Chapter 4


OSIA's operations expand signifcantly throughout Europe in preparation for the CFE Treaty.



The major influx of people into OSIA's European Operations Command began in January 1991. Thirty people arrived that month, primarily filling support positions, but including nine weapons specialists. Most of the January arrivals came from units in Europe. A month later, OSIA European Operations had doubled in size, expanding from 27 to 57. By the end of April, 18 more people had arrived, including Lt. Colonel David P. Gessert, USAF, the first of the CFE Treaty team chiefs. Through July another 18 had come on board, and by the end of 1991, more than 100 personnel were on duty. All CFE inspection team members, except for one weapons specialist, two linguists, and two deputy team chiefs, were in some phase of treaty training. As people continued to arrive, the number and precise function of U.S. liaison officers remained unresolved. OSIA would not have final answers on liaison officers until mid-1992, just before the treaty entered into force.1



Key Operational Concepts:

  • Treaty Knowledge
  • Team Chief Responsibility
  • Team Identity
  Colonel Fred Grosick, Commander, and Colonel Lawrence Kelley, Director of Operations, shaped the rapidly expanding CFE inspection force around three key operational concepts. The first was knowledge of the treaty, especially its inspection protocol. The treaty was the "alpha and omega" of the inspectors' training, preparation, and operational mission. Over and over in small team meetings and in individual sessions, Colonel Kelley stressed the importance of knowing the treaty "inside and out, chapter and verse," because the "other side would." Kelley's long experience with the Soviet/Russian officer corps had made him aware of their professionalism, thoroughness of preparations, suspicion of foreigners, and their insistence on the letter of the law in granting treaty rights to inspectors. If inspectors from other nations knew the treaty well, Kelley and Grosick believed that U.S. inspectors had to know the provisions of the treaty even better.

The second concept placed extraordinary personal responsibility on the team leader for each inspection/escort mission. Carefully chosen, personally interviewed, and continuously observed, these Army and Air Force field grade officers were responsible for their team, the mission, and the exercise of the U.S. government's CFE Treaty rights and entitlements. Colonel Kelley interviewed each new team chief when he reported to OSIA's European Operations Command. It was, by all accounts, an intense session, combining a treaty tutorial with a lecture on leadership and personal standards of conduct. It also included a detailed explanation of the U.S. objectives in implementing the CFE Treaty. It was neither subtle nor collegial; it was a serious meeting. Colonel Kelley later recalled that at some point he would tell the new CFE team chief, "I wanted to have confidence that when the going got tough, when the team had not slept for 24 hours, when team members felt ill, when the pressure was on, the temperature was low, the plan had fallen apart, the team personnel were not performing as expected, the Russians were applying pressure, and the team chief encountered a point in the inspection which had not been anticipated, that I could still trust his judgment. Would he make the right call?" These standards of leadership set the tone for the developing inspection organization.

The third concept was integral inspection teams. The "inspection team" was the primary operational unit for inspections under the CFE Treaty. Teams would have designated leaders, permanently assigned inspectors, and specific training programs designed to build treaty knowledge, team cohesiveness, and team recognition of inspection objectives. Here too Kelley and Grosick knew what they wanted: inspection team identity, inspector allegiance to the team, and absolute standards of conduct by all team members. "I have always been," Kelley said, "a firm believer in unit cohesiveness. So I consciously set the teams up that way, and insisted that they work as units, and act as units." Given these three clear, fixed concepts, the new inspection team leaders and inspectors entered a rigorous, detailed training program.2


Initial Training

The CFE Treaty on-site inspections would be challenging because the mission required different people to bring various skills together in a team effort. Team chiefs, deputies, linguists, and weapons specialists all needed individual and small team training to develop and refine their specific skills. It was also important for those in support positions to fully understand their contribution to the success of the mission. The range of training topics was broad, including several courses on the treaty and its protocols, three levels of instruction on equipment identification, and several Russian language courses. Individual training, like improving language skills, was important, but as individual needs were met, the focus shifted to team training.

Both in personal and team training, knowledge of the treaty formed the cornerstone for all training. The CFE Treaty Inspector/Escort Course was the fundamental course for everyone. The first CFE Treaty course was taught February 4-14, 1991, at the Defense Intelligence College in Washington, D.C. Bill Parsons and David Sloss, members of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and active participants in CFE negotiations, provided 25 hours of instruction on the treaty and its protocols. Experts from the U.S. Army Foreign Science and Technology Center contributed 15 hours of treaty-limited equipment (TLE) familiarization. This initial course also dealt with topics such as the history of arms control, Warsaw Pact forces, Congress and treaty ratification, health, and public affairs. Inspectors assigned to OSIA's European Operations Command would receive significantly more training after the course. This included a three-tiered program on equipment recognition developed by and for inspectors.


Training was continuous at OSIA's European Operations Command; here Colonel Kelley discusses an upcoming mission with inspectors.


    Twenty people from OSIA's European Operations attended the first CFE Treaty course in Washington, D.C., along with 170 others from Headquarters OSIA and other agencies. In April 1991, OSIA's European Operations Command sponsored a CFE Treaty course for an additional 90 people at Rhein-Main Air Base in Frankfurt, Germany. By October 1991, 24 other inspection team members had completed a two-week CFE Treaty course sponsored by NATO at Oberammergau, Germany. Colonel Kelley drew from his experience with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty to design the NATO course. The objective was to establish CFE Treaty inspection standards across the NATO group of states. Instructors from OSIA's European Operations focused on inspection and escort techniques based on the U.S. experience under the INF Treaty. On April 8, 1992, OSIA presented a five-day CFE Treaty course in Washington, D.C. Treaty negotiators and experienced OSIA European Operations officers and noncommissioned officers (NCOs) taught the course, focusing on the treaty and the inspection process. A videotaped version of this April course allowed newly assigned inspectors to receive the required training without waiting for another formal class. The treaty course remained the fundamental building block, but it was only one required element to qualify as a CFE inspector/escort.3

When treaty ratification lagged in the fall of 1991, teams were able to build more inspection-related issues into their training program. The Inspection/Escort Branch assembled inspection teams weekly. The teams reviewed and discussed treaty inspection and reduction protocols, standardized inspection and reporting procedures, and studied current presidential and Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) guidance. Individually, each team trained daily on the treaty and its protocols. They discussed inspection scenarios they might confront and worked through problems they might encounter. In addition, TLE recognition was a part of each team's daily regime.


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