134. Article in the National Intelligence Daily1

USSR-EAST GERMANY: Air Units Alerted

The Soviets have increased the alert level of their air units—including their strike forces in East Germany—in response to “Able Archer–83,” a NATO command post exercise.2 [portion marking not declassified]

[less than 1 line not declassified] the alert began on 2 November and is to continue through tomorrow, when the NATO exercise enters its concluding phase. Unit commanders were told that all measures were to be taken quietly under the guise of routine training. In line with this, command personnel have attended scheduled meetings and took part in the Bolshevik Revolution anniversary celebrations. [portion marking not declassified]

[1 paragraph (8½ lines) not declassified]

[1 paragraph (2½ lines) not declassified]

Comment: Soviet fighter units in East Germany have gone on increased alert in the past, both in response to NATO exercises and during Soviet holidays. This alert, however, is unusual in breadth and in involvement of strike units. The alert apparently has been confined primarily to Soviet air units, suggesting that the Soviets are using the NATO exercise to train these forces in achieving increased readiness and not because of an anticipated military move by the West [portion marking not declassified]

[1 paragraph (3 lines) not declassified]

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, National Intelligence Council, Job 88T00528R: Policy Files (1982–1984), Box 1, Folder 1: VC/NIC Chron January–March 1984. Top Secret; [codeword not declassified].
  2. See Document 135.