Members of the U.S. On-Site Inspection Agency are in Salt Lake City on a whirlwind tour to meet with local officials and the media. They want to iron out any last-minute wrinkles prior to the expected arrival in Utah Friday evening of the first Soviet arms-control inspectors under terms of the recently ratified Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty.
At a news conference Thursday morning, Brig. Gen. Roland Lajoie, OSIA director, said that this Soviet advance group, which will number between three and five members, will pave the way for the rest of the 30-member contingent of inspectors scheduled to arrive in Utah on or about July 1 to verify American compliance with the INF Treaty.A U.S. contingent will be performing similar duties in the city of Votkinsk in the Soviet Union. An American advance team has reportedly already left for the Soviet Union.
During his stay in the Salt Lake Valley, Lajoie and members of the OSIA staff also had meetings scheduled with Lt. Gov. Val Oveson, the West Valley City Council and officials for both Hercules and the LDS Church.
"It's a hectic process. It's an extremely complicated treaty," Lajoie told members of the media. "But it's a good treaty . . . and it makes deep cuts."
One thing the treaty is not is cheap. Lajoie said the first-year budget for his office is $67 million.
Lajoie also pointed out that Magna and Votkinsk aren't the only focal points of the treaty either.
Lajoie said although Hercules' Bacchus Works in Magna is the only full-time location at which the Soviets will operate, they'll also be involved in related spot checks at more than 25 sites in the United States and in Western Europe. Likewise, American inspectors, although permanently stationed at Votkinsk, will also be monitoring more than130 locations in the Soviet Union and Soviet Bloc.
Here in Utah, the Soviets will operate a full-time portal verification facility at Hercules, where Pershing missiles banned by the treaty were once built.
Lajoie said he expects it will take the Soviets about 6 months to get up to speed in Magna. Once they do, he expects a fairly sophisticated operation. Among the equipment the Soviets will have installed at the Hercules portal will be a scale and a giant X-ray machine.
To give an idea how sophisticated both verification operations will likely be, Lajoie said, the American X-ray machine to be installed in Votkinsk will be powerful enough to see through a rail car, missile canister and into the missile being examined itself.
Soviet inspector will be allowed to examine all shipping containers leaving Hercules that are large enough or heavy enough to possibly contain Pershing hardware.
For example, if an MX missile leaves the plant, the Soviets will be permitted to measure and weigh it to satisfy themselves that it is not a banned weapon. In certain cases, where measuring and weighing do not satisfy the Soviets, they'll be permitted a peek at the missile's physical characteristics.
Meanwhile, Hercules officials have spent $2 million in additional security and other measures gearing up for the arrival of the Soviets.
"All the security items are things we wouldn't have done if the Soviets weren't coming," said Jack DeMann, Hercules spokesman, noting that about 30 additional security personnel have been added.
Hercules employees have also attended seminars in which the need for added security has been stressed.
"Loose lips sink ships stuff," DeMann said.
He said the cost of this added security will be picked up by the Defense Department.