Connecting the Troopers of Today with the Veterans of Yesterday.
Sorry for putting the great General John Galvin in the same header as the traitor Aldrich Ames but it relates to things I have said occurred on the Border (That I witnessed) and have said for years. There was no way possible G2, S2 and Regimental Ops did not already know these things were going to happen, before they happened and something General Galvin wrote in his book "Fighting the Cold War".
Decided to post after reading one of the threads on Border Stories from several years back.
In 1986 before heading into Sector on Patrol we received our Pre-Patrol briefing from a Captain I had never seen before. He was an Intel guy and I assume was from Regimental S-2 or somewhere in the G-2-S2 chain.
At Pittman, the way Patrols worked is 24 hours prior to a Patrol you came up with your overlays and "dropped them in the can". Literally an Army grey trashcan in the Ops Cell. Op's would then go over the overlay and select one (Or more) particular CP they wanted you to go to and usually a 30 minute OP if you had not selected an OP site. Always to look for something specific. Then you go into the Ops Cell for your Pre-Patrol brief either before or after the Pre-Patrol inspection. 2nd ACR BOSOP specified Pre-Patrol Briefs were conducted prior to the inspection.
During this particular brief the Officer had photo's on the wall of the Czech's new Hind Helicopter. They were classed as Hind-E's, not D's. Around that period is when the Czech's had received their new Hinds from the Russian's and stood up a couple of new Hind Attack Units. We already had close-up photo's of them. The primary difference discussed in the brief was the "E" had new Rocket Launchers to fire a new type of rocket. We had close up photo's of the Helicopters, close up photo's of the Rocket Launcher and Mounts, no photo's of the rockets themselves. But this officer knew what they looked like and kept telling us what we were looking for and making sure we knew what we were looking for during the back brief. Almost completely ignoring the rest of the Patrol brief.
You may remember the Border Camera's were Pentax K-1000's and we only used one type of film. Kodak black and white 400 ISO. That Officer asked if we had our own camera's. I did. I had my Canon AE-1 Program with me. He told me to use that camera, not the Pentax Border Camera if we happened up on one of the new Hinds. The Pentax’s were beat to hell and the lenses were scratched up.
We finish our Brief and Pre-Patrol inspection then head out. We hit the 5K Zone and before I can even call in Sector Time my Asst Patrol Leader comes over the radio with “Hey, do you see that”. At the same time my driver is yelling LOOK! LOOK! And stops right in the middle of the road. Actually, I was busy with the CEOI and calling in Sector Time. And I couldn’t lean forward far enough to see what my driver and APL was seeing, so I hopped out and…
There was a freaken Hind flying right over our heads! That would not have been unusual on the Border, but this guy was flying back and forth right over our heads, at the edge of the 5K Zone. He made one turn and was headed straight to Weiden. He was 5K’s and more into West Germany.
Normally, you call in a Fragrep (Because a Fragrep Larum Bell required two or more Helicopters), no matter what, RF gets blown out. Nope. Ops just wanted to make sure I was taking photo’s. After the Hind left, I requested a John Wayne. I think that was the Brevity Code for a helicopter pickup. (Not 100% sure at this point). Nope. They wanted me to bring my camera back right then and there, do not take the film out. They didn’t blow out RF, they didn’t call for anything from Attack Troop and they didn’t call a John Wayne, nothing. Take photo’s and bring the film back.
The other odd thing was that this Hind Pilot was flying his Helicopter around like he owned the place. And he wasn’t just flying in and out, he was flying north to south then south to north right in front of us over the road. I always said, that guy was showing off his new Helicopter. And he was intentionally letting us take photo’s. But I have also always said our Intel guys had to be the best in the world, because they knew things that were going to happen, before they happened. That Hind wasn’t the only time either.
The next day in the Ops Cell Briefing room I was informally handed an Impact AAM, another Border Scroll from the 2nd ACR Commander (Which I still have but my last name was misspelled and I folded it up), and surprisingly, a copy of my photo’s but I never got the negatives back.
But it had always been my opinion that the entire thing was set-up. That the Pilot of that Hind was instructed to do what he did. That G2 and/or S2 already knew he was coming over and that is why that Captain gave the briefing, very unusual.
Then I read General Galvins Book (Fighting the Cold War, highly recommend) which confirmed to me exactly what I thought. According to General Galvin our Intel knew what the Soviets were going to do before they even did it. He says that USAEUR had the Soviet OPORDER’s in their possession, before the Soviet Commanders in the field had them. It also confirmed to me that, yea, we had Soviets way up high working for us. How else were we getting Soviet OPORDER’s before they were even distributed to the Field Commanders?
Then about a week and a half ago I read a review of a book coming out about Aldrich Ames, written by one of the American Spy’s that helped track him down. Then I did some studying on Ames. Worst traitor in CIA, and possibly American history. Yes we had senior Soviet Officers working for us. Including Soviet Generals. Ames outed them, and seven were arrested and executed in 1986. Including one who had worked for us for years but had retired three years before his arrest and execution.
Maybe related, maybe not. i got credit for a Frag Rep Larum Bellum for one Hind D but it it was armed with swatters and flying over th eCheb tng area and OP 10, and rolled in on a West German Helo and rotated links out of his cannon. In fact it was a shot up German Helo (by a frogfoot I believe) that caused them to call me up from Air Defense school. The Frogfoot strafing was (I'm told) retaliation for a Air Cav visit to a Apple Orchard to see who could pick the most bushels before making for home. Not knowing it was a treaty violation I had a Stinger Tracking Head Trainer with me and i bluffed the Hind into thinking it was real. There was a diplomatic complaint. My CO was proud.
One more thiung - I remember HEARING the Hind long before it came over the Tree TOps. Very Loud.