On 14-18 July 2013, Major General Michael J. Carey took part in the work of the Bilateral Presidential Commission, Military Cooperation Working Group during the two-day U.S.-Russian Federation Nuclear Security Exercise 2013 in Sergeiv Posad, Moscow, Russia. He headed the Department of Defense delegation, which consisted of three commissioned officers and five civilian personnel from DOD.
In October 2013, Carey was relieved of his command of the 20th Air Force and Task Force (TF) 214 by Lieutenant General James Kowalski, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, after an examination of Carey’s behavior in Moscow conducted by the US Air Force Office of Special Investigations. A delegation member representing the Office of the Secretary of Defense with a first-hand knowledge of the incident, whose name was not revealed, triggered the investigation by reporting it to the superiors. Later, she told the investigators, “I realized that this was putting us all at risk, especially Russia and women, and I just wanted nothing to do with that”.
The Washington Post wrote that Carey had drunk excessively and fraternized with foreign women during the visit. The New York Times claimed that Carey’s behavior during the official meetings was not appropriate, including “interrupting speakers and correcting a Russian translator”, and that he was over drinking during the visit, and once attempted to play with a restaurant band. Under the Freedom of Information Act, American journalists filed a request and received a redacted copy of the official Report of Investigations Concerning Maj Gen Michael J. Carey. The report revealed that Carey’s behavior was considered by his colleagues as rude toward the Russian hosts during the exercise and related briefings, especially, when he made comments about Syria and Snowden.
As a reprimand, Carey was given a “letter of counseling”. He was relieved of his duties and assigned as a special assistant to the commander of the U.S. Air Force Space Command Gen. William L. Shelton, who issued a statement: “This was an unfortunate incident, Maj Gen Carey has otherwise served the nation extremely well”.
On 10 April 2014, it was announced that Carey will retire on 1 June 2014, in the rank of brigadier general.
• Official USAF IG Investigation Report