Total Allied 1, The majority of these planes were of obsolete types. These forces were quickly overwhelmed.
The activity was virtually invisible except to a small circle of White House and Pentagon officials--and, of course, to the Kremlin. The program also probed for gaps and vulnerabilities in the USSR's early warning intelligence system: Jack Chain, [a] former Strategic Air Command commander.
They would come at irregular intervals to make the effect all the more unsettling. Then, as quickly as the unannounced flights began, they would stop, only to begin again a few weeks later. William Schneider, [former] undersecretary of state for military assistance and technology, who saw classified "after-action reports" that indicated U.
A squadron would fly straight at Soviet airspace, and other radars would light up and units would go on alert. Then at the last minute the squadron would peel off and return home. In the August-September exercise, an armada of 83 US, British, Canadian, and Norwegian ships led by the carrier Eisenhower managed to transit the Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom GIUK Gap undetected, using a variety of carefully crafted and previously rehearsed concealment and deception measures.
Meanwhile, Navy fighters conducted an unprecedented simulated attack on the Soviet planes as they refueled in-flight, flying at low levels to avoid detection by Soviet shore-based radar sites. They then sailed near the militarily important Kola Peninsula and remained there for nine days before rejoining the main group.
At one point the fleet sailed within kilometers miles of the Kamchatka Peninsula and Petropavlovsk, the only Soviet naval base with direct access to open seas.
US attack submarines and antisubmarine aircraft conducted operations in protected areas "bastions" where the Soviet Navy had stationed a large number of its nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines SSBNs.
US Navy aircraft from the carriers Midway and Enterprise carried out a simulated bombing run over a military installation on the small Soviet-occupied island of Zelenny in the Kuril Island chain.
Intelligence ships were positioned off the Crimean coast. Aircraft carriers with submarine escorts were anchored in Norwegian fjords. These US demonstrations of military might were aimed at deterring the Soviets from provocative actions and at displaying US determination to respond in kind to Soviet regional and global exercises that had become larger, more sophisticated, and more menacing in preceding years.
The projection of naval and naval air power exposed gaping holes in Soviet ocean surveillance and early warning systems. For example, in a Congressional briefing on the Pacific exercise, the chief of naval operations noted that the Soviets "are as naked as a jaybird there [on the Kamchatka Peninsula], and they know it.
In short, the Navy had demonstrated that it could: Elude the USSR's large and complex ocean surveillance systems. Penetrate air defense systems. There clearly was a temporal correlation.
When Reagan administration officials first learned of RYAN, they reportedly drew a connection between the US-led military probes and the Soviet alert, noting that the Soviets were increasingly frightened.
In addition, the ability of Soviet intelligence to monitor US naval operations by reading encrypted communications had been reduced, if not neutralized. Moscow did not know what the US would do.
Even so, it had learned a disturbing lesson about what Washington could do in a wartime situation or other crisis. RYAN, it appears, was designed to test a worst case interpretation of US actions and to compensate for technical deficiencies in Soviet strategic and tactical warning capabilities by augmenting them with human intelligence operations.
In the absence of other information, the SNIE attributed Soviet statements to US foreign and defense policy "challenges"; it attributed recent Soviet military exercises to force development and training requirements.This website provides responsible criticism of the 9/11 Commission Report by senior military, intelligence and government officials.
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