As an ex-US intelligence officer, I believe an American sub did violate Russian waters — Analysis

At a time of high tension, the US plays a risky game by operating submarines in Russian territorial water.

A Russian Pacific Fleet naval exercise became very real in the evening of 02/12/2022. The purpose of the exercise was, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense, to practice the “search and elimination of a hypothetical enemy’s submarines in the areas of their possible deployment.” The exercise involved a mix of surface ships, submarines, and aircraft. Russian MoD reports that an Il-38 anti-submarine war aircraft was operating near Urup in eastern Kuril chain. It spotted what appeared to be a Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine belonging to the US Navy. (The USS Missouri, which is a Virginia-class submarine had just made a port-visit in Japan.

The Il-38 crew reported contact details to the nearby Russian submarine. This sub began tracking the mysterious vessel. The Russian submarine in turn handed over responsibility for responding to what appeared to be a violation of Russian territorial waters (the suspected submarine was located several miles inside Russia’s territorial limit) to a Russian destroyer, the Marshal Shaposhnikov, which immediately instructed the suspected US submarine to surface.

The Marshal Shaposhnikov and the US Submarine Suspect played hide-and-seek for three hours before finally deploying the Russian MoD. “approved measures in accordance with the documents governing the Russian Federation border protection”More than likely, an underwater explosiveThis eventually led to the US sub-sea vessel being lost. “rapidly depart the area” After “employing countermeasures”It will help conceal its true location.

The Russian MoD summoned the US Naval Attache in Moscow to issue a formal complaint; for its part, the US Navy denies any of its submarines were in Russian waters.

Russia admits US superiority in Pacific

It is not impossible to conclude that the Russian MoD was tracking an un-US submarine or a whale and inflating the incident (the US-Russian war of words has been high stakes). However, the Russian MoD details, along with the documented history of US submarine operations make it very likely that they have chased down a Virginia-class sub. This theory is supported by my own personal experience.

The Department of Defense brought together some of its most talented Cold Warriors when the On-Site Inspection Agency was established in spring 1988 to enforce the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). OSIA was headed by Brigadier General Roland Lajoie, a veteran Soviet Foreign Affairs Officer with multiple tours as a defense attaché in Moscow and the former commander of the US Military Liaison Mission (USMLM) in Potsdam, East Germany, responsible for monitoring the activities of the Soviet Group of Forces, Germany (a dangerous job – on March 24, 1985, Major Arthur Nicholson, assigned to the USMLM while Lajoie was in command, was shot and killed by a Soviet sentry while attempting to gain entry into a restricted area; Lajoie himself was injured when a Soviet truck rammed his vehicle while he observed a Soviet training exercise.) Lajoie assembled an army of Soviet Affairs military specialists who all shared his experience.

OSIA brought me in as an officer. Being a junior lieutenant, I did not have the experience I had with the Cold War veterans that I am now serving alongside. In a time of peace, where medals for valor were rare, one learned how to glean an individual’s experience level by reading the ribbons on his or her chest – an occupation medal meant service in Berlin (USMLM), while a joint service decoration usually implied embassy duty as an attaché. Some of these soldiers wore the Soldier’s Medal – the highest award for heroism during peacetime. An officer was awarded one of these medals for saving classified documents from the US Embassy at Moscow in 1977. To prevent documents being stolen by Soviet KGB agents who entered the Embassy disguised as firefighters, he did this.

There was a class of military professionals, however, who stood apart – the naval officers and petty officers whose uniforms were adorned with the Presidential Unit Citation, or PUC. The PUC is awarded to units of the uniformed services of the United States, and those of allied countries, for extraordinary heroism in action against “an armed enemy.” The unit must display such “It was a feat of gallantry and determination that enabled it to accomplish its mission. under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions” so as to set it apart from and above other units participating in the same campaign. It is the unit equivalent of the Navy Cross – the second highest award for individual heroism in combat.

While the PUC does not serve as a decoration for peace, it is a military campaign ribbon that indicates service during wartime. Later, I discovered that all of them had served aboard US Navy attack submarines which were involved in the most classified Cold War missions against the Soviet Union. They were intelligence-based operations that involved the invasion of Soviet territory waters in order to intercept communications cables and photograph Soviet vessels and ports. Also, to locate Soviet submarines. The Soviet navy could have sunk the submarine if it was captured. This is why the crew of these submarines was decorated by sailors in an era of supposed peace for their actions.

Details of Russian encounter with US sub revealed

This was my first memory when I read about the Russian navy trying to chase away an alleged US nuclear attack submarine from Russian territorial waters. The vessel had been located near the eastern Kuril Islands in the north Pacific Ocean.

The Cold War-era was not the only time heroes were worthy of being awarded a PUC. Indeed, in 2013, a PUC was awarded to the crew of the USS Jimmy Carter, a modified Seawolf-class nuclear attack submarine specially configured for intelligence collection operations. The USS Jimmy Carter, which was returning from another deployment in 2017, flew the Jolly Roger flag to indicate that it had successfully completed its mission.

It is certain that, on the 12th of February 2022, an American Virginia-class nuclear-attack submarine was more likely to have been the USS Missouri. This intelligence collection mission involved the detection and tracking of Russian antisubmarine warfare operations. This mission, if the USS Missouri follows in the steps of its Cold War counterparts, most likely required the USS Missouri to penetrate Russian territorial waters to reach a certain intelligence target. The USS Missouri was discovered and forced to deploy countermeasures in order to escape.

It is not shocking that this incident took place – based upon the record of the USS Jimmy Carter, the US Navy has continued to conduct dangerous intelligence-driven missions in the Pacific Ocean using nuclear attack submarines. It is concerning that the operations are continuing at a time of high tension between US and Russia. Diplomatic efforts are being made to reduce the possibility for wider conflict. If the Russians chose, as they were entitled to, to attack and destroy any hostile intrusion into their territorial waters, then there would be serious consequences. 

These opinions, statements and thoughts are the sole opinion of the author. They do not necessarily reflect those made by RT.



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