On July 17, Lt. Colonel Paul H. Nelson, U.S. Army, led an American inspection team to the industrial city of Sverdlovsk, where they conducted an INF baseline/closeout inspection of the Experimental Plant of the Amalgamated Production Works of the M.I. Kalinin Machine Building Plant. This plant formerly had produced SSC-X-4 missile launchers; the Soviet Union had listed the plant in the MOU, but had not included any data in the initial data exchange. By deduction, this meant that the Soviet government had declared officially that all production of INF missile launchers had ceased at the plant. Colonel Nelson's 10-person team inspected the plant, signed the inspection reports, and met briefly with reporters. An interviewer with Vremya, the Moscow-based national television news program, asked E.I. Krayniy, plant engineer, about the American INF inspection. "The U.S. inspectors," he replied, "carried out an inspection of the territory and the installations of the experimental works.... All conditions of the treaty have been complied with."3

Colonel Nelson then spoke to Vremya: "I am pleased to be here today, to have inspected the Sverdlovsk launcher production facility.... It gives us pleasure to see that our professional ties with the USSR are developing."4 In a separate interview, Nelson told a TASS reporter, "Under the Treaty, I do not have the right to comment on the results of the inspection, but I am satisfied with the cooperation of the Soviet side. All those we worked with are good professionals."5 After these brief interviews, the 10-person American team departed, returning to Moscow and then to OSIA European Field Office in Frankfurt.

One week later, on July 21, Colonel Edward H. Cabaniss, U.S. Army, led an American INF inspection team to Petropavlovsk in Kazakhstan, approximately 2,000 kilometers east of Moscow. Petropavlovsk was the location of the V.I. Lenin Heavy Machine Building Plant, where the American team conducted a closeout inspection of the former SS-23 missile launcher production facility. Following the inspection and signing of the reports, the Americans were given a brief tour of the city. There, a TASS reporter asked Colonel Cabaniss about the INF inspection. "The American inspectors," he replied, "had been given a chance of visiting all places they thought it was necessary to visit, and of seeing everything they wanted to see." He thought that there was a "mutual understanding" with the Soviet side on the conduct of the inspection.6


"It gives us pleasure to see that our professional ties with the USSR are developing."

Lt. Colonel Nelson

Map of INF Sites in Eastern Europe

    That same day, July 21, more than 3,800 kilometers to the west, Lt. Colonel Lawrence G. Kelley, USMC, led a 10-person American INF team to Prague, Czechoslovakia. Prague's Ruzyne International Airport was a treaty-designated point of entry. The U.S. inspection team was in Czechoslovakia to conduct a closeout inspection of the Soviet SS-12 missile operating base at Hranice in northern Moravia. The Czechoslovakian CTK news service reported that, the SS-12 missiles had been withdrawn in March 1988 and sent to elimination sites in the Soviet Union.7 At the airport, Colonel Kelley and his team were met by Colonel Ivan Y. Abrosimov, chief of the Soviet INF escort team for this inspection. Following introductions to the Soviet escort team and representatives of the Czechoslovakian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defense and the Soviet Central Group of Forces, Colonel Kelley spoke to a Prague television reporter. "We are coming to carry out a basic inspection of the Soviet missile base on Czechoslovak territory. We are coming to verify whether or not certain pieces of equipment, liable to the treaty, remain deployed at this base."8 After these brief courtesies, the American inspection team and their Soviet and Czech escorts departed by bus for Moravia and the INF missile operating base.

At Hranice, the inspection commenced shortly after the team's arrival. A reporter from the RUDE PRAVO newspaper in Prague recorded his observations of the inspection:

The American group began its inspection work in Hranice at 1500. The inspectors checked the Hranice military barracks, including the vehicle pool and the training area. They had the opportunity to inspect in detail individual buildings, which formerly served the Soviet missile unit, and places where there used to he equipment for the training of Soviet soldiers. They also made random checks on vehicles and further equipment belonging to the unit of the Czechoslovak People's Army which has taken over Hranice barracks.... The inspectors then moved into the military area to one of the former combat positions. There they were able to convince themselves that all military materiel which is subject to elimination under the Soviet-American treaty was no longer there.9


When the inspection was completed, the INF inspectors and their escorts returned to Prague; once again they were interviewed by television and newspaper reporters. Colonel Abrosimov commented on the inspection, the treaty, and Czechoslovakia's role. "Czechoslovakia completely fulfilled all commitments resulting for it from the adopted documents."10 The Soviet Union had negotiated separate diplomatic agreements with both Czechoslovakia and the German Democratic Republic, where Soviet INF missile units had been based. Colonel Kelley was also asked about the results of the inspection. "Appropriate conclusions had been drawn,"11 but he was not authorized to make the results public. He stated that his group's activity was in "complete harmony" with the provisions of the treaty. He, too, acknowledged Czechoslovakia's role in assisting with the transportation and arrangements for the inspection.

These were 3 of 16 closeout inspections conducted by American INF inspection teams during the baseline period, July through August 1988. In the same two weeks, U.S. inspection teams completed 114 INF baseline inspections of 79 Soviet INF missile operating bases, 19 missile storage facilities, 6 training facilities, 2 test ranges, 12 repair facilities, 3 launcher production plant, and 8 elimination sites. The United States also instituted--on July 2, 1988--continuous portal monitoring inspections at the former SS-20 assembly plant at Votkinsk. The Votkinsk missile final assembly facility was one of three declared in the Soviet's treaty memorandum of understanding. Although these facilities were listed in the treaty, they were designated as "noninspectable" sites. Also during baseline, the United States began sending on-site inspection teams to monitor the elimination of the Soviet INF missiles and support systems. Thus, during the initial baseline phase, there were four types of on-site inspections underway in the Soviet Union.

Missile Operating Base Hranice, Czechoslovakia.


    Initial Soviet Closeout Inspections

"Czechoslovakia completely fulfilled all of its commitments...."

Colonel Ivan Y. Abrosimov

At the USAF Plant 19 in San Diego, Soviet inspectors watch as a plant escort (c.) diagrams the inspectable area inside the former GLCM launcher production facility.

  Soviet INF inspectors during baseline conducted closeout inspections at five U.S. missile sites and facilities. All five sites--Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah; Air Force Plant 19 in California; Missile Test Range Complex 16 at Cape Canaveral, Florida; the Martin Marietta Launcher Production Facility in Middle River, Maryland; and Woensdrecht Missile Operating Base in the Netherlands--had been listed in the MOU of June 1, 1988, as having no INF Treaty-limited items. This meant that June 1 was the closeout notification date for these sites. A baseline inspection by a Soviet team would also constitute a closeout inspection.

The Soviet Union's first two closeout inspections occurred at Dugway Proving Grounds, a former test range for the ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCMs), and at Air Force Plant 19, a former production plant for GLCM launchers. Both inspections occurred on the same day, July 3. The 24-hour on-site inspections went according to schedule, with the two Soviet teams making their declaration of the sites to be inspected at Travis Air Force Base, California, the point of entry for INF sites in the western half of the United States. Lt. Colonel Claesen D. Wyckoff, U.S. Army, served as the senior escort for the Soviet INF team inspecting the Dugway Proving Grounds; Lt. Colonel Robert Yablonski, USAF, led the American team escorting the Soviet team to Plant 19. Both teams flew to the site via USAF military transport aircraft; each group of Soviet inspectors was taken to the site within the nine hours stipulated in the treaty. The inspections themselves lasted for 24 hours and were followed by the signing of the inspection reports. On July 3, both Soviet teams and their American escorts returned to Travis, where the Soviets prepared for departure to the USSR.

On August 4, Colonel Gennadiy I. Solntse led a Soviet on-site inspection team to Cape Canaveral, Florida, for a baseline and closeout inspection. Accompanying the Soviet inspectors was an American escort team led by Colonel Wyckoff. Cape Canaveral had been the test site for the Pershing II missiles; the Soviet inspection team was limited to inspecting the former launch complex, the missile assembly buildings, and the access road that connected them. The Soviet inspectors conducted their inspection, signed and exchanged the reports, all within the 24-hour time allotted in the treaty.12

One thousand miles north of Cape Canaveral, on the same day, another Soviet inspection team conducted an inspection of the former Pershing I launcher production facility at Middle River, Maryland. Colonel Anatoly S. Chentsov led the Soviet inspection team, while Captain Albert E. Graham, U.S Navy Reserve, served as the senior American escort team leader. Newspaper reports indicated that, throughout the inspection, security was "tight."13 Plant officials had prepared for this event by conducting mock inspections in the months before the Soviet team's arrival. They had conducted security and treaty briefings for the more than 4,000 employees working at the site. Once the inspection was completed, the Soviet and American INF teams signed and exchanged the official treaty reports. The Soviet inspection team returned to Washington, D.C., the point of entry, where they prepared for their departure for Moscow.14

These initial Soviet closeout inspections occurred simultaneously with the baseline inspections being conducted at the 31 U.S. INF sites in Western Europe and the United States. During July and August 1988, Soviet inspection teams went to each of these sites and conducted baseline inspections. In addition, Soviet INF inspectors were establishing their continuous portal monitoring of the Hercules Plant No. 1 at Magna, Utah. Just as the U.S. INF inspection activity was at its peak in the summer of 1988, so too was the Soviet Union's.

The number of initial INF closeout inspections equaled the number of INF missile sites declared closed out. In the June 1, 1988, Memorandum of Understanding, the USSR declared that there were no INF missiles, support systems, or activity at 16 sites; the United States conducted 16 closeout inspections. The United States notified the Soviet Union that five American INF sites had been closed out; the Soviet Union sent five on-site inspection teams to ascertain the status of these sites.

This Soviet inspection began with both inspectors and escorts walking around the entire perimeter of the buildings and inspectable area. The site was the Martin Marietta plant in Middle River, Maryland. Formerly, Pershing I launchers had been produced at the plant.


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