peacekeeping force included about 150 U.S. soldiers
from D Company, 2nd Battalion, 64th Armored Regiment,
3rd Infantry Division in Schweinfurt, Germany, and
the 34th Armored Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, at
Fort Riley. The Russian army's 27th Guards Motorized
Rifle Division, from Totskoye, provided a like number
of troops. D Company 2-64 Armor filled in for D Company
2-15th Infantry Regiment, which has been training
for a potential mission in the former Yugoslavia.
This was the first time that Russian soldiers had
ever been on American soil.
Early in the
exercise, U.S. Secretary of Defense William J. Perry
and Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev announced
the two countries would indeed keep the peace together
in the former Yugoslavia, once a peace agreement has
been signed. Although not planned to coincide with
the exercise, the announcement illustrated how soon
the soldiers of these two armies might put their training
The major objective
of Peacekeeper 1995 was military-to-military interaction
and building "greater trust and cooperation between
two of the world’s most powerful nations."
Postexercise assessments noted progress in joint planning
and operations but stressed remaining difficulties
arising from shortages of bilingual personnel. Mixed
U.S.-Russian small units worked around language difficulties
via hand signals, but "observers and leaders
from both nations agreed that it would be impractical
to integrate forces to this degree during actual operations."
2nd Platoon, D Company 2-64 Armor, my platoon, manned
the joint-national checkpoint.
illuminated basic differences in command philosophy
for joint/combined operations, with U.S. commanders
preferring a single, blended command structure and
Russian commanders preferring national command staffs
operating in parallel, taking orders from a single
overall operation commander. The Russian structure
is advisable if language remains a problem but would
work well primarily in slow-motion operations where
the use of force is neither frequent nor intense and
combat conditions rarely arise unexpectedly. The U.S.
approach requires much greater language facility (but
assumes that most of the bilingual burden would fall
upon foreign officers joining an English-speaking
command staff). The U.S. approach also requires joint
doctrinal compatibility and joint pre-deployment training
but would likely produce better coordination in more
conflicting and fluid situations.