Following German unification in October 1990, the German federal armed forces incorporated the GDR's army and air force personnel and equipment. Approximately six months later, in March 1991, the GDR's verification agency became a branch office of the German Federal Armed Forces Verification Center. It had 140 officers, NCOs, and civilians and was located at Strausberg, 30 kilometers east of Berlin. Many of the Strausberg personnel had direct experience with the INF Treaty. Now, in 1991 and 1992, their mission would be to supervise the CFE Treaty reduction centers located in eastern Germany and to escort inspection teams from the Eastern group of states.4

One interesting aspect of German unification was the large quantity of former GDR army and air force weapons and equipment available for incorporation into the federal armed forces. Shortly after unification, the German minister of defense decided that most of the former GDR military equipment was not suited for the federal army and air force. Since the mid-1950s, West Germany's military forces had been equipped with weapons and munitions that met NATO standards. Most, if not all, of the GDR army and air force equipment had been designed and produced for use with the Soviet armed forces. Operationally incompatible, it was surplus equipment and would be eliminated. Since many of the former GDR's offensive weapons fell under the provisions of the CFE Treaty, Germany would have to destroy them during the treaty's reduction period. Before the CFE Treaty entered into force, however, Germany's CFE Treaty inspection teams used this former GDR equipment as an opportunity to study firsthand Soviet army TLE and "look-alike" equipment. For the new German verification center, this was both an unexpected and important opportunity.5

The French CFE inspection teams were led by professional military officers, usually lieutenant colonels, 38 to 45 years old, with service on command headquarters staff or on the French General Staff. In February 1994, Colonel François Rozec, Commandant of L'Unité Française de Vérification, explained that three areas were important in selecting inspection team leaders: professional skill, linguistic ability, and maturity. "As far as maturity is concerned," Colonel Rozec said, "We consider it to be psychological equilibrium, judgment, and ease of communication."6

The French agency was formed in September 1990 to carry out French "verification and hosting" responsibilities under the CFE Treaty and the Vienna Document 1990. Located approximately 70 kilometers north of Paris, on French Air Station 110 at Creil, France, the unit was subordinate to the Arms Control Division of the French General Staff in Paris. For its personnel, the new treaty verification unit drew upon specialists from the French army, air force, and navy. Under the CFE Treaty, France declared 1,355 tanks, 1,392 artillery pieces, 4,154 armored combat vehicles, 376 helicopters, and 688 fighter aircraft. As a state party, France declared 168 sites and 211 objects of verification. Brigadier General Jean-Paul Huet served as the first Commandant; in April 1992, Colonel Rozec assumed command.7


Colonel François Rozec, Commandant, L'Unité Française de Vérification.


  From the beginning, the French inspectorate developed "organic teams," each with a dedicated team leader, deputy, linguists, and inspectors. Their approach to preparing for an inspection mission was similar to the German inspection teams'-studying a specific nation's TLE holdings, current force structure, and organizational lines. For part of their time, each French inspection team worked directly with French army and air force units and installations subject to CFE Treaty inspections, providing training on the treaty, inspection protocols, and reduction procedures.8

Great Britain had experience with on-site inspections under the Stockholm Document of 1986 and with the British Military Liaison Mission in Berlin from 1947 to 1991. Its officers were professional, knowledgeable, and at the forefront in analysis and evaluations. In August 1990, the British Ministry of Defense selected Colonel Roy Giles, RAF, to lead the Joint Arms Control Implementation Group (JACIG). Located at RAF Scampton, the new four-service group drew personnel from the Royal Navy, Marines, Army, and Air Force. It had an assigned strength of 120 officers, NCOs, and civilians. From the beginning, Colonel Giles directed that the British group would use full-time inspection and escort teams. Most of the initial cadre of inspectors had served in Berlin with the British Military Liaison Mission or had worked as interpreters in the Berlin Corridor. They were very knowledgeable on the Soviet Union, its armed forces, and its military equipment. Colonel Giles encouraged volunteers, especially officers and NCOs with Russian language skills.9

The Belgian concept of operations called for the establishment of a small professional verification staff attached to the Ministry of Defense in Brussels. This staff would organize, train, and lead the Belgian CFE Treaty inspection and escort teams, which were composed of inspectors drawn from the ranks of the military services. Early in 1990 the General Staff selected two groups of five midlevel officers, all lieutenant colonels, and enrolled them in an intensive Russian language course.10 According to Lt. Colonel Fred Janssen, Director of Operations, L'Unité Belge de Vérification, initial language training for the team leaders would enable them "to express themselves in normal, ordinary daily talks" with their Russian military escorts.11 For treaty issues and technical questions that might arise during the inspection, Janssen indicated that each team would have some inspectors who were qualified interpreters. It is interesting that the leaders of the Belgian verification agency envisioned, almost from the beginning, multinational CFE inspection teams composed of inspectors from several different nations. Inspectors from Luxembourg joined the Belgian agency's initial language training course, as did officers from the Dutch inspectorate. For the three Benelux nations, this joint language training signaled a willingness to participate in other joint activities in implementing the treaty.12


In the Netherlands, in early 1990 the Ministry of Defense set up a small treaty verification staff called the Arms Control Branch. Its mission was to assume responsibility for the nation's CFE Treaty compliance and to coordinate with the Dutch military forces on all aspects of treaty implementation. According to Navy Commander C.N.M. Wierema, Director of the Arms Control Branch, the Netherlands operated under a "cadre" concept in implementing the CFE Treaty, meaning that the Arms Control Branch would be a small, joint-service staff, with approximately 16 to 18 military officers. Their principal role was compiling the Netherlands' required treaty data submissions, developing all official treaty notifications, coordinating the scheduling and conduct of inspections and reductions with the military forces, and representing the nation at the Verification Coordinating Committee meetings held at Headquarters NATO. The Dutch army identified 80 to 85 officers and NCOs to be trained as CFE Treaty inspectors and escorts, and the Dutch air force dedicated 30 to 35 officers to assist in implementing the treaty. When it came to conducting CFE Treaty inspections in the Eastern nations, the Arms Control Branch selected senior army or air force officers, usually in the rank of lieutenant colonel, to serve as team chiefs. The Dutch required their inspectors to speak and understand Russian. According to Commander Wierema, "It takes about a year and a half before the inspectors reach the required level in their language skills. Russian is very difficult."13

When Poland established its verification agency in 1990, the Polish government was in the midst of a general restructuring of its armed forces. Colonel Stanislaw Malinowski, Director of the Polish Verification Unit, explained that Poland had elected to place the new center in the civilian component of the Ministry of National Defense, outside the military structure of the armed forces. He added, "It cooperates very closely with the military component."14 After CFE Treaty signature in November 1990, the Ministry of National Defense determined that the verification center's initial staffing was not sufficient to carry out Poland's treaty requirements. In its November 1990 data submission, Poland stated that it had 124 declared sites and 149 military units, or objects of verification (OOVs) with TLE. At the same time, Poland's reduction liability was approximately 1,120 tanks, 690 artillery pieces, 1,130 armored personnel vehicles, and 91 aircraft. Consequently, the Ministry of National Defense organized special arms control sections in each of the Polish army's military districts and at the Polish Armed Forces Headquarters. Colonel Malinowski explained, "The center's present activities are, among other things, to supervise activities of these divisions in the military structure."15 For CFE inspection and escort team leaders, Poland used professional military officers who were experienced and knowledgeable about armaments and equipment included in the CFE Treaty. Competence in a foreign language was an important criterion for selection. Colonel Malinowski said that from their initial planning, they had anticipated hosting many national inspection teams at Polish reduction facilities and declared sites.16


Colonel Stanislaw Malinowski, Director, Polish Verification Unit.


Previous Section | Table of Contents | Next Section