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The Nation : U.S. Begins Cruise Missile Destruction

Eleven Soviet inspectors watched as U.S. military personnel using hand-held power saws began the destruction of Air Force cruise missiles under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Led by Army Maj. Gen. Vladimir Medvedev, the Soviets arrived at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base near Tucson to watch 41 ground-launched cruise missiles, 41 protective canisters for the mobile weapons and seven transporter erector launchers be cut in half over the next few days. Soviet inspectors and U.S. personnel sat on nearby bleachers as they watched the work. Nuclear warheads, fuel and guidance-related equipment have been removed from each weapon, and the warheads have been returned to the Energy Department, which stores American nuclear weapons, said Capt. Kendell Pease, a spokesman for the Defense Department’s On-Site Inspection Agency. A total of 443 intermediate-range cruise missiles deployed in Britain and elsewhere in Europe are scheduled for destruction.


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