2019 - Current News

Russian Geographical Society Partners with BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation to Support ALSIB 2020 Project

   

The Russian Geographical Society signs agreement, joining BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation to celebrate the historic World War II Alaska-Siberia (ALSIB) air route. 

 

Bellingham, Washington, USA. August 9, 2019

The BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation, a United States 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, and the Russian Geographical Society have committed to jointly facilitate the implementation of a project known as ALSIB 2020. This will be a re-creation of the World War II / Great Patriotic War flights from the United States using the historic Alaska-Siberia Air Route (ALSIB), known in Russia as the Krasnoyarsk Air Route. 


As part of the 75th anniversary celebrations in 2020, this “friendship flight” will be used to draw attention to our allied cooperation and accomplishments from World War II and tell the history of this little known, yet critically important military air route through documentary film.


The ALSIB air route was created after the Lend-Lease Act was enacted in March 1941 by the United States Congress. Approximately 6,000 miles long, it stretches from Great Falls, Montana through western Canada to Fairbanks, Alaska and then across Siberia to Krasnoyarsk, Russia. During a three-year period from 1942 through 1945, nearly 8,000 military aircraft were flown year-round from the United States to the former Soviet Union using this route.  Created practically from scratch in sparsely populated areas, and faced with challenging geographic, economic, and meteorological conditions during the very difficult first few years of the war, it is considered, even today, an engineering feat second only to the creation of the Panama Canal.

 

Jeff Geer, President and Chairman of the BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation said of the agreement, “It is my distinct privilege and honor to announce our partnership with the Russian Geographical Society, one of the oldest geographical societies in the world. We warmly welcome their participation in the ALSIB 2020 project”. From June through August 2020, BRAVO 369 will undertake the historic ALSIB 2020 flight in original World War II aircraft, beginning in Great Falls, Montana – the original staging base for ALSIB operations – travel through Canada and Alaska, with plans to go as far as Krasnoyarsk, Russia. 


“BRAVO 369’s partnership with RGS is vitally important on many levels” said Geer. “I especially want to recognize their generous commitment to provide support and resources to the ALSIB 2020 project, one which holds great potential to bring Russia and the United States closer together through this cooperative citizen diplomatic event. I believe the work of this great effort will provide the foundation for a better understanding of our common history and act as an impetus toward improved relations between our two countries.” 


First Vice-President of the Russian Geographical Society, Mr. Nikolay Kasimov said, “The Russian Geographical Society pays great attention to the subject of Lend-Lease. In recent years, with grant support from the RGS three documentary films that told about the contribution of the Allies to our common victory have been made. As part of one of their recent expeditions, members of the RGS discovered and removed the C-47 Douglas aircraft - one of the few remaining aircrafts delivered to the USSR under the Lend-Lease program from the tundra on the Yamal Peninsula. Now we are restoring the aircraft. Worth to notice that amazing stories and the fate of people lay behind each of these findings. The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Flight Foundation "Bravo 369" is another step in the revival of historical memory. We are happy to support the ALSIB 2020 project, and we hope that it will remind the residents of Russia, the United States and other countries about the pages of our common history.”


“Even though the geopolitical landscape is much different than it was 75 years ago, citizen diplomacy and projects like this are embraced by both the people and governments of our countries.” said Geer “Only through listening and learning from others can we hope to share our history, our culture, our identity, and our future. We hope the work of this great effort becomes a solid foundation for a lasting peace and cooperation between our countries. We thank the Russian Geographical Society for their support of ALSIB 2020 and the preservation of our common history.”

BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation Announces 2020 Commemorative Alaska – Siberia Flight and Documentary Film Production

   

An American team will fly the historic Alaska-Siberia (ALSIB) air route from the United States, across Russia, to pay tribute to American and Allied war veterans; will create documentary film series.  


Bellingham, Washington, USA. July 4, 2019


Citizen diplomats from both the United States and Russia are preparing to fly the Alaska-Siberia air route (ALSIB) in World War II aircraft to honor the brave men and women of the United States, Canada, Russia and our other Allied nations as part of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.

 

According to Jeff Geer, president and chairman of the BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation, “We selected this route to draw attention to this little-known aspect of World War II history. Few people know that the United States and the former Soviet Union were once Allies. In fact, even fewer know that between 1942 and 1945 nearly 8,000 military aircraft were flown from the United States to Russia using the ALSIB air route. This program played a pivotal role in the war, yet its full and comprehensive story remains to be told.” In 2015, BRAVO 369 teamed with Russian flight partner, RUSAVIA, to fly the extremely challenging 6,000-mile air route stretching from Great Falls, Montana through western Canada to Fairbanks, Alaska and then across Siberia to Krasnoyarsk, Russia.


The ALSIB route was created under the Lend-Lease Act which was enacted by the United States Congress in March 1941 just before the United States entered World War II.  Under Lend-Lease, American factories, just emerging from the Great Depression, were rapidly converted to industrial powerhouses creating an "Arsenal of Democracy" in order fight the Axis powers and overtake the highly advanced military technologies of both Germany and Japan.  During the “The Great Patriotic War,” as it is known in Russia, Lend-Lease and the ALSIB program was a vital link in helping the Soviets defeat the Nazis who had invaded the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941. 


From July through August 2020, BRAVO 369 will undertake this historic flight, known as ALSIB 2020, beginning in Great Falls, Montana – the original staging base for ALSIB operations – travel through Canada and Alaska, and then into Russia. “Although our team flew the route in 2015” Geer said, “We plan to fly it again not only to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, but also to create a documentary film series telling the complete story of the Lend-Lease program, American-Soviet allied cooperation during the war and the great importance that the ALSIB air route played in defeating the Nazi’s.”


Geer continued, “Even though the geopolitical landscape is much different than it was 75 years ago, citizen diplomacy and projects like this are embraced by both the people and governments of our countries. Perhaps, examples such as this can lead to improved diplomatic relations.”


On October 5, 2018 the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, presented a letter to Jeff Geer and the BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation, giving his personal endorsement of the historic ALSIB 2020 project.  Ambassador Antonov stated, “Intent to repeat the reenactment in 2020 honoring the 75th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War and the end of WWII, while making it a round-the-world flight with a greater number of planes, deserves the highest praise and support. I am confident that your project will meet the high standards of the humanitarian mission and will show a clear example to our nations of one of the renowned chapters in our ancestors’ heroic deeds, make a great contribution to the efforts aimed to preserve Russia – U.S. common historical and cultural heritage.”


Geer added, “ALSIB 2020 promises to be a landmark event as this is the last major commemoration that will be attended by our remaining veterans who served in the war.  It is our chance to honor these brave men and women.  ALSIB 2020 will tell their story and, as such, deserves to be supported.” He continued “It is a worthy undertaking; a noble cause that will help bring together the people of Russia and the United States by reminding us all of the shared sacrifice and cooperation in World War II.” 


This challenging flight across North America and Russia will be made using vintage World War II aircraft – the same type that were flown during the ALSIB program. According to Geer, “During the war, U.S. pilots delivered the aircraft only as far as Fairbanks, Alaska. The planes were then handed over to the Soviet pilots who flew them, year-round in all kinds of weather, across Siberia to Krasnoyarsk. It is as large of a logistical effort now as it was then to move aircraft and crews over long distances with difficult terrain and flying conditions. We are truly honored to re-create and document this historical event so that it can be shared and preserved for future generations.”


The documentary film series “Warplanes to Siberia – Code Name ASLIB” is expected to begin production in late 2019 with release expected in late 2021.


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2018 News

  

City of Krasnoyarsk, Russia Partners With US-based BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation to Support ALSIB 2020 Flight Project

The City of Krasnoyarsk signs agreement to become an ALSIB 2020 partner city, joining BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation to celebrate the historic World War II Alaska-Siberia (ALSIB) air route. 


Bellingham, Washington, USA. November 27, 2018 - The BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation, a United States 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, and the City of Krasnoyarsk, Russia have committed to jointly facilitate the implementation of a project known as ALSIB 2020. This will be a re-creation of the World War II / Great Patriotic War flights from the United States using the historic Alaska-Siberia Air Route (ALSIB), known in Russia as the Krasnoyarsk Air Route (Alaska-Siberia). From Krasnoyarsk, the flight will proceed around the world, returning to the United States through Europe.  As part of the 75th anniversary celebrations in 2020, this “friendship flight” will be used to draw attention to our allied cooperation and accomplishments from the war years and tell the history of this little known, yet critically important air route.


The ALSIB was created as part of the Lend-Lease Act, conceived by the Roosevelt Administration in 1941. Approximately 6,000 miles long, it stretches from Great Falls, Montana through western Canada to Fairbanks, Alaska and then across Siberia to Krasnoyarsk, Russia. During a three year period from 1942 through 1945, nearly 8,000 military aircraft were flown year round from the United States to the former Soviet Union using this route.  Created practically from scratch in sparsely populated areas, and faced with challenging geographic, economic, and meteorological conditions during the very difficult first few years of the war, it is considered, even today, an engineering feat second only to the creation of the Panama Canal. 


Krasnoyarsk was chosen as the final and most important point for the ferrying effort since it was the most developed in 1941, especially its aviation infrastructure. It was also the center for the creation and development of polar aviation with facilities for training personnel, receiving, servicing, repairing, and forwarding these huge numbers of aircraft to the fighting front.


Jeff Geer, president and chairman of the BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation said of the agreement, “It is my distinct privilege and honor to congratulate the City of Krasnoyarsk on becoming the first ALSIB 2020 partner city.  Let the work of this great effort become a solid foundation for a lasting peace and cooperation between our countries.” 


From June through August 2020, BRAVO 369 will undertake the historic ALSIB 2020 flight in original World War II aircraft, beginning in Great Falls, Montana – the original staging base for ALSIB operations – travel through Canada and Alaska, and then to Krasnoyarsk and beyond. After departing Russia, the flight will continue across Europe with a final stop in the United Kingdom before crossing the Atlantic Ocean and back to North America, stopping in Washington, DC and then ending where it began in Great Falls, Montana.


Geer continued, “Even though the geopolitical landscape is much different than it was 75 years ago, citizen diplomacy and projects like this are embraced by both the people and governments of our countries. Only through listening and learning from others can we hope to share our history, our culture, our identity, and our future.”


On November 27, 2018, an official signing ceremony was attended by numerous Russian dignitaries, educators, and veterans in Krasnoyarsk, Russia along with representatives from BRAVO 369 in Bellingham, Washington. Addressing American partners from BRAVO 369, Mayor of Krasnoyarsk Sergei Eremin noted "We honor and are very sensitive to the project that will connect two continents. The "friendship flight" will strengthen our historical ties and remind you: you need to appreciate the past - then there will be a future. I am grateful to all the organizers from both the American and Russian sides. As many people as possible should be aware of the legendary mission of air route and the history of the heroes." 

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