Open Skies Hits Milestone

The State Department announced on Tuesday that 1,000 observation flights have now taken place under the Treaty on Open Skies since its entry into force on Jan. 1, 2002. “We recognize the dedication and professionalism of our colleagues in the military services of all the states parties who have brought this treaty to life through year-round flight operations,” reads the State Department’s Sept. 3 release. “In conducting 1,000 missions, Open Skies teams have built confidence with each other and contributed to the overall peace and stability of the Euro-Atlantic community.” Under Open Skies, 34 states parties, including the United States and Russia, have conducted unarmed aerial observation flights with optical cameras over each other’s territory in order to build confidence and help to verify arms control treaties. (See also Russian Eyes on Open Skies.)