Cuban Missle Crisis
Briefing Paper


Washington, October 1, 1962.


Analysis of SAM Sites

1. The intelligence community has now identified and confirmed a total of 15 SA-2 SAM sites. From the location of these sites, a discernible pattern is developing:

a. In the Oriente Province, the identified sites (3) form a triangular pattern around the new military airfield at Holguin. This field is probably not yet operational, but soon could be. At the present time, there are no MIG-type aircraft stationed at this field. The MIGs believed to be assigned to the operational control of the Commander, Eastern Army, are stationed at the airfield at Camaguey, in the Central Army area. When Holguin becomes operational, these aircraft will probably be moved to that location. There are no SA-2 sites identified in the vicinity of Camaguey.

b. In the Central Army area, 4 SA-2 sites form a rectangular pattern around the military airfield near Santa Clara. This airfield has had MIGs for several months and is also the field upon which the first MIG 21 was identified.

c. In the Western Army area, there are 3 and possibly 4 SA-2 sites forming a liner pattern to provide defense for the military airfield at San Antonia de los Banos and coincidentally for the defense of the Havana-Mariel complex. San Antonio de los Banos is the headquarters for the Cuban revolutionary Air Force and the assembly point for all MIGs, except the MIG-21, which have previously been received in Cuba.

2. Further west in the Pinar del Rio Province a triangular pattern of 3 SA-2 sites cannot be connected with any significant military installation. The only known installation within this triangle are 2 underground facilities whose use and purpose are unknown. The only other military installation in this particular area is the military air base at San Julian near the western tip of Cuba. However, 1 of the 3 SA-2 sites is located at or very near this military airfield, a most unlikely spot to place SA-2s for the defense of this particular air base. Therefore, curiosity is immediately aroused to the purpose of this triangular pattern on the far western tip of Cuba.

3. In the north central portion of the Pinar del Rio Province is a large trapazoid-shaped restricted area controlled by the Soviet military personnel recently introduced into Cuba, measuring 15-20 miles on a side. There are no known military installations in this rough and sparsely populated area. According to reports from refugees arriving in Miami, all Cubans have been evacuated from this restricted area. The purpose of this restricted area is not currently known.

4. Information concerning the deployment of Soviet military personnel and "technicians" recently arriving in Cuba is derived from unevaluated refugee sources, however, an attempt has been made to plot all reported locations to determine whether there is any correlation between the location of Soviet personnel and missiles or missile activity. So far, the pattern indicates that there is a definite correlation, but significantly the greatest concentration of Soviet personnel, activity and camps is in the western end of the Island of Cuba. This would indicate a greater interest on the part of the Soviets in Pinar del Rio than in the other provinces.

5. A single unevaluated report states that the Soviet "SS-4 Shyster" missile may have been delivered to Cuba on or about 11 September. Some confusion is apparent in this report. The SS-4 missile is nicknamed "Sandal," while the "Shyster" carriers a designation of SS-3. This confusion was caused by the interrogators of the source using a recognition manual which designated the SS-4 as the Shyster. However, the description of the missiles reportedly observed by the source could have applied equally to either the Shyster or the Sandal. Both missiles have essentially the same outward appearance except that the Sandal is about 5 feet longer. In all other respects, including the missile carrier, the two appear identical. The source of this report stated that on 12 September he had personally seen some 20 such missiles in the vicinity of Campo Libertad, a small airfield on the western edge of Havana. While this report is still unconfirmed and there are no other reports concerning the presence of either SS-3 or SS-4 missiles, it is significant to note that by using the approximate center of the restricted area referred to above as a point of origin and with a radius of 1100 nm, the accepted range of the SS-4 missile, the arc includes the cities of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Oklahoma City, Fort Worth-Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Mexico City, all of the capitals of the Central American nations, the Panama Canal, and the oil fields in Maricaibo, Venezuela. The presence of operational SS-4 missiles in this location would give the Soviets a great military asset.

Source: National Defense University, Taylor Papers, Box 14, Cuba, Cuba Intelligence. Top Secret. Prepared by Colonel John R. Wright, Jr., USA. A note on the source text indicates that it was prepared initially for a briefing given on September 28 and that material from the paper was included in the briefing given the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff on October 1.

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