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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 02, 1988

MILITARY EXERCISE SHCHIT-88 INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY NO. 1 AS OF 0800 2 JUNE 1988

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    This intelligence summary describes a potential scenario in which the policy of detente in "Blue" countries begins to deteriorate and increased military exercises are conducted.
    "Military Exercise Shchit-88 Intelligence Summary No. 1 as of 0800 2 June 1988," June 02, 1988, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Institute of National Remembrance (IPNBU). Translated for CWIHP by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114367
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[letterhead] General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces

       TOP SECRET

Copy Nº 4

Exercise

[Original Polish receipt and

declassification stamps]

INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY

Nº 1

WARSAW 1988

INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY Nº 1

as of 0800 2 June 1988

I. THE MILITARY-POLITICAL SITUATION

The fall of 1987 brought a considerable revival of multilateral and bilateral relations between the BLUE and RED countries. The governments of both sides began constructive talks to relax tension and strengthen means of mutual trust. Controversial decisions were made and zones of influence were also identified in areas where oil and natural gas were being intensively exploited.

As a result of the revived political dialog there came a softening of the binding positions about the free exchange of information and the development of private tourism. The magnitude of the influence of the mass media on the population rose in connection with the use of satellite communications. The mass media of the BLUES played a leading role in this.

In the spring of 1988 the policy of détente was not supported by the command staff of the armed forces of the BLUE countries. The senior officers in the leadership of the armed forces began to officially oppose the policy pursued by their governments. Acts of terrorism against active political leaders who supported the policy of détente occurred in the BLUE countries.

The ordinary personnel of the armed forces began to doubt the results of the work of international commissions to monitor the measures being taken within the framework of inspecting the actual implementation of previously concluded agreements. They disputed the trustworthiness of the work being done and vilified the governments of the RED countries, blaming them for trying to upset the military balance in their favor.

Detailed programs for the rapid introduction of arms shipments into the armed forces of these countries were presented in spring briefings with the command staff of the armed forces of the BLUE countries. The program to equip the armed forces with smart weapons was cut to five years. The deadline to complete this program will be 1993. Armored and mechanized divisions have become the main formations of the ground forces. Decisions were made about the intensive training of servicemen for them to master the latest generation of combat equipment. The number of exercises with troops in at the regimental-battalion echelon has increased considerably.

The number of exercises with troops in the first quarter of 1988 doubled in comparison with the same quarter of the previous year. The intensive preparation of alternate local mobilization resources and the deployment of territorial defense units continue.

II. SOME MILITARY, TECHNICAL, AND ECONOMIC ISSUES

According to the treaties concluded between the BLUES and REDS by 1 May each side was to dismantle and destroy 50% of the warheads and medium-range ground-launched missiles, 40% of intermediate-range warheads and missiles, and also 25% of strategic nuclear platforms.

A reorganization of formations has been completed in the Ground Forces. The posture and main weaponry is in Appendix Nº 2 to operational assignment Nº 1.

The latest generation equipment has been placed in service in the fighter-bomber and transport aircraft of the Air Forces. Su-25 aircraft have been placed in service in fighter-bomber air divisions, and in some fighter units, Su-27's and MiG-29's. Transport aviation has received aircraft with a increased range and greater cargo capacity. In addition, cruise missiles have been placed in service in army aviation air units; each Army has one air squadron of 24 cruise missiles.

A surface ship modernization program is being carried out in the Navy, particularly with missile armament. The first missile frigates have entered service. Sixty percent of submarines have been modernized. They were equipped with automated navigation systems and sonar suites to detect and identify targets. Naval aviation is being modernized. New types of anti-submarine helicopters are coming into service.

III. TROOP TRAINING AND EXERCISES

Intensive training in garrisons, training grounds, and training areas located near the barracks continues in the armed forces of the BLUE countries. The main effort in the training process has been concentrated on improving the systems of mobilization deployment of the armed forces. The main effort in the formations and units of operational troops has been concentrated on mastering new equipment and organizing coordination with aviation.

[The following] continue within the framework of the spring series of exercises on the territory of BLUE countries:

- VESNA-88, a multi-stage command staff exercise, continues in the LEIPZIG, HALLE, ERFURT, PLAUEN area,

- LABENDYN 2/88, a multi-stage command-staff exercise of the formations of the 26th Army, in the area southwest of NEUBRANDENBURG, WAREN, and MIROW,

- selected units of missile troops and artillery at the front echelon are conducting a tactical exercise with live firing at training areas in the area of LUCKENWALDE, LÜBBEN, and SCHÖNEWALDE,

- beginning 1 June selected coastal defense units in coordination with territorial defense units began the exercise BEREG in the area of WISMAR Bay in which the planning, organization, and conduct of an anti-amphibious assault landing operation are being worked out.

About 3000 soldiers and sailors and also about 40 ships of various classes are involved in the operation,

- VOLANT, an opposing-force exercise with units of the 21st md, has been conducted since 26 May in the GRYFINO Training Area. A mobilization deployment of cadre units was conducted in the first stage of the exercise. A total of more than 3000 reservists were involved. The main stage of the exercise will start on 3 June in which munitions will be fired.

- MAR'YASH-88, an opposing-force exercise with units of the 344th msd, began in the area of the FRANKFURT Training Area on 30 May. The main purpose of the exercise is to conduct a surprise inspection of plans to replenish personnel from the "B" table of organization and improve officers' and reservists' knowledge about the planning, organization and conduct of defensive operations in the division in the initial stage of a war,

- BAR'ER-88, an opposing-force exercise with units of the 35th td, began on 1 June in the region of the COTTBUS Training Area. The main purpose of the exercise is to inspect the state of the division's combat readiness and its combat effectiveness for use in battle after regrouping to a great distance. The exercise will conclude with an inspected [inspektsionnaya] firing at the Training Area,

- on 28-29 May the BLUES conducted an inspection of the activation of the troop notification and mobilization deployment system on the territory of the Central TO District.

The inspection was played out and involved 50% of the personnel of the TO units and subunits in the District.

IV. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

28 May. The VESNA-88 exercise concluded. Units of the 63rd td remained on the territory of the LEIPZIG Training Area to conduct additional firing; the remaining staffs and units were regrouped to permanently deployed locations.

As a result of the pressure brought about by military circles, on 1 June the BLUES halted work on the elimination of medium and intermediate-range missiles because of the alleged continuing modernization of tactical nuclear platforms in the armed forces of the RED countries.

EXERCISE CONTROL STAFF