Defense Chiefs Hold Videoconference
On June 3, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey and Chief of the General Staff General Valery Vasilevich Gerasimov conducted a video teleconference, during which they discussed regional and global security issues and agreed to prioritize nuclear security as a cooperative effort. The impetus behind the conference and the substance of the discussion was an agreement by Presidents Obama and Putin this area of bilateral cooperation in light of the emerging threat of WMD proliferation, and the prospective use of these weapons and materials by terrorists.
Russian Engineering Forces Visit Counter-Improvised Explosive Devices Training Facility
A Russian delegation, led by Deputy Chief of Engineering Forces, Gen-Maj Konstantin Smeshko, visited the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization headquarters in Washington, D.C. on June 17. During the visit, Mr. B. Ray Fitzgerald, Vice Director for JIEDDO, provided the Russian visitors with a JIEDDO Command brief and discussed areas of deeper cooperation between the United Sattes and Russia.
Following the headquarters visit, the Russia delegation traveled to the Joint Center of Excellence training facility at Ft. Irwin, California. During this portion of the trip, Gen-Maj Smeshko sought to enhance his understanding of the technology and training used in U.S. efforts to counter improvised explosive devices.
Bilateral Fuels Exchange
The June 3 – 7 U.S. – Russia meeting on bilateral fuels exchange in Stuttgart, Germany laid the groundwork for a Memorandum of Understanding for to support combined operations and exercises.
The meeting also touched on the need for a Technical Agreement, which will be a longer term project. A reciprocal visit is scheduled for September in Moscow to continue coordination.
Russian Navy Commander Visits U.S.
On July 16, the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Jonathan Greenert, hosted his counterpart, the Russian Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Viktor Chirkov, in Washington, D.C. In addition to the talks in Washington, Admiral Chirkov visited the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, the Pascagoula Navy Shipyard in Mississippi, and the Chief of Naval Education and Training in Pensacola, Florida. Topics discussed included the Asia-Pacific Rebalance, operations in the Arctic, Non-Commissioned Officer Development, and the current geo-political situation.
Afghanistan-Pakistan Sub-Working Group Meeting
United States Major General Michael H. Shields, the Joint Staff Director of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Coordination Cell, met his Russian counterpart, General Major Sergey F. Rudskoy, Deputy Chief of the Main Operations Directorate of the Russian General Staff, in Moscow May 31 – June 1. During their meetings, they addressed multiple issues, including counter-improvised explosive devives and Central/South Asia regional security.
Nuclear Security Exercise
In July, the United States Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) participated in a Russian Ministry of Defense-hosted Nuclear Security Exercise at the Abramovo Counter-Terrorism Training Center in Sergiev Posad, Russia. This exercise was a reciprocal event to the U.S.-hosted Nuclear Security Exercise called CRIMSON RIDER, in 2011.
20th Air Force Commander Major General Michael Carey led the U.S. Delegation that included representatives from the Joint Staff, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, DTRA and the U.S. Department of Energy. The two-day exercise demonstrated tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) for all four phases of Ministry of Defense nuclear convoy security operations: convoy security, explosive ordinance disposal, medical support, and initial response of support forces, to include law enforcement. The Russian Ministry of Defense also showcased TTPs for air support and evasive driving skills.
Colonels Working Group
U.S. representatives met with Russian Ministry of Defense Ministry General Staff service counterparts and other organizations at the Colonels Working Group in Moscow June 25 and 26. The attendees reviewed implementation of the 2013 Military Cooperation Work Plan, and coordinated proposals for the 2014 Work Plan. Looking ahead to the 2014 Work Plan, both sides agreed to maintain momentum in current areas of cooperation and that additional discussion is needed on U.S. proposals to expand nuclear security exchanges and defense support to civil authority.
Russian Military Academy visit to U.S. National Defense University
Supporting the goals of the Military Cooperation Working Group, a delegation from Russia’s Military Academy of the General Staff (MAGS) visited the U.S. National Defense University (NDU) late March, the first such visit in nearly six years. The newly appointed MAGS Commandant, Gen-Col Sergey Makarov, led a small delegation on the highly successful three-day visit to NDU.
Makarov and his delegation received detailed briefings from all of NDU's major components, and in discussions exhibited great interest in how elements of the structure and curriculum of U.S. Professional Military Education might be used in the process of ongoing reform in MAGS and throughout the Russian system. The tone of the meetings was warm and engaging, and Makarov showed interest in furthering deeper contacts and exchanges between MAGS and NDU.
Regional Commands Meet
Officials from the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) visited Russia’s Asia-Pacific Region/Eastern Military District (EAMD) on April 19 - 20. PACOM meetings with EAMD leadership is a positive step toward future Combatant Command-Military District regional engagement on issues of mutual interest. The meeting was made possible by the Military Cooperation Working Group’s engagement with regional military groups.
2013 Work Plan
The U.S. and Russian sides signed the Military Cooperation Working Group (MCWG) 2013 Work Plan in April. Already the MCWG has completed seven of the 78 programming events contained within the Work Plan. In addition, the MCWG anticipates nearly 30 additional events outside the agreed upon Work Plan for the coming year.
USS Lassen Observes World War II Victory Day
In the spirit of cooperation under the Military Cooperation Working Group, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen arrived in Vladivostok May 7 to foster U.S. ties with the Russian navy. The visit coincides with Victory Day, the Russian celebration of the end of World War II in Europe. American sailors attended Victory Day events and layed a wreath at the Pacific Fleet Battle Fame Memorial.
While in Vladivostok, sailors from Lassen participated in volunteer events in the area, including visiting children at a local cancer ward, playing games with young people at the Parus Nadezhdy shelter for at-risk youth, meeting and speaking with Russian Veterans and holding a friendly soccer game with Russian sailors.
U.S. Commanders Meet With Russian Counterparts, Students, and Educators
Lieutenant General Mark P. Hertling, Commanding General, U.S. Army Europe, travelled to Moscow September 23 – 25 to meet with Mr. Kishelev, Chief of the Russian Ministry of Defense’s Main Directorate for International Cooperation, and Combined Arms Academy (CAA) Commandant Major General Aleksey Samolkin. He conducted discussions with CAA faculty and students on professional development, combat experiences and future security threats, highlighting the need for shared responses to shared threats.
Lieutenant General David H. Huntoon, Superintendent, US Military Academy (USMA) was in Moscow September 27 – 28 to visit the USMA equivalent, the Moscow Higher Military Command School within the Combined Arms Academy, and met with Yekaterina Priyezzheva, Chief of the Russian Ministry of Defenses’ Education Department to discuss service academy initiatives.
Air Staff Consultations
U.S. and Russian Air Force representatives met September 20 – 21 at the Marshall Center in Garmisch, Germany to discuss implementation of 2012 activities and shape engagements for the 2013 Work Plan.
International Military Police (MP) Regimental Senior Leader Conference
Moscow Garrison Commandant Major General Seleznev led the Russian delegation to the conference, held at Ft. Leonard Wood from September 17 – 22. The delegation included Colonel Singilevich (MP Director of Training & Education and Strategic Planning), Commander Martynov (MP Leader Development) and Major Smushko (Interpreter). The delegation focused Russian MOD efforts to build a new MP organization along the lines of the U.S. model.
International Festival of Brass Bands
The United States Navy 7th Fleet Band Pacific Ambassadors ensemble participated in the International Festival of Brass Bands from Seoptember 14 – 18 in Sakhalin Oblast.
Maritime Exercise Northern Eagle Took Place in August
Northern Eagle is a biennial naval exercise involving the U.S., Russia and Norway. The purpose of the exercise is to promote military cooperation between the three countries in areas of common interest. This year's edition of "Northern Eagle" included sailing from Bodø to Sevoromorsk on Saturday August 25 while performing air defense exercises, search and rescue drills and anti-piracy and maritime security operations. During the event wreaths were laid to commemorate those who fell during World War II while participating in the Arctic convoys. The exercise ended in the Russian Northern Fleet's main base in Sevormorsk.
U.S., Russia and Canada Take Part in the Vigilant Eagle Anti-Hijacking Exercise
Members of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the Russian Air Force completed Exercise Vigilant Eagle. Vigilant Eagle 12, a joint computer-based command post exercise, is designed to build and strengthen cooperation between U.S., Canadian and Russian military forces in fighting terrorism. The scenario involved a terrorist hijacking where an aircraft moves between U.S. and Russian airspace. Air Force Brig. Gen. Richard Scobee, NORAD Deputy Director of Operations, said the command post exercise allowed them to run through complex scenarios that will be flown the following year.
Military Cooperation Working Group Co-Chairs Meet in Washington, DC
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey met General Nikolay Makarov, Chief of the Russian General Staff and First Deputy Defense Minister on July 12th at the Pentagon for the annual Military Cooperation Working Group meeting. They discussed a wide array of international security issues, including U.S. and Russian armed forces transformation to meet current and emerging threats, Afghanistan, crises in the Middle East and North Africa, threats and developments in the Asia-Pacific region, missile defense and military-to-military cooperation. Additionally, General Makarov visited USSOCOM and USCENTCOM in Tampa on July 11.
Colonels Working Group Meets in Garmisch, Germany
From July 18-20 U.S. and Russian delegations convened in Garmisch where they reviewed 110 events from the 2012 Work Plan and 130 proposed events for the draft 2013 Plan. They found that from a review of the 2012 Plan that current year implementation will reach 50-60 percent. The next steps for the 2013 Plan are to conclude negotiations in November conduct final review in December and gain CJCS-General Staff Chief approval in January 2013.
Exercise ATLAS VISION Takes Place in Auerbach, Germany
The Russian 15th Separate Brigade and Ground Forces staff successfully conducted a staff planning exercise with the U.S. Army Europe’s (USAREUR) 18th Military Police Brigade on July 16-20. USAREUR believes this was an excellent start to developing combined staff activities, setting the stage for a combined command post exercise in 2013.
Afghanistan-Pakistan Sub-Working Group Meet in Germany
The United States hosted a Russian delegation for a meeting of the “AFPAK” Sub-Working Group at the NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany on June 27. Discussions centered on a U.S. overview of the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) Military Campaign Plan and the Northern Distribution Network but also touched on military, governance, development challenges and successes, and counternarcotics.
U.S.-Russia Meeting on Fuels Engagement
On May 14-17, U.S. European Command Director of Logistics, Rear Admiral Andy Brown, hosted the Russian Defense Ministry’s 25th Institute of Chemical Sciences fuels delegation in Germany. The U.S. and Russian team explored the possibility of strengthening energy security and equipment interoperability between their nations through a memorandum of understanding and a fuel-only Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement implementing arrangement. Both parties agreed to draft, staff, and obtain senior leadership approval of a memorandum of understanding to establish future bilateral goals in the area of fuels interoperability and to chart progress toward these goals.
U.S. and Russian Forces Joint Training
For about two weeks in late-May, 20 Russian soldiers conducted joint training with U.S. forces at Fort Carson, Colorado, and a day of mountaineering familiarization in the mountains west of the Fort.
The training consisted of tasks common to both units: marksmanship, parachute jumps, communications, and medical evacuations. The end result of this program is an improved understanding of how the other foreign military works, thus enhancing the operational effectiveness of allied forces. For decades, the U.S. military has routinely conducted joint training with foreign forces in order to strengthen relationships, enhance familiarization with tactics and procedures, and exchange best practices.
Latest Military-to-Military Plan Finalized
The Military Cooperation Work Plan was co-signed by General Nikolay Makarov, Chief of the General Staff, Russian Federation, on April 18 following its signing by U.S. counterpart General Martin Dempsey. The Work Plan events are geared toward the development of cooperation between the U.S. Armed Forces and the Russian Armed Forces. The 2012 Work Plan includes 110 events, such as exercises, senior leader visits, subject matter expert exchanges, and port visits. Although the final signatures were just recently affixed, the two Armed Forces have been implementing the Work Plan in good faith since the beginning of the year.
Combating Terrorism Sub-Working Group Meets in France
On March 6, General Major (Ret) Vladimir Iskulov, Department for Counterterrorism of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operations Directorate, hosted a U.S. delegation at the Russian Embassy in Paris as part of the Combating Terrorism Sub-Working Group. Brigadier General Michael Nagata led on the U.S. side. The meeting strengthened the professional working relationship between the two sides and served as a forum to discuss bilateral activities that occurred in 2011 and those that are scheduled for 2012 and 2013. Both sides agreed 2011 was a successful year for bilateral engagements focused on combating terrorism, such as Exercise Vigilant Eagle in July 2011, Exercise Crimson Rider in August 2011, and a Russian visit to JIEDDO.
Russia-U.S. Joint Staff Talks
General Lieutenant Vladimir Zarudnitskiy, chief of the Main Operations Directorate of the Russian General Staff, accompanied by a Russian delegation, met for the first time with his U.S. counterpart, Lieutenant General Terry Wolff, the Director of Joint Staff J-5. Their November 7-10 discussions laid a foundation for further cooperation, and included a visit to Fort Benning, Georgia, the U.S. Army’s Maneuver Warfare Center of Excellence.
U.S. and Russian Naval Chiefs Jointly Attend International Sea Power Symposium
Admiral Vladimir Vysotskiy, Chief of the Russian Federation Navy, attended the 20th Annual International Seapower Symposium in Newport, Rhode Island, October 17-20, where he met Admiral Jonathan Greenert, the new U.S. Chief of Naval Operations. This is the first time that the head of Russia’s Navy has participated in the annual symposium, which continues to offer unique opportunities to build personal relationships between U.S. Navy leaders and their Russian counterparts.
General Makarov Marks Retirement of Admiral Mullen
Russian Chief of the General Staff, General Nikolai Makarov, traveled to the United States on September 30 to honor outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, on the occasion of his retirement from a distinguished career in the U.S. military. The two men served together as co-chairs of the BPC Military Cooperation Working Group, and General Makarov used the opportunity to meet the incoming Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey. General Makarov’s visit highlighted the progress in U.S.-Russia military cooperation as well as the mutual desire for continuity going forward.
National War College Staff Visit Russian Military Academy
The Commandant of the U.S. National War College, accompanied by two faculty members, visited the Russian Federation Military Academy of the General Staff, October 5-7. The visitors received a tour of the facilities, a briefing on the Academy’s curriculum, and had a round table discussion on the formation of Russian military doctrine and current reforms. U.S. delegation members provided their own briefing on the National War College’s curriculum.
USS Fitzgerald Makes Port Call to Vladivostok
The USS Fitzgerald made a port call to Vladivostok, October 1-4. The ship’s leadership came to Vladivostok to plan the joint U.S.-Russian anti-terrorism exercise “Pacific Eagle 2011.” The sailors onboard the Fitzgerald met Vladivostok residents through numerous cultural exchange activities, such as song-and-dance performances, outdoor games, tours of the ship, chess games, and a basketball match.
Bilateral Exercise Fosters Anti-Terrorism, Counter-Piracy Cooperation
On October 18, the U.S. and Russian Navies successfully completed the three-day, bilateral exercise “Pacific Eagle 2011,” improving maritime relations between our nations and enhancing interoperability. This bilateral event fostered cooperation in the event of future anti-terrorism and counter-piracy operations. The navy vessels included exercises on division tactics, gunnery, and maneuvering; training on replenishment at sea, searches, and seizures; and flag hoisting drills.
U.S. and Russian Forces Practice Nuclear Security Measures
The U.S. and Russian militaries conducted Exercise CRIMSON RIDER 2011 in Wyoming, August 9-11. The Air Force Global Strike Command and 20th Air Force, with support from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, hosted a static display at Francis E. Warren Air Force Base demonstrating transport and security equipment used by U.S. security forces. Russian presentations highlighted similar practices by Russian military forces. A nuclear warhead transport exercise followed, which included the exchange of best practices used by each country in the secure transport of nuclear weapons. Exercises like this enable beneficial technical interaction among security experts from both countries and contribute to enhanced security of nuclear weapons. This exercise was conceived by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mullen and Chief of the Russian General Staff Makarov, co-chairs of the BPC working group, and is a tangible demonstration of U.S. and Russian commitment to enhancing cooperation in the nuclear security realm. Planning for a follow-on event in this exercise series will occur next year in Russia.
USS Carr Makes Port Visit to Baltiysk
The USS Carr conducted a two-day port visit to the city of Baltiysk, August 3-4, the first ever visit of a U.S. Navy vessel to Kaliningrad Oblast. The crew of roughly 200 personnel hosted local dignitaries from the city as well as from nearby Kaliningrad, including numerous political figures and senior military officials. In addition to several formal protocol meetings by the Carr’s Commanding Officer and a wreath laying event at the Baltiysk World War II memorial, the Carr’s crewmembers played sports with Russian counterparts, visited local museums, and were tour guests aboard a Russian warship. An evening reception aboard USS Carr was held for a local Russian veterans group, including retired admirals and senior officers, who also had their own tour of the ship. The Carr’s sailors built stronger community relations by volunteering to paint a local orphanage as well as sharing an “American” hamburger lunch and playing sports with the orphans.
Russian Air Force Delegation Examines Aviation Safety
From June 13-17, the Air Attaché from Embassy Moscow escorted a Russian Air Force delegation led by General Colonel Sergei Dmitrievich Bainetov, Chief of the Russian Federation Armed Forces Aviation Safety Service to the U.S. Air Force Safety Center at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, at the request of the Russian delegation.
EUCOM JAG Meets with Russian Counterparts in Russia and Germany
The European Command Judge Advocate General and a delegation of military judges visited the Russian Armed Forces Main Military Prosecutor’s Office in Moscow June 14-16. The European Command Judge Advocate General then hosted a delegation from the Main Legal Department of the Russian Ministry of Defense in Stuttgart, Germany June 27-30.
Top U.S. and Russian Military Commanders Meet
From May 5-7, Admiral Mullen, the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, met with Russian Chief of Defense and General of the Russian Army, Andrey Makarov, in St. Petersburg. The focus of discussions was on missile defense cooperation, military reform, and on counterterrorism cooperation. The meeting concluded with Admiral Mullen and General Makarov signing a memorandum of understanding enhancing U.S.-Russia collaboration in combating global terrorism.
2011 Joint Work Plan on Military Cooperation Signed
Working Group Co-Chairs Admiral Michael Mullen and General of the Russian Army Nikolai Makarov met in Brussels to discuss cooperation in combating terrorism and joint exercises. They concluded the meeting by approving a joint work plan detailing future bilateral exchanges and activities.
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Visits Vladivostok for the First Time
On August 25-29, for the first time in the history of U.S.-Russian naval cooperation in the Russian Far East, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter JARVIS joined her counterparts from China, Korea, Russia, and Japan to participate in naval maneuvers in the “Peter the Great” gulf. They also visited with patients of the Children’s Cancer Ward at the Children’s Regional Oncological Center. At the Rehabilitation Center, the Coast Guardsmen listened to the children perform traditional Russian folk songs, toured the center, watched a documentary on the center’s origins, and participated in relay races and games.
USS Taylor Concludes Historic Visit to Murmansk
A color guard member stationed aboard USS Taylor, renders a hand salute in honor of sailors lost at sea during the polar convoys of World War II. The Taylor’s visit to Murmansk marked the first time since the end of World War II that a U.S. Naval warship has visited the port of Murmansk. During the port visit, the crew of the Taylor participated in multiple wreath-laying ceremonies to honor the fallen soldiers and sailors of WWII. Additionally, the Taylor’s crew hosted a reception and contributed their time planting trees at a local orphanage and playing soccer with the children. More» Photo»
NORAD and Russian Air Force Successfully Complete Cooperative Air Defense Exercise
The counterterrorism exercise named Vigilant Eagle, followed a commercial jet hijacking response scenario, which took place from August 8-11. The exercise involved Russian, Canadian and U.S. Air Force personnel operating from command centers in Russia and the United States. More» Photos»
U.S. Navy Celebrates Russian Navy Day in Vladivostok
In July 2010, for the first time in the history of U.S.-Russian Navy cooperation in the Russian Far East, two U.S. Navy ships--the USS Vandergrift and the USS Patriot--joined their Russian counterparts in celebrating Russian Navy Day in Vladivostok. In this photo, Sailors from the USS Vandergrift and the USS Patriot greet Russian youth from Vladivostok. Photo»
Visit to St. Petersburg
During his May 6-9 visit to Russia’s Northern Capital to represent the U.S. Navy at St. Petersburg’s Victory in Europe celebrations, Vice Admiral Harry Harris – Commander of the Sixth Fleet – forged ties with his Russian Navy counterparts while winning over city residents with the charm of a true “officer and a gentlemen.” More» Photos» Video»
65th Anniversary of Elbe Handshake Celebrated
On April 28, Ambassador Beyrle hosted the U.S. Army's brass quintet and the brass quintet of the Russian National Orchestra in a celebration of the historic Elbe meeting between U.S. and Soviet forces during WWII. The guests listened to music from that era and thanked the veterans for their efforts in saving Europe. Photos»