CUBA's ELITE MILITARY GROUP: SPECIAL TROOPS
by MANUEL CEREIJO
What are Cuba's elite forces? Who commands them? Who trains them? Where is their training camp? What are the main missions they are prepared for?
Since mid 1980s, Cuba established in Los Palacios, Pinar del Rio, in a region known as El Cacho, a special troop military training school. It is named Baragua school. It is situated in a big valley, near the Pinar del Rio mountains. A very large training camp, with arificial lakes, and the most modern training technology. The School is exactly located where the first missiles were seen during the 1962 missile crisis.
The School was founded by the de la Guardia brothers. It is now under General Jose Luis Mesa, very close to Raul Castro. General Mesa is 50 years old. Speaks fluent English, well mannered. Veteran of Vietnam as a young officer, and the African wars. He is assisted by Colonel Ramirez, a black Cuban. Veteran of Angola, Vietnam, and other war places. Colonel Ramirez is an expert on this kind of special troop training. Presently they have assistant from special personnel from China and Vietnam.
The special troop school has about a constant flow of 2500 men in training. Their age range from 18 to 35 years old. They are a breed apart, a cut above the rest. Unquestionable, one of the world's finest unconventional warfare experts. Certainly, second only to the United States Special Troops in this Hemisphere. They are kept on an uncommon physical and mental caliber. Mature, highly skilled, and superbly trained. They are always ready to serve anywhere, at any time. Infiltrations, commando operations, biowarfare, cyberwarfare, espionage.
Special troops are trained to deliver people, equipment, and weapons with surgical precision. Locate high-value, strategic, movable targets, and deliver firepower more accurately. They are trained to operate in small independent units. They have advanced personal camouflage with enhanced protection against harsh environments and climatic conditions.
Clothing will offer them individual body armor and safeguards against biological and chemical agents. They have helmets fitted with enhanced sensory head-up displays including thermal, image-intensified, and acoustic sensors. External and imbedded optics enable them to see long distances clearly without using handheld optical systems.
They have external skeletal systems that will improve individual skills, enabling special operators to move faster, jump farther, and lift more weight. Such enhanced physical attributes allow them to deliver more deadly force with greater accuracy and penetrating power. They also have miniaturized command, control, and communication functions, as well as embedded artificial intelligence for situational decision making.
In Baragua School, Special troops are trained to perform the following missions:
· Unconventional Warfare, UW: A broad spectrum of military operations conducted in politically sensitive territory or "enemy" held territory. Including interrelated fields of guerrilla warfare, evasion and escape, subversion, sabotage.
· Direc Action, DA: Either overt or cover action against an "enemy" force. Seize, damage, and destroy a target. Short duration, small scale offensive actions. Ambushes, direct assault tactics, emplace mines.
· Special Reconnaissance, SR: Infiltration behind "enemy" lines. Collect meteorological, hydrographic, geographic, and demographic data.
· Psychological Operations,PSYOP: Induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to Cuba objectives. Influence emotions, motives, and behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.
They also receive additional training and skills in freefall parachuting, underwater operations, target interdiction strategic reconnaissance, and operations and intelligence.
Obviously, this group is strictly an offensive military group. Cuba is an island, and therefore has not borders to defend from neighboring countries. The most serious threats from the Special troops are: biowarfare operations, cyberwarfare operations, infiltrations, commando attacks, kidnapping, espionage.
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