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US officials lay out Sochi Olympics security plan
US officials lay out Sochi Olympics security plan

US officials lay out Sochi Olympics security plan

About 10,000 Americans are expected to attend the event, which begins Feb. 7 in the Russian resort, under a cloud of suicide bombing and other terrorist threats. The U.S. is even deploying two Navy ships to the Black Sea to evacuate Americans should an attack occur.

Military Assets

While the officials declined to say how many U.S. security personnel will be on hand, they said it will be in keeping with force levels provided at past Olympic games in other countries.

The U.S. has staffed an operations center in Sochi with a clear chain of command to respond to any emergency, one official said.

Even though Hagel said the U.S. will be able to extract U.S. citizens in an emergency, a third administration official said no specific evacuation plan has been developed for the Olympics.

While the Pentagon is doing planning and researching the military assets that could be used, evacuations of U.S. citizens are typically coordinated by the State Department and wouldn’t necessarily involve military aircraft, that official said.

Army General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has discussed with his Russian counterpart high-technology equipment that could be made available to detect homemade bombs, the third official said. No formal request for such equipment was made and none was offered, the official said.

Agencies/Canadajournal




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