American inspectors SSGT Susan Alborn and TSGT David LaFleur with INF Treaty inspection equipment. Consisting of scales, measuring tapes, rod, camera, and first aid kit, this equipment was hand-carried to each site by short-notice inspection teams.


A short-notice inspection began when the INF team chief declared at a designated point of entry that the 10-person team would be conducting an INF on-site inspection under Article XI, paragraph 5a or 5b. The declaration included the name and coordinates of the missile site or facility to be inspected. The party being inspected then had nine hours to get the INF team to the site. That nine-hour time period was the basis for calling these inspections "short-notice."1    


  This process was no different from declaring a closeout inspection and delivering that team within nine hours to the site where the closeout inspection would be conducted. This similarity was significant, for the function of the short-notice inspections was to give the inspecting party the right to ascertain through a 24-hour inspection the MOU items on site, including any INF missile systems, facilities, or activities at any INF site, active or closed. The party being inspected did not know the site to be inspected until the declaration. This meant that every Soviet and American INF site, with the exception of former missile production facilities that the treaty exempted, was at risk for a short-notice inspection.2 The INF Treaty set an annual quota on the number of short-notice inspections. Each party could conduct 20 short-notice inspections per year in the first three years, 15 per year for the next five years, and 10 per year for five years after that. Cumulatively, each party had the right, over the full 13 years, to conduct 185 short-notice inspections.3
    Dedicated Airlift

Interior of C-141 aircraft used for short-notice inspections. The United States used military airlift to transport Soviet inspectors from the point of entry to the INF inspection sites within the treaty-required nine hour time limit.
  Short-notice inspections, with their nine-hour deadline, placed a premium on airlift. Both the United States and the Soviet Union used "dedicated" airlift for transporting INF inspection teams from the point of entry to the site after the team chief's declaration. The time period was so short and the distances so great that neither country could have carried out its obligations under the treaty without transporting the teams by air. For instance, the USSR was obligated to deliver American inspection teams from Moscow, the point of entry, to any one of 72 missile operating bases and missile support facilities in the western Soviet Union within nine hours of the team chief's declaration. The most distant missile site, Bayram Ali, lay nearly 1,200 kilometers from Moscow.4


Previous Chapter | Table of Contents | Next Section