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Club GTMO – Thomas Calabrese

By   /  August 25, 2018  /  10 Comments

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All Inclusive Destruction

Thomas Calabrese — The Guantanamo Bay detention camp is a United States military prison located within Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, also referred to as GTMO which is located on the coast of Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. The camp was established by President George W. Bush’s administration in 2002 during the War on Terror. In January 2018, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to keep the prison camp open indefinitely.

Camp Delta is a 612 unit detention center. It includes detention camps 1 through 6 as well as Camp Echo. Camp 7 is a separate facility on the naval base that is considered the highest security jail on the base, and its location is classified and it used to house high security detainees formerly held by the intelligence agencies. The CIA also operated a small site informally known as ‘Penny Lane’ where the agency attempts to recruit spies against terrorist agencies.

The Naval Base is divided into three main geographical sections: Leeward Point, Windward Point, and Guantánamo Bay. Guantánamo Bay physically divides the Naval Station into sections. The bay extends past the boundaries of the base into Cuba, where the bay is then referred to as Bahía de Guantánamo. Guantánamo Bay contains several cays, which are identified as Hospital Cay, Medico Cay, North Toro Cay, and South Toro Cay.

Leeward Point of the Naval Station is the site of the active airfield. Major geographical features on Leeward Point include Mohomilla Bay and the Guantánamo River. Three beaches exist on the Leeward side. Two are available for use by base residents, while the third, Hicacal Beach, is closed.

Windward Point contains most of the activities on the Naval Station. There are nine beaches available to base personnel. The highest point on the base is John Paul Jones hill at a total of 495 feet. The geography of Windward Point is such that there are many coves and peninsulas along the bay shoreline providing ideal areas for mooring ships.

“Cactus Curtain” is a term describing the line separating the naval base from Cuban-controlled territory. After the Cuban Revolution, some Cubans sought refuge on the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. In the fall of 1961, Cuban troops planted an 8-mile barrier of cactus along the northeastern section of the 17 mile fence surrounding the base to stop Cubans from escaping Cuba to take refuge in the United States. This was dubbed the Cactus Curtain, an allusion to Europe’s Iron Curtain, Bamboo Curtain in East Asia or Ice Curtain in the Bering Strait.

U.S. and Cuban troops also placed some 55,000 land mines across the ‘no man’s land’ around the perimeter of the naval base creating the second-largest minefield in the world, and the largest in the Western Hemisphere. On 16 May 1996, U.S. President Bill Clinton ordered the demining of the American field. They have since been replaced with motion and sound sensors to detect intruders trying to breech the perimeter of the base. The Cuban government on the other hand, has not removed its corresponding minefield.

Colonel Robert Wolfe was the Commanding Officer of Marine Corps Security Force Regiment and Christopher Boyce was the Regimental Sergeant Major. Both men had over 27 years in the Corps, were combat veterans and longtime friends. They often worked out together on their lunch hour and on this particular day they were running wind sprints up John Paul Jones hill.

While resting on the grass, looking out over the ocean and catching their breath, “Colonel Wolfe commented, “This is going to be my last duty station. When I get my 30, I’m calling it a day.”

“I thought you were hoping to make Brigadier?” Sergeant Major Boyce asked.

“Plans changed, my oldest daughter is having some health problems so my wife is leaving to help take care of her and assist with the kids while she is recovering.”

“Nothing serious, I hope,” Sergeant Major Boyce responded.

“I don’t know how serious it is, but it is definitely longer term. They think she may have gotten a parasite in her blood while camping, but they’re not sure. There is a treatment option for it and my wife says that it could last anywhere from six months to two years,” Colonel Wolfe explained.

“I wish her the best,”

“Thanks, appreciate it. What about you? You’re getting a little long in the tooth,” Colonel Wolfe joked.

“Hell, I’m still in my prime!” Sergeant Major Boyce protested.

“You keep telling yourself that.”

“Delusion is the first step toward serenity,” Sergeant Major grinned.

“And objectivity is the enemy of political correctness,” Colonel Wolfe then added, “Let’s finish this off, I’m not getting any younger.”

The two career Marines took off at a full sprint running side by side.

Five miles away, several Middle Eastern men were meeting with a group of Cuban men, including Alejandro Castro Espin, a colonel in Cuba’s intelligence apparatus at a secluded location outside Caimanera, the nearest town to the base. A hardliner, Espin was a disciplined and violent Marxist who grew up in Fidel and Raul Castro’s shadow. His hatred of America and capitalism in general, was ingrained into every fiber of his body.

Toward the end of 2016, years into a rapprochement between the United States and Cuba, something strange started happening to employees working at the American embassy in Havana. FBI investigators believed that the Cubans were using an acoustic weapon against the Americans. High-intensity infrasound can significantly disrupt the behavior of humans and animal alike and the symptoms experienced by victims were consistent with this type of weapon. Cuba repeatedly denied any involvement, but in reality, Colonel Espin was secretly using a Russian prototype weapon to harass the Americans and increase the tension between the U.S. and Cuba.

One of the Middle Eastern men, Abrahim Isihir pulled out his laptop and entered information then turned the screen around so that the Cuban men could see it, “One million dollars was deposited in the account just like you requested. There will be five million more in 2 weeks and at the completion of our noble mission, the final payment of ten million will be paid. If you can’t do this then now is the time to tell me. The organizations that I represent will not accept failure and you will be held personally responsible. Once you take our money, there is no turning back.”

“Don’t worry, I grew up on this island and I know every square foot of it, I’ll get you on base, you have my word,” Colonel Espin promised, “There is one other thing that should help reassure you.”

“What is that?” Abrahim Isihir asked.

“I hate the Americans as much as you.”

Over the next two weeks, Colonel Espin developed a three pronged attack against the Guantanamo Bay detention camp that would simultaneously hit the Americans from the Leeward and Windward side as well as the bay.

Abrahim Isihir carefully examined the detailed plan and voiced his approval, “Very good.”

“You asked for access to the base and I’ve given it to you, but once you are on it, the Americans will throw everything at you and there will be very little chance of a successful retreat,” Colonel Espin stated with a sense of fatality.

“We have no intention of returning, we will die on Guantanamo as martyrs with our brothers that are being kept there. We will kill every American and destroy the facility in the process,” Abrahim Isihir stated with a coldness that sent a chill up Colonel Espin’s spine.

“You didn’t tell me that was your plan.”

“True hatred comes with a price, a price that men like you are unwilling to pay,” Abrahim Ishir turned away.

One week later, Molly Wolfe prepared to leave from Leeward Point Field, “I’ll call you when I arrive at Lisa’s.”

“I’ll meet you next month,” Colonel Wolfe promised then kissed his wife goodbye before she boarded the plane for the states.

One hundred and twelve men affiliated with the Taliban, Al Qaeda and various terrorist organizations began arriving in Cuba by boat and plane. Even though most of these organizations hated each other and had never worked together in the past, they found that destroying the detention facility on Guantanamo was something that united them. It was decided that the attack would commence at 1200 hours when many of the Marines would either be at lunch or exercising rather than at night or the early morning hours when security would be at its highest.

Colonel Wolfe and Sergeant Major Boyce were on their afternoon run and the day was just like so many others before it, little did these two warriors know what was about to happen in a matter of minutes. Two armed drones came in low then elevated over the Windward Gate. The operator sighted in, opened fired and killed both sentries. At the same time, 30 terrorists were navigating their way through the Cuban minefield while following a map on how to avoid the mines. Another group of fighters in scuba gear were swimming beneath the surface and had almost reached Hicacal Beach.

The next part of the attack was a barrage of mortars from several locations. Thirty seconds later, a suicide bomber driving a truck filled rammed through the Windward Gate and drove toward the administrative buildings and detonated his explosive cargo. Five seconds later, another truck rammed through the Leeward Gate and drove on to the airfield, rammed a plane and blew up, showering flaming debris over the runway.

Colonel Wolfe and Sergeant Major Boyce heard the explosions and raced back to the area. Terrorists breeched the cactus curtain and began fighting with the Marines while the terrorists on Hicacal Beach quickly got out of their scuba gear and made their way inland. Marines were running all over and a dozen firefights were going on simultaneously. Every time a terrorist passed a building, he tossed in an incendiary grenade inside and the structure caught fire. Sirens were blazing and in a matter of minutes the whole base was under attack.

Colonel Wolfe was running at full speed when he saw two armed terrorists and threw a shoulder into one of them and knocked him about five feet into the air. Sergeant Major Boyce grabbed the second man, disarmed and shot him. Before the first terrorist could get back to his feet, Colonel Wolfe killed him with a blow to the windpipe. Both Marines took the weapons off their dead adversaries and charged into the melee, shooting and firing as they went. They found cover and called over seven Marines over who were running by.

“What’s going on, sir?” A Marine asked as bullets hit nearby and explosions rocked the area

“We’re under attack,” Colonel Wolfe replied, “We’ll have to wait to find out who.”

“We need to get our men together,” Sergeant Major Boyce advised.

“Roger that,” Colonel Wolfe agreed, “Get as many Marines as you can and get over to Leeward side and organize things over there. Take these men with you and if you can, get to the armory and weapon up.”

Sergeant Major Boyce turned to the Marines, “Follow me!” and they took off weaving their way between the bullets.

Abrahim Isihir was watching video feeds from surveillance drones flying overhead, “Get to the detention facility,” He ordered his men by radio.

By the time Sergeant Major Boyce reached the Armory, he had picked up twenty five more Marines, “Get weapons and plenty of ammo!” The Marines grabbed everything they could off the racks.

Colonel Wolfe fought his way to the command center and once he got inside he called out, “Status report!”

“We got breeches from several locations!” Captain Jennifer Shannon called out.

“Have any of our units made contact?” Colonel Wolfe called out.

“Several sir?”

“Radio everyone to repel attackers. If they’re trapped then tell them to hunker down in place and we’ll send someone for them,” Colonel Wolfe said, “Sergeant Laughlin we got weapons in the basement, the code is 97640 for the digital lock, get some help and bring everything up here.”

“97650,” Sergeant Laughlin repeated nervously.

97640,” Colonel corrected, “Take it easy Sergeant, this is what we train for.”

Sergeant Major Boyce and his group of Marines were fighting the terrorists in close quarters and it was brutal and deadly combat. Ten men came into view and the Marines ambushed them. Back at the command center, Colonel Wolfe turned to Corporal Rifkin, “Somebody is coordinating this attack, see if you can pick up any outside radio communications.”

“Yes sir,” Corporal Rifkin responded.

When Sergeant Laughlin returned with the weapons, Colonel Wolfe took a Hecker&Koch HK416 assault rifle and a dozen magazines. Just as he was ready to address his Marines, a phone call came in. Captain Shannon answered it, “Yes ma’am,” then turned to Colonel Wolfe, “It’s your wife.”

Colonel Wolfe took the call and calmly said, “Hi Molly, how are you doing?”

“I know that I’m not supposed to use this number, but I need to talk to you, I couldn’t reach you on normal channels. Is everything alright?”

“Yeah fine, we’re going through a simulated drill,” Colonel Wolfe lied.

There was a loud explosion that Molly heard over the phone, “What was that?”

“We’re trying to make it as realistic as possible,” Colonel Wolfe continued, “I hate to cut you off, but I need to get back to work, love you. I’ll call you when we’re finished,” then disconnected the call.

Back in San Marcos, California, Molly Wolfe was sitting in her daughter’s kitchen. She knew her husband well enough to know when he was making a conscious effort to diminish the seriousness of a situation.

Lisa walked in and saw her mother deep in thought, “Everything alright?”

“Fine,” Molly wished.

Colonel Wolfe looked at the people in the room who were staring at him, “Sometimes we need to tell our families what we need them to hear,” then added, “Captain Shannon, I want every gunship in the air. We’ve got mortars coming in from off base, I want them taken out.”

Captain Shannon responded, “Yes sir and quickly relayed the order, “In less than a minute three Super Cobra helicopters were taking off. Once in the air, they circled over the perimeter of the base.  When they saw the smoke from the mortar tubes, they hit the locations with machine gun and rocket fire.

“Mortars neutralized,” Helicopter pilot radioed then added, “I see some drones up here. Are those ours?”

“Negative,” Captain Shannon responded, “Take them out.”

Once the helicopters destroyed the surveillance drones, Abrahim Isihir and Colonel Espin lost their visual capabilities. The Marines quickly regrouped and had retaken control of the base except for Camp Delta where most of the detainees were being held. This was the primary target of the terrorists and they were bound and determined to destroy it.

Sergeant Major Boyce and his Marines had taken up defensive positions around the main structure. One terrorist wearing a large pack charged at the fence and was shot several times, but   lived long enough to detonate the bomb on his back. The massive explosion blew a large opening in the security fencing and ten men started running through it. Six of them were wearing explosive charges. “Focus on the men with the packs!” Sergeant Boyce ordered.

The Marines turned their attention on the terrorists with the packs and killed five of them, but the sixth one made it to the south wall and blew himself up. When the smoke cleared, there was a large hole in the wall and the remaining terrorists rushed in. By this time, Colonel Wolfe arrived with more Marines.

“Good to see you Colonel,” Sergeant Major Boyce smiled.

“Let’s go earn our pay,” Colonel Wolfe led the Marines into the building and they killed the remaining intruders.

Fire trucks raced by as they rushed to put out fires around the base. Armed Marines were searching every building to make sure that the threat had been fully eliminated. The two senior Marines finally caught a break where they could calmly assess the situation, but their reprieve was short-lived because just as they sat down on the hood of a bullet riddled Humvee, they received a radio communication from the command center.

“Colonel Wolfe.” Captain Shannon said.

“Affirmative.”

“We were able to track the radio frequency of the drones,” Captain Shannon said.

“Good job, Captain.”

Sergeant Major Boyce joked, “You look a little fatigued, do you have it in you for one more battle?”

“I’m just catching my second wind,” Colonel Wolfe replied.

Outside Havana, Colonel Espin and Abrahim Isihir were rushing to make their escape when they heard helicopters approaching and knew that their plan had failed. The helicopters came under heavy fire and took evasive action. When they landed, Colonel Wolfe, Sergeant Major Boyce and the Marines attacked the building where Espin and Isihir were hiding with several other men. They quickly overcame the resistance and entered the building.

Espin was on his knees with his hands up, “I surrender,” Espin trembled in fear.

“Coward,” Isihir growled as contempt dripped from his lips as he looked at his Cuban counterpart.  He stood defiantly before Colonel Wolfe and Sergeant Major Boyce with his hands at his side as the Marines pointed their weapons at him.

Colonel Wolfe immediately recognized the infamous terrorist, “Isihir, welcome to Cuba.”

“Death to America. Death to the Marines!”

Sergeant Major Boyce commented, “I don’t think that he likes us.”

“That breaks my heart,” Colonel Wolfe responded.

Two Marines stepped forward to take Isihir into custody and he went into a fighting stance and kicked and punched at the Marines, “I will not be taken alive! I am a martyr for my cause.”

“Want me to get this?” Sergeant Major Boyce offered.

“Thank you Sergeant Major, but this is all mine,” Colonel Wolfe replied then turned to the terrorist mastermind, “We’ve got bad news and good news; the bad news is your attack failed and your men are dead.”

“They died for the cause and they will be rewarded in the afterlife,” Isihir snapped back.

“Yeah, yeah…I know the sales pitch, now for the good news, you won’t have far to go for your prison cell.”

Isihir challenged Colonel Wolfe, “You can shoot me or have a dozen of your Marines overwhelm me, but if you are so confident that your cause is just, then you should also believe that you can defeat me by yourself.” Ishir went through a quick exhibition of his impressive martial arts skills.

“He looks pretty tough, you don’t have anything to prove,” Sergeant Major Boyce commented.

“Never ask your men to do anything that you wouldn’t do yourself. Besides I don’t want someone getting hurt, I’ve got plenty of time to recover when I’m retired.”

“We need to get back to the base, so if you are going to do this, then hurry the hell up!” Sergeant Major Boyce exclaimed.

Colonel Boyce walked right in the flurry of swinging fists and kicks, blocking all of them. He grabbed Isihir’s left leg and jammed his elbow deep into the quad muscle. Isihir screamed out in pain and limped backward, regrouped and came forward again, throwing lefts and rights. Colonel Boyce blocked the punches then smashed his hardened fists into the ribcage of the terrorist, breaking three of his ribs. Isihir doubled over in pain and unleashed a verbal tirade of insults against the American, but still wasn’t ready to surrender.

Isihir summoned enough strength to throw a left hand, but Colonel Wolfe ducked under it and smashed a right cross into Isihir’s face, who stumbled backward as his eyes began to swell shut. The terrorist came forward once again and Colonel Wolfe hit him six times in the face. When he doubled over, Colonel Wolfe brought his knee up with such force that it lifted the terrorist off the ground, Isihir was unconscious before he hit the ground.

The Marines stood in astonishment at the fighting skills of their commanding officer. Sergeant Boyce interrupted the silence, “Marines, remember this moment, this is a textbook example of how hand to hand combat should be done.”

Several Marines picked up the limp broken body of the terrorist and dragged him outside.

Six months later, Colonel Robert Wolfe was retired and was visiting his daughter, Lisa in San Marcos. Her treatment was finished and she had completely recovered from her illness.

Molly Wolfe walked over and put her hand on her husband’s shoulder, “What do we say we take a vacation?”

“Any place in particular?” Colonel Wolfe asked.

Fiji has a resort where everything is included.”

Colonel Wolfe’s thoughts drifted off for a moment, his wife sensed what he was thinking and quipped, “Where would you rather go, Club GTMO All Inclusive Destruction?”  The End

 

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  • Published: 4 weeks ago on August 25, 2018
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  • Last Modified: August 26, 2018 @ 8:36 pm
  • Filed Under: The Back Page

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10 Comments

  1. John Michels says:

    Fun story Tom. As for me I have been to Fiji and would love to return. BULA!

  2. Joe says:

    As always, Tom, I enjoyed this story.Thanks

  3. Guy says:

    I like the way that Tom begins the story with history then the action follows…this story kept my attention and I learned something that I didn’t know about GTMO

  4. Kyle says:

    Keep them coming

  5. bob wolf says:

    Enjoyed it. It brought back memories. 1995-97, I was XO of the Marine Barracks, Ground Defense Security Force.

    Tom’s description of the base is pretty accurate. The Windward Gate was known as the NE Gate. It was only land entry between the base and communist Cuba. When Castro opened up the jails in Cuba and allowed all who wanted to leave Cuba by boat, most were intercepted at sea and sent to GTMO. There were some 40,000 Cubans and Haitians being housed in tents and hard backs along the beaches and golf course.

    Every so often the Coast Guard would intercept Chinese human trafficking smugglers and the GDSF would guard them till State Dept sorted out the bad guys.

    Camp XRAY was established to house the criminals and undesirables from the main population. State Dept arranged with Cuba for them to accept bad guys back. Once a month we would take several to the NE Gate and pass them across the line back to the Cubans.

    Also once a mouth The CO of the base, CO GDSF and state Dept rep would go thru the gate and have meeting with the Local Cuban CO’s. Next month they would come on our side. Diplomacy at the local level.

    The mine field maintenance platoon are the unsung heroes. The goal was to remove 100% of the U.S. mines. To do this it had to be done by hand. I accompanied them on a few occasions. They had detailed diagrams of where each mine was planted. However after years mines shift and vegetation grows. Thankfully there were no casualties during the tour, however their SOP as they say is written in blood from the lessons learned from previous Marines that were killed or injured taking out the mines.

    There was no leeward gate, however your local high school baseball field had a better security fence than GTMO. All you need was a pair of wire cutters and you had your Leeward gate.

    GTMO to Havana is sbout 550 miles. Pretty long haul to kill those ring leader, but it’s an action story and any thing goes.

    Looking forward to the next one.

  6. Josh says:

    Colonel Wolfe and Sergeant Major Boyce, add these men to the growing list of Tom’s military heroes.

  7. Michael says:

    Excellent story, really enjoyed the action, a great touch!

  8. Jeremy says:

    Like Wolf said in his review, a lot of background plus action…good combination

  9. Steve says:

    Thumbs up…enjoyed the story

  10. Clyde says:

    Enjoyed this story too. learned a lot about GTMO too

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