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Soviet Brass Will Tour US Bases

June 30, 1988

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The top-ranking Soviet military officer to visit U.S. defense installations since World War II will be accorded plenty of America’s ″flavor″ but won’t learn any secrets, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Wednesday.

″We put (the visit) together with secrecy in mind,″ said Adm. William Crowe, the top-ranking officer in the U.S. military. Crowe is to welcome Marshal Sergei F. Akhromeyev, his counterpart as Soviet chief of staff, for talks at the Pentagon on Monday and escort him on a tour of military bases around the country.

The talks will continue a dialogue between the military establishments of the superpowers. It began when Akhromeyev visited the Pentagon during the Washington summit last December, and continued when Defense Secretary Frank C. Carlucci met his Soviet counterpart, Gen. Dmitri Yazov, last March in Switzerland and again in Moscow during the recent summit there.

Carlucci is scheduled to travel again to Moscow in early August, and Crowe is to make his first trip ever to Moscow at a time yet to be determined.

The talks are not designed to supplement arms control negotiations being conducted by diplomats from the two countries, said Crowe, although he did say that he would listen if Akhromeyev offers data on Soviet conventional forces in Europe.

The Soviets have been pushing for an exchange of data as the first step toward bilateral talks to reduce conventional armies in Europe, but the U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization has said such a discussion must involve all the nations of NATO and the Warsaw Pact.

Akhromeyev is due to arrive in Washington next Tuesday, and to leave the United States the following Monday after a whirlwind tour that will include a trip to the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, a speech in New York City, a peek inside the U.S. B-1 bomber and visits to Camp Lejeune, N.C., Fort Hood, Texas, and Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.

Akhromeyev will also visit Crowe’s alma mater, the University of Oklahoma, and watch a rodeo in that state, Crowe said.

″I hope that he will go away with some flavor of our country,″ said Crowe, anticipating his role as host with relish.

The admiral, who has a collection of dozens of hats in his Pentagon office, admitted he would not object if the Soviet officer brought along a new specimen to adorn the shelves.

Akhromeyev, for his part, was expected to collect at least two hats on his visit, a Stetson cowboy hat in Texas an Indian headdress in Oklahoma, said Crowe.

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