The Russians Are Coming
Fort Bliss to host Russian-U.S. Theater Missile Defense command post exercise in November or December

     A Department of Defense spokesman told reporters Thursday that a Russian team will arrive in Washington next month to begin laying plans for a Theater Missile Defense (TMD) exercise with U.S. air defenders. Kenneth H. Bacon, assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, said the command post exercise is tentatively scheduled for November or December at Fort Bliss, Texas, home of the U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery Center.

"We have had for the last four years, I think -- four or five years -- discussions with the Russians on theater missile defense," Bacon said. "We think we face a common threat: that is, evolving technologies from nations that could attack either Russia or the United States or our troops stationed around the world. And therefore we have begun a series of discussions with them. We've had two so-called tabletop or computer simulation exercises with the Russians on theater missile defense, one in Colorado Springs in 1996 and one in Moscow in 1998. This is the -- the upcoming TMD exercise would be more complex. It will be the third in that series. And it's tentatively planned for November or December at Fort Bliss, Texas. This would be actually a command post exercise where Russian and U.S. teams would meet in the field to go through a theater missile defense exercise.

"This exercise will still need some more planning and shaping," Bacon added. "So the Russians have agreed to send a team to Washington in July -- I think July 17th, they are supposed to arrive -- to discuss the arrangements and plans for this upcoming exercise."


Posted 30 June 200