U.S. Preparations for INF Portal Monitoring Inspections

At Magna, the Soviet continuous portal monitoring inspection area contained four buildings. From left to right, the Soviet Warehouse, Soviet Data Collection Center, American Inspection Building, and the Environmental Shelter for examining vehicles exiting the rocket motor production plant.
  With the signing of the INF Treaty in December 1987 and the establishment of the On-Site Inspection Agency in January 1988, preparations for the continuous portal monitoring inspections began in earnest, as part of the larger effort to plan and organize the entire INF Treaty mission. With the portal monitoring inspections, two factors complicated the planning effort. First, this type of on-site inspection was unprecedented. Before the INF Treaty, neither nation had entered into any arms control agreement that required its armament plants to be placed under 24-hour-a-day on-site inspection. Plant managers, inspectors, escorts, the national governments--no one had any experience with this type of intrusive, continuous on-site inspection. The second complicating factor concerned a concept imbedded in the treaty: Virtually all rights and obligations were reciprocal; hence, what was done at Votkinsk influenced what was done at Magna and vice versa. More than with any other type of INF inspection, the issue of reciprocity complicated the operation of these inspections.

In February 1988, General Lajoie set up a separate directorate specifically dedicated to managing and planning for the continuous portal monitoring escort and inspection missions. Colonel Douglas M. Englund, U.S. Army; Colonel George M. Connell, USMC; and a small staff of officers constituted the original directorate. In the beginning they had two tasks: organize and coordinate all operational aspects of the U.S. escort mission at Magna and organize, manage, and lead the portal monitoring inspection mission at Votkinsk.


Magna, Utah, was a small American industrial city of 22,000 people, lying 15 miles west of Salt Lake City in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. It was the site of the Hercules Bacchus Works, a large industrial complex encompassing several rocket motor production plants. One of these plants, Hercules Plant No. 1, had produced Pershing II rocket motors from 1982 to 1987. All production of Pershing motors had ceased in June 1987, a year before the INF Treaty entered into force. When the Soviet Union chose this plant as the site of its portal monitoring inspections, it became the only United States defense plant ever subjected to continuous on-site inspection by Soviet personnel.9

The first Soviet planning delegation came to Magna in February 1988. On February 17 and 18, Vladimir Sadovnikov, General Director of the Votkinsk Production Association, and two other Soviet officials flew to Utah and met with George Reuckert, Principal Deputy Director of OSIA; Colonel Serge A. Chernay, USAF, OSIA planner; and Carey E. Cavanaugh of the State Department.10 They discussed site preparations, access to medical facilities, and other concerns. Two weeks earlier, on February 4 and 5, Raymond F. Smith, OSIA Deputy Director for International Relations, and two U.S. embassy Moscow officials had visited Votkinsk to discuss U.S. portal monitoring requirements.

In the fall and winter of 1988-1989 at Votkinsk, construction began on the United States' permanent housing and continuous portal monitoring buildings. Here Anatoli V. Chernenko, Soviet Construction Supervisor, and Colonel George M. Connell, U.S. Site Commander, discuss construction issues.


At Magna, the Soviet Union conducted its inspection monitoring operations from this building, the USSR's Data Collection Center.
  From mid-February to late-June when site preparation teams went to the two plants, planning for the portal monitoring inspections was one of the most intensive activities associated with implementing the INF Treaty. For the United States, portal activities occurred on three levels: internationally, in bilateral meetings between the United States and the Soviet Union; within the U.S. government; and between the federal government and private contractors.

The international meetings to implement the treaty were the INF Treaty Technical Talks. These bilateral talks, held in Washington, Moscow, and Vienna in March, April, and May 1988, were small, week-long working sessions that addressed practical and procedural issues associated with establishing the INF Treaty's on-site inspection process. Portal monitoring inspections were a major topic at each session. Colonel Englund and Colonel Connell represented OSIA's Portal Monitoring Directorate. They participated in lengthy discussions with their Soviet counterparts concerning portal monitoring inspection procedures, logistics of getting inspection equipment and housing materials to the respective sites, and arrangements for temporary and permanent housing for the resident inspectors.11

In April 1988, Colonel Connell escorted a Soviet delegation to Magna to see firsthand the Hercules rocket motor production plant where the Soviet portal monitoring facility would be located. The U.S.-Soviet delegation then went to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to examine a full-scale model of the proposed technical and scanning equipment for U.S. inspections at Votkinsk. Two weeks later, Colonel Connell, Colonel Englund, and a small U.S. delegation toured the future portal inspection site at Votkinsk. Included in their tour was an examination of the plant's rail holding yard, where they observed a test of the rail scales proposed to be used at the Votkinsk portal. They also examined the Soviet Union's proposed stage measuring device.


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