escort them."
American peacekeepers "are on the beat, on the street day and night, trying to keep the peace," Craddock said. "We're not holed up in the precinct house or in the base camp. Our guys are out there doing their jobs and doing them well. That's when we draw fire."
A nine-day lull in attacks on U.S. troops ended in early July, Craddock said. He said the gunfire didn't seem to be part of a coordinated effort.
The international community is providing law enforcement help. So far, there's a U.N. police commissioner from Denmark and a Canadian police liaison. The 37 international policemen on duty in Kosovo on July 12 will ultimately grow to a force of up to 4,000. This force will deactivate when local forces are in place, he said.
The general said local police forces, called the Kosovo Police System, is being formed. The U.N. police commissioner will interview candidates for a six-week police academy scheduled to start in August with about 160 students, he noted. Subsequent classes will have as many as 500 students, and all must attend subsequent weekly training classes for a year.
The United States is also providing emergency medical and dental services for Serbs and Albanians in the area. Combat engineers, besides building the U.S. base camps, are supporting civic reconstruction on an emergency basis. And peacekeepers are providing assistance or work crews to help clean up some of the towns, Craddock said.
He said a U.N.-organized magistrate system of nine local judges and magistrates move through brigade areas to review cases, document evidence and confirm or deny the case. "We have 22 people in detention and four being detained in hospitals based upon injuries or wounds," he noted.
Most communities now have their water turned on at least 12 hours per day, the general noted. Brown-outs are normal; no one has full electrical power yet, he said, adding there are spot shortfalls of fuel for buses.
The number of U.S. casualties is well below his expectations. "I was most concerned about land mines and unexploded ordnance," Craddock said. "I think we've done a credible job in mine awareness training and our soldiers are aware of that and are very careful."
He said situational awareness is the key and the soldiers are wary, alert and vigilant.
"We operate in a wingman concept. Never a single vehicle out there. There are at least two vehicles with two people in each vehicle everywhere soldiers go," Craddock said. "When soldiers patrol towns, we operate in squad-sized elements. There is never a soldier by himself, out of sight or out of earshot of another soldier. I think that goes a long ways with force protection."