Lorenzo A Brieba & Matthew D Wehausen
The enigmatic, Lorenzo Brieba, M203 Grenadier, with the deceased Matthew D Wehausen, M60 Gunner, of the deactivated Headquarters Platoon Company C 3/19th Infantry 'Rock of Chicamangua' 24th Division, 'First to Fight', LRRP (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol), in a rare covert special ops photo wearing 'opposing force' battle fatigues during desert warfare training, prior to storming into history during General Barry McCaffrey's command of the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) 'Operation Desert Storm' conducted the "left hook" attack 370 km into Iraq, in one of the boldest military maneuvers ever undertaken, leading to decisive battle victory in the First Gulf War in the largest air assault in Army history, putting troops in place for the final battler of the war.
In a strange turn of events and unclear statements by the Pentagon.. it appears that Company C 3/19th Infantry could have been hit by a Tomahawk missile fired by the US Navy's battleship, USS Wisconsin (BB-64), in an incident of friendly fire costing Wehausen an eye. The attack would also wound Sgt. Ken Kozakiewicz, and Cpl. Mike Tsangarakis and kill Pvt. Andy Alaniz in what would become one of the most famous photos of the war and 1991.
The USS Wisconsin (BB-64), was an Iowa-class battleship, and had been first launched on 7 December 1943 (the second anniversary of the Pearl Harbor raid). Decades later as part of President Ronald Reagan's Navy Secretary John F. Lehman's effort to create a "600-ship Navy" the Wisconsin was reactivated 1 August 1986. It had relieved the USS Missouri on 6 February 1991 during the Persian Gulf War, answering her first combat call for gunfire support since the Korean War March 1952. Wisconsin had also fired the last naval gunfire support mission of the Persian Gulf War, and was thus the final battleship in world history to see action. During the eight months Wisconsin spent in the Persian Gulf she launched 24 Tomahawk cruise missiles. Since all four remaining battleships were decommissioned and stricken following the Gulf War, this would be the last time that United States battleships actively participated in a war.
Another explanation later on which included interviews with soldiers involved in the battle and a review of Army inquiries, memorandums and other government documents reveal costly mistakes amid the chaos of war is based on journalist, Tim Graham, of the Buffalo News who wrote that the Jalibah Airfield mission was to be yet another display of American force.
U.S. soldiers were anxious about sweeping Jalibah Airfield, overmatched as it was. More than 1,000 dug-in members of Saddam’s elite Republican Guard loomed ahead. They were respected professional soldiers with at least 20 tanks and 60 air-defense guns. The Americans were exhausted.
Much of the mighty 24th Infantry’s time was spent traversing the bleak desert in their Bradley Fighting Vehicles from Kuwait into Iraq and toward the Euphrates River Valley – with Jalibah Airfield now in their cross hairs.
Along the way, they dealt with zero visibility, rain, dust and shamal winds of 50 mph. A post-battle Army memorandum stated “soldiers had been on the move almost continuously for previous 63 hours during the drive to the Euphrates River Valley.”
In the Euphrates Valley on Feb. 27, the date President George H.W. Bush set for the Persian Gulf War cease-fire, the allied forces already had chased Saddam Hussein’s forces from Kuwait but the 24th Mechanized had one more job to do. Hussein’s elite Republican Guard was dug in at Jalibah Airfield in Iraq. They needed to be cleared out and their equipment destroyed.
It is believed that 3rd Battalion 69th Armor Regiment fired between eight and 16 armor-piercing, 120 mm sabot rounds on the Bradleys. Sabot rounds are made with depleted uranium, a substance 2ø times denser than steel and with a radioactive component.
Tsangarakis’ vehicle was struck first. A missile entered through the Bradley’s ramp in the back, took off two soldiers’ legs at the knee, detonated a portable anti-tank weapon that took off another soldier’s leg and whistled straight through the vehicle’s left wall.
Tsangarakis suffered flash burns on his face. He blacked out for a few minutes, regaining consciousness to the sight of black smoke and the smell of burnt flesh. Looking to his right he could see this guy freaking out, screaming so loud. He then noticed Sgt. Anthony Walker’s missing a leg, standing up on the other leg. He looked down at the leg that was missing and just shook his head.
Alaniz wanted to stop his Bradley and help but his commander feared that whoever targeted the first Bradley was locked on and would fire again. The commander ordered Alaniz to keep driving toward the airfield. The sabot ripped through the right side of Alaniz’s vehicle, just below the turret. The missile avoided the other seven soldiers in the Bradley but flew right through the driver’s compartment and cut Alaniz in half.
Kozakiewicz’s Bradley was the only vehicle hit twice, but miraculously the only one without a death.
The second round missed Kozakiewicz by six inches. The wounded soldiers were shuttled off to a collection point, where helicopters would take them to a MASH unit.
“It was like a scene out of a horror movie,” Tsangarakis said. “There were three legs in there, chunks of human flesh everywhere.”
Kozakiewicz had a broken left wrist. He remembers trying to calm down Sgt. Matt Wehausen, a gunner in Alaniz’s vehicle.
Wehausen’s right eye was gone because he was looking through a sight at the time of the blast.
Medics escorted Kozakiewicz and Tsangarakis into the evacuation helicopter.
” Kozakiewicz and Tsangarakis were dazed. They were done with the Middle East and finally headed home. But before the helicopter lifted off, the body bag was loaded on board. Kozakiewicz was surprised. The medic leaning into the helicopter on the right side of the photo handed an ID card to the medic right behind Kozakiewicz, who demanded to see it. The medic refused to show him at first, but Kozakiewicz was firm. “I had to know,” Kozakiewicz said. “I just had to know.” He and Alaniz were buddies. They were roommates for a while at Fort Stewart. Kozakiewicz knew Alaniz was excited about becoming a father. Kozakiewicz returned the ID card to the medic, gazed out the right side of the helicopter and cried.
Four years after she lost her husband, Private Andy Alaniz in Iraq, Catherine Alaniz moved with her parents to Oklahoma City, where her father, a U.S. Customs Service agent was killed by Timothy McVeigh in the Oklahoma City bombing. McVeigh drove a Bradley Military Vehicle in Operation Desert Storm, just like Andy Alaniz did.
Of the 148 U.S. troops who died in battle, 24% were killed by friendly fire but many more who survived the war could not survive civilian life or the VA.
In the book, “Triumph Without Victory:
The Unreported History of the Persian Gulf War,” U.S. News and World Report noted the 24th Infantry Division had more firepower than Gen. George S. Patton’s Third Army in World War II.
According to the textbook "US Special Forces" MBI Publishing Company 1999:
"Very little is known about Ranger participation in Desert Storm. Delta company of the 4th Ranger Training Battalion sent a squad to train members of the 24th Infantry Division mechanized to carry out long-range surveillance LRS operations in the desert. One incident proved the effectiveness of the training. Two teams in surveillance holes about 125 miles behind enemy lines the second day of the ground war spotted a squad of Iraqi soldiers with an armored reconnaissance vehicle approaching. For forty-five minutes the Iraqis surveyed the area, coming as close as ten feet to the camouflaged holes. The LRS teams were not detected and the Iraqis moved on".
Hollywood eventually created an American action-drama television series called "The Unit" that focused on a top-secret military unit modeled after the real-life U.S. Army special operations unit commonly known as 'Delta Force'.
The series originally aired on CBS from March 7, 2006 to May 10, 2009.
Unit members wore the shoulder sleeve insignia of the inactivated 24th Infantry Division on their Class A uniforms, as well as the shoulder crest of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, "Strike Hold", currently part of the 1st ABCT of the 82nd Airborne Division.
In later episodes, Unit members are shown as wearing the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) patch on their Class A uniforms.
Another interesting detail on the discreet 24th Infantry Division lost to history deals with the Kennedy Assassination.
In March 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald purchased a 6.5 mm caliber Carcano rifle by mail-order, using the alias "A. Hidell" which could have stood for 'A. Hitler', as well as a .38 Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver by the same method.
The Warren Commission concluded that on April 10, 1963, Oswald attempted to kill retired U.S. Major General Edwin Walker, firing his rifle at Walker through a window, from less than 100 feet away, as Walker sat at a desk in his home; the bullet struck the window-frame and Walker's only injuries were bullet fragments to the forearm. (The United States House Select Committee on Assassinations stated that the "evidence strongly suggested" that Oswald carried out the shooting.)
General Walker was an outspoken anti-communist, segregationist, and member of the John Birch Society.
Walker resigned his commission in 1959, but Eisenhower refused to accept his resignation and gave Walker a new command over the 24th Infantry Division in Augsburg, Germany. Walker either again resigned his commission or had been relieved of his command of the 24th Division of the U.S. Army in West Germany for distributing right-wing literature to his troops or for violating the Hatch Act by attempting to direct the votes of his troops. In 1961 after being publicly and formally admonished by President John F. Kennedy for calling Eleanor Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman "pink" in print Kennedy accepted his resignation.
Walker's later actions in opposition to racial integration at the University of Mississippi led to his arrest on insurrection, seditious conspiracy, and other charges. He was temporarily held in a mental institution on orders from President Kennedy's brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, but a grand jury refused to indict him.
Marina Oswald testified that her husband told her that he traveled by bus to General Walker's house and shot at Walker with his rifle. She said that Oswald considered Walker to be the leader of a "fascist organization." A note Oswald left for Marina on the night of the attempt, telling her what to do if he did not return, was not found until ten days after the Kennedy assassination.
Before the Kennedy assassination, Dallas police had no suspects in the Walker shooting, but Oswald's involvement was suspected within hours of his arrest following the assassination. The Walker bullet was too damaged to run conclusive ballistics studies on it, but neutron activation analysis later showed that it was "extremely likely" that it was made by the same manufacturer and for the same rifle make as the two bullets which later struck Kennedy.
General Walker died on Halloween October 31, 1993..shortly afterwards in the fall of 1994, Iraq again threatened the Kuwaiti border, and two brigades from the 24th Infantry Division returned to southwest Asia.
The US Army's 24th Infantry Division should not be confused with the 24th Infantry Division 'Pinerolo', a mechanized infantry division of the Italian Army during World War II.
In 1934 the Italian division gained the name 'Gran Sasso' and were forthwith known as 24th Infantry Division Gran Sasso.
In 1935 the division was sent to Eritrea and participated in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. The division operated in the Tigray Region and fought in the Battle of Shire.
In 1940 the Pinerolo took part in the Italian invasion of France.
In January 1941 the division arrived in Albania to stabilize the crumbling Italian front during the Greek counteroffensive in the Greco-Italian War.
On 18 January 1941 the division was in Berat and entered the approaching front near Këlcyrë. The division fought defensive battles for the next month ending with the defense of Tepelenë.
The division participated in the Italian Spring Offensive, and participated in a small offensive towards Ohrid in Macedonia during the German-led Invasion of Yugoslavia.
In June 1941 the division transferred to Larissa in Thessaly to suppress the growing Greek Resistance. During it's time in Thessaly the Pinerolo division committed the Domenikon Massacre against Greek civilians. The division continued on anti-partisan duty until the Armistice between Italy and Allied armed forces of 8 September 1943.
In the confusion after the armistice the division was the only one in continental Greece to refuse German demands to surrender. While the Piemonte, Forlì, Modena, Casale and Cagliari divisions surrendered to the inferior German forces the Pinerolo defended Larissa against German attacks and then retired towards the Pindus mountain range where it joined the Greek People's Liberation Army in fighting the Germans.
It was the 24th Infantry Division that prevented a ground assault against the Campo Imperatore hotel where Benito Mussolini was being held captive. The mission was deemed impractical since there were no roads leading to the mountaintop and an infantry assault up the mountain top would probably be detected early enough to give Mussolini's guards time to evacuate him.
It was the bulk of the Italian 24th Infantry Division Pinerolo located only 12km away in L'Aquila which posed a threat to the raiding force if the element of surprise was lost or if they dallied too long at Gran Sasso...
therefore on 12 September 1943, Otto Skorzeny, who was selected personally by Hitler and Ernst Kaltenbrunner to carry out the mission, joined the team of Fallschirmjäger (German Air Force Paratroopers) to rescue Mussolini in a high-risk glider mission. The commandos landed their DFS 230 gliders onto the mountain. The Fallschirmjäger and Skorzeny's special troopers his Special Forces (SS-Sonderverband z. b. V. "Friedenthal") then overwhelmed Mussolini's captors (200 well-equipped Carabinieri guards) without a single shot being fired, this was also due to the fact that General Soleti of Polizia, who flew in with Skorzeny, told them to stand down or be executed for treason. Skorzeny attacked the radio operator and his equipment, then he formally greeted Mussolini with "Duce, the Führer has sent me to set you free!" to which Mussolini replied "I knew that my friend would not forsake me!"
Otto Skorzeny gained a large amount of success from this mission; he received a promotion to Sturmbannführer, the award of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and fame that led to his "most dangerous man in Europe" image. Winston Churchill himself described the mission as "one of great daring."
The Campo Imperatore Hotel still exists today. It maintains Mussolini's bedroom just as it was when he left it, with the same furnishings but the remnants of the division were repatriated to Italy in March 1945.
After the war on 15 April 1952 the Italian Army raised the Pinerolo Infantry Division again, however on 1 September 1962 the division was reduced to brigade and it has been active as such since then.
Unlike the Italian 24th Infantry, the U.S. Army's 24th Infantry Division, as part of the Army's reduction to a ten-division force, was inactivated on 15 February 1996 and reflagged to become the 3rd Infantry Division. It's three brigades were reflagged as 3rd Infantry Division brigades.
The U.S. Army's 24th Infantry Division's fate in battle closely resembled the British 24th Regiment of Foot, who on the night of January 22, 1897, nearly 4,000 Zulu warriors attacked the British Army mission station containing fewer than 150 men at Rorke's Drift South Africa.
The 24th Infantry Division was eventually deactivated for the last time on 1 August 2006 at Fort Riley.
Though it was inactivated, the division was identified as the third highest priority inactive division in the United States Army Center of Military History's lineage scheme due to its numerous accolades and long history.
All of the division's flags and heraldic items were moved to the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Should the U.S. Army decide to activate more divisions in the future, the center will most likely suggest the first new division be the 24th Infantry Division, however, the 19th Infantry Regiment ("Rock of Chickamauga") is today the United States Army infantry regiment which is assigned to the US Army Training and Doctrine Command, with the assignment of conducting Basic and Advanced Infantry Training.
Ironically, Brieba's former training brigade, A-6-1, 'Alpha Tigers' Sand Hill Fort Benning, was renamed the '19th Infantry'.
The Lewis Galoob Toys, Inc. a toy company headquartered in South San Francisco, California, in 1954 before it was purchased by Hasbro for $220 million in 1999, was the third largest toymaker in the United States.
In 1998 it produced a line of 6 inch action figures titled "BATTLE SQUADS ASSAULT FORCE of the 24TH INFANTRY DIVISION Persian Gulf" which included characters such as Cpl. Frank "Sharky" Forrester M60 Machine Gunner, Pvt. Ray "Sting Ray" Wilson Stinger Missile (SAM), Pfc. Joe "Odd Ball" Ross M16 Assault Rifle, Pvt. Tony "Buzz Saw" Martin M249 (SAW), Staff Sergeant Howard "Ricochet" Ryan M16 w/ M203, and Pvt. Jim "Crosshairs" Phillips Sniper.
Another toy company, Unimax, and their line of 'Forces of Valor' produced a Bradley Fighting Vehicle M2A2 of the US 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) scaled at 1:32 based on the Liberation of Kuwait Campaign 1991 and a squad of soldiers from the 24th I.D. in a defensive fighting position.
In reality, seven years after Desert Storm, Sgt. Matthew D Wehausen passed away on July 8, 1998 at the age of 30. Details to the cause of death remain vague.
It was from this background that Lorenzo Brieba developed the modern day 'Long-Range Penetration Group', known as G.H.O.S.T.S., a special operations unit, consisting of one to thirteen men, capable of probing long distances behind enemy lines while conducting reconnaissance and sabotage missions, and seizure of strategic locations as the primary objectives far away from direct contact with friendly forces.
'G.H.O.S.T.S.' plural is thought to stand for 'Guerrilla Hagiarchy Operatives ~ Sabotage Terrorism Surveillance' or 'Seizure' (GHO - Global Hallucinatory Operators) but for reasons of speculation it cannot be clarified due to it's complexity and secretive benign nature but a 'G.H.O.S.T.' singular is identified as a 'Global Humanitarian Operative - Special Tactics'.
Brieba, a professional soldier with eccentric behavior, was an experienced desert warfare expert and explorer who had his 'LRDG' trained in desert driving, navigation by sun and stars, as well as compass, and knowing the terrain. He was supplied by all the equipment that his trucks could carry.
Sometime between May 15, 1988 till February 15, 1989, he would be among the last special operatives in Afghanistan during the Soviet troop withdrawal under the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev in what was called Operation Cyclone, the code name for the United States Central Intelligence Agency program to arm and finance the Afghan mujahideen prior to and during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, 1979 to 1989.
Operation Cyclone had been one of the longest and most expensive covert CIA operations ever undertaken; funding began with $20–$30 million per year in 1980 to $630 million per year in 1987. Funding continued after 1989 as the Mujahideen battled the forces of Mohammad Najibullah's PDPA during the Civil war in Afghanistan (1989–1992).
Brieba's 'Ghost' unit was named as a derivative of Khost, a city in eastern Afghanistan.
Soon after the invasion of Afghanistan by Soviet troops, Afghan guerillas took control of the only land route between Khost and Gardez, effectively putting a stop to the Soviet advance.
During the Soviet war in Afghanistan, Khost was the object of a siege which lasted for more than eight years.
Khost Airfield, with it's 9,000-foot runway, served as a base for helicopter operations for the Soviet military.
The assault by the Soviets on the Zhawar Kili Cave complex, using Khost Airfield as an initial staging ground, inserted troops into the combat zone.
With two recently introduced combat aircraft, the Su-25 ground-attack jet and the Mi-24 attack helicopter, the Soviets had aircraft that were impervious to Mujahideen attacks, as both aircraft were armored to withstand even large calibre machine gun fire. Through most of the war, the Soviets were able to control the skies and fly at will.
In September 1988, Soviet MiG-23 fighters shot down one Pakistani F-16 and two Iranian AH-1J Cobra, who intruded in Afghan airspace.
Through an increasing project of military assistance via the CIA, the USA started to supply the Mujahideen with it's man-portable anti-aircraft missile system called the Stinger. The US supplied at least 250 launcher systems and at least 500 individual Stinger missiles to the Mujahideen as well as the training needed to operate the system.
The introduction of the Stinger changed the battlefield from the Soviet aircraft being the hunter to being the hunted. The SU 25 and Mi 24 were particularly vulnerable as they tended to fly low and remain for awhile within the range of the Stinger missile.
An average lost of more than one aircraft per day after the Stinger was introduced to the war.
Brieba compared this to the rate of B-52s shot down by North Vietnamese forces using Surface to Air Missiles (SAM) as told to Brieba by General GIAP during his visit to Viet Nam in 2000 to celebrate the 25 year anniversary of 'The American War' (Vietnam War).
US Congressman Charlie Wilson had been instrumental in funding the Stinger and many Western military analysts credit the introduction of the Stinger as the turning point in the war with it's killing ratio of 70% which included over 350 aircraft and helicopters downed in the last two years of the war.
The 2011 Wall Street Journal article celebrated the Stinger as "The Missile that Made History." "Game Changer" and "Stinger Effect" were also utilized as terms.
The effect of the Stinger was notable...but much to his dismay, Brieba, had longed to down a Mikoyan MiG-29 jet fighter. The MiG-29 was developed as an air superiority fighter along with the Sukhoi Su-27, to counter new American fighters such as the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, and the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon. The MiG-29 had entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1983 and Brieba had much success in knocking it out in simulations using the Field Handling Trainer (FHT) M60, Training Set Guided Missile M134, the MTS Moving Target Simulator M87A1, and the Beseler Cue/See.
Brieba, however, is credited with shooting down a Su-25 strike jet and killing it's pilot on 07 January 1989 during his birthday, January 6, Eastern Time New York.
On 2 February 1989 – Ground Hog Day, Brieba predicted a short winter by shooting down a Mi-24 assault helicopter, killing the crew.
The Mi-24 (Hind) was a large helicopter gunship and attack helicopter and low-capacity troop transport called the "flying tank" by Soviet pilots and nicknamed the "Crocodile".
Brieba reclaimed his grandfather's nickname "The Endangered Cuban Crocodile" based on this.
The escalating cost of aircraft losses became an additional drain and many analysts believe the unsustainable aircraft losses caused by the Stinger missile was the primary catalyst to cause the Soviet Union to withdraw from the war.
In order to ensure a safe passage the Soviets had negotiated ceasefires with local mujahideen commanders, so the withdrawal was generally executed peacefully, except for Operation "Typhoon".
The first half of the Soviet contingent was withdrawn from May 15 to August 16, 1988 and the second from November 15 to February 15, 1989.
In the last phase, Soviet troops prepared and executed their withdrawal from Afghanistan. They limited offensive operations.
The agreement on withdrawal held, and on February 15, 1989, the last Soviet troops departed on schedule from Afghanistan.
The one exception was Operation Magistral, a successful sweep that cleared the road between Gardez and Khost. This operation allowed the Soviets to symbolically end their presence with a victory.
During the Soviet-Afghan War, the Sino-Soviet split, strained relations between China and Soviet Russia resulting in border clashes and mutual backing for the opponent's enemies.
China and Afghanistan had neutral relations with each other during the King's rule but when the pro-Soviet Afghan Communists seized power in Afghanistan in 1978, relations between China and the Afghan communists quickly turned hostile.
The Afghan pro-Soviet communists supported China's enemies in Vietnam.
China responded by supporting the Afghan mujahideen and accelerating their military presence near Afghanistan in Xinjiang.
China acquired military equipment from the USA to defend itself from Soviet attack.
The Chinese People's Liberation Army trained and supported the Afghan mujahideen.
The training camps were moved from Pakistan into China.
Anti-aircraft missiles, rocket launchers, and firearms, were given to the mujahideen by the Chinese.
Chinese military advisors and army troops were present with the Mujahideen.
Gorbachev regarded confrontation with China and military build up on the border as one of Brezhnev's biggest mistakes.
Beijing had stipulated that a normalization of relations would have to wait until Moscow withdrew it's army from Afghanistan and it would take until 1989 for the first Sino-Soviet summit in 30 years to take place.
At the same time, Gorbachev also pressured his Cuban allies in Angola to scale down activities and withdraw even though Soviet allies were faring somewhat better there.
The Soviets pulled many of their troops out of Mongolia in 1987 where they were also having a far easier time than in Afghanistan and restrained the Vietnamese invasion of Kampuchea to the point of an all out withdrawal in 1988.
This mass withdrawal of Soviet forces from contested areas shows that the Soviet government's decision to leave Afghanistan was based on a general change over in Soviet foreign policy as well.
After Afghanistan, Brieba's documents shows that he had made a classified trip to Columbia. It was during this time that Pablo Escobar was on the run as a wanted man.
Brieba had been made aware that Delta Force operative, Vega, was on the ground.
Brieba departed from Bogota after spending time in Cali, Pereira, and Medellin, just 10 days prior to Escobar being located and assassinated in cold blood.
Brieba eventually found himself on the African continent during the Angola Bush Wars, observing 32 Battalion (nicknamed Buffalo Battalion or The Terrible Ones) first hand, a special light infantry battalion of the South African Army.
The unit had been founded in 1975 by Colonel Jan Breytenbach of the South African Special Forces Brigade, and later under the command of Colonels Gert Nel, Deon Ferreira (nickname Falcon) and Eddie Viljoen "Big Daddy".
The men of 32 Battalion who did so much fighting and dying were eventually betrayed when they were disbanded at the spur of the moment.
Brieba found that this resentment caused many of the former soldiers of 32 Battalion to become displaced as mercenaries fighting for any side.
Many members of the unit later helped to found or join private military companies such as Executive Outcomes and Sandline International.
In Angola, Brieba noticed what he believed were the effects of a Biological Warfare pathogen in the form of the HIV virus which resulted in AIDs related deaths at an alarming rapid rate. He believed the virus was manmade and transmitted to african prostitutes by government officials to infect the Cuban military forces there.
In 2000 Brieba visited Hong Kong to analysis the 1997 social effects of the 'handover' of the sovereignty of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China. It was during this time that he was impressed with the Chinese Example, especially with the additional 1999 hand-over of Macao to the PRC.
Brieba personally confronted the First War of the 21st Century at his home base in Manhattan New York during the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center which would mean the future loss of many of his men.
It was there that Brieba had ideas of deep penetration operations that could be made possible through advanced improvements at the time in the range of communication devices to include digital technology, photography, recording, cellphones, and the internet.
He explained his ideas to many leaders proposing and creating strongholds in enemy territory that would be as effective against the enemy as conventional troops.
In February 2002, Brieba founded and took command of S.P.E.C.T.E.R., acquiring the name from a suggestion and corruption of 'SPECTRE' (SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion), the fictional global terrorist supra national organization featured in Ian Fleming's James Bond character novels and films based on and led by evil genius and super-villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
The initials of 'SPECTER' are believed to stand for 'Special Protocol Executive ~ Counter-Terrorism/Espionage/Revolution' (SPE - Subversion Parasitism Executives).
SPECTER supported the United States Army Special Operations Groups and Special Operations Command by creating tactical diversions and deceptions similar to the 1,100-man 'Ghost Army' of the United States Army during World War II, officially known as the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, with it's unique mission within the U.S Army to impersonate other U.S. Army units, to deceive the enemy by putting on a "traveling road show", utilizing sound, fake radio transmissions, and pretence, while operating very close to the front lines. Their mission was kept secret until 1996, and elements of it remain classified. The unit was the subject of a PBS documentary The Ghost Army in 2013.
SPECTER was inspired by President Ronald Reagan's 04 DEC 1981 issuance of Executive Order 12333 on “United States Intelligence Activities.”
Section 2.11 of the order provides: “Prohibition on Assassination. No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination.” Section 2.12 of the order prohibits indirect participation in activities prohibited by the order, stating: “Indirect participation. No agency of the Intelligence Community shall participate in or request any person to undertake activities forbidden by this Order.”
Other historical inspirations were The Quebec Conference 1943 and keeping in mind General Joseph Stilwell's requests for American infantry to support his Chinese troops in the China Burma India Theater of World War II also inspired the creation of SPECTER.
General George Marshall had sent a telegram to General Stilwell notifying him that America would organize their own Long Range Penetration Force made up of three groups, one from jungle warfare trained troops who were no longer required in Panama, the second from jungle warfare trained troops from Continental American army bases, and the third, experienced jungle fighters from the South Pacific (Admiral Chester Nimitz's troops who had fought on Guadalcanal and the Solomon Islands and General Douglas MacArthur's troops who had fought in New Guinea).
The unit was renamed the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) but more popularly known as Merrill's Marauders who carried out operations in Burma in 1944.
After World War II, long range penetration operations were primarily conducted by small units of men often varying in size from five to thirty men.
Most notable influences for SPECTER are the Son Tay Raiders lead by LTC "Bud" Sydnor from Fort Benning and Captain Dick Meadow 21 NOV 1970 who arrived at the Vietnamese prison camp to rescue US Military POWs only to find it vacant;
Charles Beckwith's proposals throughout the '60s for a superbly elite, highly autonomous direct-action unit idea based on the imminent threat of international terrorism thus founding Delta Force in November 1977 as a counter-terrorist unit whose main mission is in hostage rescue, covert operations, and specialized reconnaissance and it's failure in it's first mission – Operation Eagle Claw – to rescue the US hostages in Iran by aircraft crashing in the desert;
The Mayaguez Incident rescue attempt which took place from May 12–15, 1975, and was the last official battle of the Vietnam War where the names of the Americans killed, as well as those of three U.S. Marines who were left behind on the island of Koh Tang after the battle and who were subsequently executed by the Khmer Rouge, are the last names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial after the merchant ship's crew, whose seizure at sea had prompted the U.S. attack, had been priorly released in good health, unknown to the U.S. Marines or the U.S. command of the operation, before the Marines attacked being the only known engagement between U.S. ground forces and the Khmer Rouge and a failure;
and the Sri Lanka Army long range penetration unit operations during the Sri Lanka Civil War which saw the deadliest terrorist group of Sri Lanka, LTTE, founded by Velupillai Prabhakaran in May 1976, which possessed a sophisticated military, however, it was defeated in May 2009 by Sri Lankan Military.
LTTE had a devilish record of assassinating high-profile Indian and Sri Lankan politicians. Banned by 32 countries across the world, this terrorist group was the main reason behind the Sri Lankan Civil War…this was the only one Terrorist organization who had military tanks, battleships, & warplanes.
Also LTTE was the 1st Terrorist organization to use human-bombs.
LTTE was also the only one Terrorist organization who killed two political leaders in two countries (Ranasinghe Premadasa-President of Sri Lanka in 1994 & Rajiv Gandhi-Prime minister of India in 1991).
LTTE also had a political background locally and internationally. The world's 3rd largest army, India, also couldn't defeat this Terrorist organization, but in 2009 Sri Lankan Military Forces defeated this of the worst Terrorist organizations once called LTTE.
In 2014 SPECTER remained undefeated after 13 years of successful 'covert' assignments and 'black ops' missions. This success rate created paranoia within certain government institutions who believed SPECTER had grown too powerful and dangerous, above the law mentality, and could impose a threat from within, if they could not be controlled or manipulated.
In the present era of political correctness and liberal domination, SPECTER, was falsely accused of harboring "intellectual elitism" and "bourgeois" tendencies and were denounced as "revolutionaries" and "radicals".
They managed to hide their communist connections and convince a closed behind- the-door kangaroo court that they were not "right-wingers". In doing so they did not go to jail, but certain operatives went into hiding instead, realizing that the nation had fallen and was now run by foreigners, traitors, and infiltrators.
Out of these remnants of SPECTER was formed the renegade patriotic "Black Berets" to head the movement's "counter-espionage" efforts, becoming deeply involved in militia and para-military activities.. taking on an active role in activities against imperialism, capitalism, fascism, democracy, socialism, and it's warlords tyrannizing the USSA.
Since it's formations in 1986 & 2001, without question nor incident, Brieba led his Covert 'Black Ops' S.P.E.C.T.E.R./G.H.O.S.T.S. units into harm's way in Columbia, Mexico, Cambodia, Viet Nam, Burma, Korea, Thailand, Laos, Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Germany, Poland, England, France, Belgium, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Curacao, United Emigrates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, People's Republic of China, Kazakhstan, and after receiving multiple service-connected priority disabilities while 'on the line' of duty, he retired from service as an Agent of the State, eventually settling in the People's Republic of China as a Cuban National in exile.
Today E.O. 12333 still remains in effect & the whereabouts of 'The Black Berets' remains unknown.
- Album: Iraq