US and Russian officials on Monday held the third video conference to discuss flight safety over Syria. “The two sides discussed measures to enhance operational safety for counter-ISIL coalition and Russian military forces operating in Syria, including the means to avoid accidents and unintended confrontation between coalition and Russian forces whenever the two sides operate in close proximity,” Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a statement. The US representatives included Elissa Slotkin, the acting assistant secretary for international security affairs, and Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the Joint Staff director for strategic plans and policy. The two sides previously held video conferences in January and October 2015, when the memorandum was finalized. The discussion solely focused on flight operations, and did not discuss the cessation of hostilities that the US and Russia agreed upon on Feb. 12.
While some of the Air Force's newly announced changes will happen quickly, it may take most of Chief of Staff Gen. David W. Allvin's tenure in the job to accomplish the rest, he said in a Brookings Institution event Feb. 28.