While OSIA-Europe was planning and preparing to carryout CFE Treaty inspections, the Threshold Test Ban Treaty and the Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty and their new protocols entered into force on December 11, 1990.10 Within days both parties began implementing the Threshold Test Ban Treaty. The first step was the exchange of information on national test sites and the number of scheduled nuclear tests that would exceed 35 kilotons. Tests above that level and below 150 kilotons were subject to verifying inspections under the treaty. For 1991, the United States declared that two of its nuclear underground tests at the Nevada Test Site would fall within the TTBT's threshold limits.11 The Soviet Union declared that it would exercise its treaty rights and monitor the tests. Initially, President Gorbachev declared a limited moratorium on Soviet testing; however, he changed that policy in June of 1991 and announced that the Soviet Union would conduct two tests at its Semipalatinsk nuclear test sites later in the year. The United States promptly declared its intention to send verification inspection teams to the USSR to monitor those tests.12

For the On-Site Inspection Agency these announcements meant that the transition from planning and preparations to implementation was occurring rapidly. Implementing the Threshold Test Ban Treaty, like preparing for the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty, meant significant new responsibilities, requiring new people, resources, and funding, together with the necessity for considerable interagency coordination.

For the CFE Treaty, training included mock inspections in which American inspectors (blue jackets) played the role of the inspecting team, while the American escorts (battle dress uniforms) acted the part of the escorting team.

    General Parker Takes the Reins

General Lieutenant Vladimir I. Medvedev, Director, Soviet NRRC, and Major General Robert W. Parker, USAF, Director, OSIA, at the Pershing II final elimination ceremony, at Longhorn, Texas on May 6, 1991.
  Coincidental with these new responsibilities were changes in the agency's leadership. On January 25, 1991, Major General Robert W. Parker, USAF, accepted the command from Major General Roland Lajoie, the first Director. General Lajoie accepted reassignment to the Joint Staff as the Deputy Director for International Negotiations. The new Director, Major General Parker, was an experienced strategic missile officer and Strategic Air Command wing commander who had served immediately before as the Military Advisor to Ambassador Ronald Lehman, Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. Starting in January 1991, the new director accelerated the pace of change in the rapidly expanding 250-person inspection agency. Growth came quickly, one year later, there were 604 people. Upon assuming command, General Parker stated that OSIA's first priority would remain on-site inspections under the INF Treaty.13

Against the background of the Gulf War of 1991, implementation of the INF Treaty continued unimpeded. General Parker directed Colonel Ronald P. Forest, Director of Operations, to initiate planning and preparations for the final eliminations of the INF Treaty missiles and launchers scheduled for April and May 1991 in the Soviet Union, Europe, and the United States. These final eliminations, which had to be completed by the end of the third treaty year (May 31, 1991), would involve national officials, senior military officers, the public, and the media to the greatest extent since the initial baseline inspections. Simultaneously, numerous closeout INF inspections by Soviet and American teams were being carried out confirming the declared status of the remaining missile operating bases and facilities. Both parties were also conducting short-notice INF inspections at a pace to complete their annual quota of 20 by May 31, 1991. In three months--March, April, May--more than 350 American inspectors deployed to the Soviet Union, and another 350 assisted in escorting Soviet inspectors conducting inspections at U.S. INF installations. For some, it ranked among the busiest times of the entire INF Treaty.14


Simultaneous with this INF Treaty activity, General Parker entrusted Colonel Gerald V. West, OSIA's Chief of Escorts, with responsibility for leading the United States' delegation to the first joint U.S.-Soviet Coordinating Group Meeting conducted under the Threshold Test Ban Treaty. Hosted by OSIA, this precedent-setting meeting of US and Soviet technical experts was held in Washington, D.C. in February and March 1991. The experts established a detailed schedule for the Soviet verifying party to go to the Nevada Test Site, install their treaty-authorized monitoring equipment, and to monitor the scheduled underground nuclear explosion. The monitoring equipment authorized under the treaty's protocols was quite extensive, consisting of tons of cable, metal tubing, and specific, approved monitoring devices. Every item had to be identified, shipped from the Soviet Union, inspected, and then shipped again to the Department of Energy's Nevada Test Site. The logistics involved in this and subsequent Soviet verification inspections under the treaty caused a significant expansion in OSIA's workload. Within three months of the first Coordinating Group Meeting, Colonel West and the agency hosted a second meeting in June, 1991. This one was just as detailed and protracted as the first. It planned the detailed schedule of the Soviet verifying party's activity in monitoring the second U.S. underground nuclear test to be conducted under the treaty.15

Negotiations on the START Treaty entered their final stages in April 1991. For the next three months, the United States and the Soviet Union pressed hard to complete a strategic arms reduction treaty that had been locked in negotiation for more than ten years. Anticipating the signing of the START Treaty, General Parker initiated with the Air Force and Navy's strategic nuclear missile, bomber, and submarine commands a series of staff assistance visits by experienced teams of on-site inspectors and escorts.16 These "visits" and subsequent mock inspections went to every American missile, bomber, and submarine site included in the START Treaty. There, the teams worked with Air Force and Navy officers and non-commissioned officers in reviewing the infrastructure of each inspectable facility. They identified problem areas, and suggested improvements in the procedures for escorting the inspection teams. At the same time, OSIA identified, recruited, and trained new START inspection team leaders, deputies, linguists, and inspectors on the complex treaty text and its protocols. Under the treaty there were 12 types of on-site inspections.

The Threshold Test Ban Treaty required a Coordinating Group Meeting. The USSR (l.) and U.S. (r.) delegations met in Washington D.C., in February - March 1991.


Previous Section | Table of Contents | Next Section