By Barbara Starr
The U.S. military is putting the final touches on a series of orders that will put transport aircraft on standby status to assist in the evacuation of Americans, should that become necessary, at the Olympic Games in Sochi, CNN has learned.
Two U.S. military officials confirmed to CNN the orders are expected to be issued next week and will go into effect with the opening of the Winter Games on February 7.
Both officials strongly emphasized Friday that Russia remains responsible for security and any request for U.S. military assets would have to come through the State Department, which is coordinating government security arrangements for Americans.
The military orders will ensure that in the event of a crisis, C-17 transport aircraft and medical evacuation crews will be ready to move from their base at Ramstein, Germany, to Sochi within roughly six hours of being notified.