The BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation met in Seattle with the Russian Consul General, Andrey Yushmanov, and a delegation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation to discuss the Warplanes to Siberia project: a factual flight re-creation and documentary about the secret delivery of nearly 8,000 American-made military aircraft to the former Soviet Union via the Alaska-Siberia air route (ALSIB) that runs from Great Falls, Montana up through Canada and Alaska, across the Bering Strait, into Siberia, and on to Krasnoyarsk in central Russia. Seventy years later, this little-known chapter of history about the resourcefulness, bravery, determination, and dedication of thousands of men and women across three nations―Russia, the United States, and Canada ―who suffered great hardships in an effort to save the world during World War II, remains a mystery.
According to Jeff Geer, President and Chairman of the BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation, “Our first meeting with the Russian delegation was friendly and extremely engaging. We came away with a greater understanding of the next steps to get permission to fly and film this mission in Russian airspace. Even more important, the Russian government is willing to support and endorse our effort. Representatives from the Russian Foreign Ministry went as far as to call Warplanes to Siberia a ‘noble project’.”
A meeting is being held in Bellingham, Washington between key members of the BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation and a private aviation firm from Moscow to develop a flight plan around sensitive areas of Russian air space and coordinate the flight with their aviation authorities.
The Warplanes to Siberia project is gaining international attention and becoming well known for its fascinating historical significance. According to Geer, “Very few people knew about the ALSIB program then, let alone now. Our mission is to accurately re-create the flights using actual WWII military aircraft as well as document the story from both sides. This was one of the great logistical efforts of the 20th century – and a vital support network for the Soviet Union during World War II. It is a chapter of history that is untold in modern documentaries to this day. The Russians, as do I and the BRAVO 369 team, want the world to know that we were once allies and united against a common enemy during World War II.”
In 2015, Russia, along with rest of the free world, will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Great Patriotic War and World War II in Europe. Geer continued, “We are in the planning stages of participating in this celebration with American and Russian authorities. Our ultimate goal is to fly the entire 6,000-mile Alaska-Siberia air route in authentic WWII T-6 Texan aircraft. We are also hopeful to fly with our Russian counterparts as part of a joint formation across Siberia and beyond, celebrating this milestone anniversary. This is a story that must be told throughout the world and preserved for future generations.”
At the conclusion of the meeting, the BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation presented the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Seattle with the Warplanes to Siberia award for its role in strengthening Russian-USA relations.