Commander Wendy L. Snyder, US Defense Press Officer for policy told The New American in an e-mail the Russian soldiers will be invited by the US government.
This is part of a “formal bilateral exchange program between the US and Russia that seeks to develop transparency and promote defense reform,” she wrote.
Around twenty airborne Russian troops with arrive in Fort Carson, Colorado to take part in the training program targeting “terrorists”. It will be the first time Russian soldiers have conducted military training on American territory.
However, the landmark news of the Russian troops’ arrival was not greeted with enthusiasm by everyone. Fear-mongering reports in US media called the exercise “a front” for the Russians to turn US weapons against the Americans and “take and hold Denver airport.”
Citing an erroneous report that it said came from the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, US website theblaze.com claimed just that.
“Russian airborne troops (using US weapons that they had previously trained with at Fort Carson) will fly to and then parachute from their planes having the objectives of seizing the CIA’s main computer facility in Denver, the NSA’s main computer facility in Bluffdale, Utah, and taking control of main runways and terminals of the Denver International Airport,” the publication wrote.
The report goes on to say the exercise is for the “evacuation of the key personnel and equipment previously ‘freed’ from the CIA’s Denver base.”
There is currently no information either in English or in Russian that describes such a drill on the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation website.
It is unclear where these reports originated, as RT verified with Russian Airborne Forces spokesperson Col. Aleksandr Kucherenko that he had said nothing pertaining to the capture of Denver airport.
RT reported on the story on Wednesday, citing Kucherenko who announced that “Airborne troops from Russia and the United States will hold joint anti-terror drills in the US state of Colorado between May 24 and 31.”
Besides the military drills, the Russian soldiers are expected to get a taste of local life at a baseball game in Colorado Springs.
Foreign troops operating and training in the United States have been a continuous bone of contention in American public debate.
Paul Watson, writing for prisonplanet.com says that their presence touches upon latent fears of “global UN peacekeeping troops being used to quell unrest inside America.”
Drills involving outside troops also raise worries that the US would have to “rely on foreign mercenaries to restore order, confiscate weapons or even incarcerate citizens during a national emergency, because of the likelihood that Americans would refuse to carry out such orders against other Americans,” Watson writes.