While the U.S. continues to “reset”, the neo-Soviet Union continues to restart.
“Treaties are like pie crusts, they are made to be broken” – Vladimir Lenin
Russian nuclear forces hold large exercise involving movement of strategic and tactical warheads
The exercise raised concerns inside the Pentagon and with the U.S. European Command because it was the largest exercise of its kind in 20 years and involved heightened alert status of Russian nuclear forces.
The exercises followed a recent surge in Russian strategic bomber flights that include a recent circling of the U.S. Pacific island of Guam by two Tu-95 Bear bomber and simulated bombing runs by Tu-95s against Alaska and California in June and July.
Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Wesley P. Miller sought to play down the nuclear exercise but declined to comment on the movement of nuclear weapons and whether nuclear forces went on a heightened state of alert. “We don’t comment on intelligence matters,” he said.
Miller said the nuclear forces maneuvers were “nothing to be concerned about because the Russians, like us, have routine exercises and inspections.”
However, a U.S. official said the exercise was a concern within the U.S. national security community because of the scale of the exercise and the number of weapons being moved. “Certainly it’s a concern when you have this kind of exercise going on,” this official said.
The official said another worry is that Russia appears to be increasing the readiness of its nuclear forces at a time when the U.S. nuclear complex is in urgent need of upgrading and the military is facing sharp automatic defense cuts that could affect U.S. nuclear forces readiness in the future.
According to the officials, the exercise involved Russia’s secretive 12th Main Directorate of the Defense Ministry, known by its acronym as 12th GUMO, the main military unit in charge of all nuclear weapons.
Details of the nuclear exercise are classified, but officials said the 12th GUMO transported a large number of nuclear arms from some of its nuclear munitions depots to storage sites during the exercises.
Declassified U.S. intelligence reports have identified three large nuclear storage facilities near Europe, including one that is located miles from the intersection of the Rusisan, Latvian, and Belarusian borders. Two other nuclear storage complexes close to Europe are located at Zhukovka, near Belarus, and at Golovchino, near the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.
The nuclear training coincided with the visit to Moscow by Rose Gottemoeller, acting undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, to discuss a new round of U.S.-Russian strategic arms talks.
It is not known whether the nuclear weapons were transported by air, rail, or truck during the 12th GUMO exercise.
Chief of the Russian General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov mentioned the nuclear exercise Feb. 22 when he said a surprise inspection of both conventional and nuclear forces was held.
Gerasimov said the exercises involved the 12th GUMO and the Central and Southern military districts and that they were the largest maneuvers of its kind in 20 years.
The drills began with orders for forces to go to “higher states of combat20 readiness and carry out combat training missions,” the website Russian Defense Policy reported. The exercises were also reported by the Voice of Russia and the Russian Defense Ministry website.
Several hundred pieces of equipment, 7,000 troops, and 48 aircraft took part, the general said.
The drills also involved moving forces to exercise areas far from normal deployment locations.
Full article: Russians Conduct Huge Nuke Drill (Washington Free Beacon)