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Northcom Chief: Russian Military More Capable than in Soviet Times

April 8, 2015 (EIRNS)—Adm. Bill Gortney, commander of U.S. Northern Command and NORAD, told reporters at the Pentagon, yesterday, that "the Russians have developed a far more capable military than the quantitative, very large military that the Soviet Union had." Gortney noted that the Russians have also published a new military doctrine. "You’re seeing that bear out [sic]," he said. "You’re seeing them employ that capability and that doctrine in the Ukraine," he added.

Gortney indicated, however, that he doesn’t really know why Russia is flying bomber patrols near U.S. and NATO air space. "They’re messaging us that they’re a global power," he said, adding that while he wouldn’t give percentages, the number of flights has increased, although he noted that they are following international aviation rules. "The question I have is ... what is their intent with that?" he said. He also noted that two Russian vessels, an intelligence ship and a logistics ship, have been tracked near Cuba and Venezuela.

Separately, Agence France Presse reported that the U.S. Department of Defense has decided to re-open its Cheyenne Mountain complex and move Northcom/NORAD headquarters back into it. The facility had been mothballed in 2006, deemed as no longer necessary, but now there’s a lot of worry about a potential electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the military’s sensitive and vulnerable digital networks. "And so, there’s a lot of movement to put capability into Cheyenne Mountain and to be able to communicate in there," Gortney said, confirming the move.