Created: 1/1/1963

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

Al'l'ROVKD _


A Program for Photographic Reconnaissance of Cuba

the dismantling of the MRBM/IRBM altea inthe removal of moat of tbe miaeile equipment from Cuba,needs of the community can no longer be expressedof "offensive weapons" alone. During the course of thethis change In intelligence needs has been reflected in modifiesof the emphasis given various aspects of our It is therefore appropriate at this time to review theof reconnaissance, to determine the immediate andneeds, and to determine the reconnaissance programto their satisfaction.

current intelligence requirements susceptible of

satisfaction by reconnaissance are continuous knowledge of the

meat and operational status of significant weapons systems already known to be in Cuba, and detection of any new weapons ayatema as they are brought in. to Cubaj; portseployed throughout the island. This information is required to provide our policy makersontinuous picture of the Soviet/Cuban posture, and to provide our planners with the detailed information they need to plan for and, if necessary, conduct operations in Cuba.

in terms of reconnalaaance collection means.


we can divide the requirement into four categories: (uj^furj^TQpy Rryjp:^



*urveill*nre of fewnso installfctTcna

and specialSoviet shipping

coverage of specific, averted objectives


There areeapons svr.tem* kn^>wr

trj exist in Cuba which requirend frequent coverage to maintaincurrent estimate of their capabilities,the extent of Sovietto use them. These include primarily theomber forces, the ndel fighters and fighter bombers, the suspect Soviet Army infantry end armored installstionr snd vehicle parka, the coastal cruise missiles and the KOMAR PCMGs These installations aad weapons demand frequentbe present time, although changes in the situation miyi<odify the frequency required. There arcnpune systems and military ins taon* which require surveillance, 'tltheugh not so frequent as those systems Just mentioned. In this category can be placed theites the secondary naval forces, thr exclusively Cuban army rncampments, the secondary airfields. Finally theof Cuban/ Soviet defenses in the vicinity of certain specific areas,ones and Landing Beaches, must be ascertained at regular


iniervmle. All of these requirements can only be satisfied in the main by overhead reconnaissznce. In large measure therogram, BRASS KNOB, can provide the bulk of the cover,at intervals, particularly ia the case of groundike

Specific objectives, with proposed frequencies and type


covere listed inis


Reconnaissance. There remains in Cuba, at

Mariel and Casilda, eqiipmcnt associated vita the MRBM/IRBM

sites. It will be necessary to continue reconnaissance of these ports

until this equipment has been removed. There are also ships

erroute to Cuba at the present time, as well as ships already in

Cuban waters,e known to have participated in the arms lift

earlier this year. In order to determine expeditiously what new

military equipment is being brought into Cuba, it will be necessary

to maintain relatively frequent ourveillance of the primary ports with

on call high resolution reconnaissance tc identify the types ofin each case. Much of the general information will be available

from other sources, especially ClNCL-SM'i Fleet Air Reconnaissance

program. However, the greater part of our knowledge will require

overhead reconnaissance of the ports, while the ships are in. with

both high and low altitude aircraft. Seeor specific objectives*

Coverage* From time to time intelligence

will be received,ariety of sources,ll indicate the presence of various military installations and weapons. In order for policy makers to act upon this intelligence, confirmation wiV be desirable. This confirmation can best be provided by overhead photographic reconnaissance* The existence of reported installations can generally be confirmed* and their location precisely determined, by highhotography* In some ca**ee thie will also be sufficient to ascertain the nature of the installation* Jn otherowever^ only low level* high resolution cover can provide the photo quality necessary to an accurate determination of function. There will also be installations detected by high altitude search cover which will require low level confirmation and identification* In view of the extensive use of cover and concealment by the Soviets, thxs low level coverage will need to be frequent. In addition there may be need for photographic evidence of military installations which policy makers can use in the various forums where they deal. All of these needs will require overhead reconnaissance* using both high and low level aircraft, of selected installationsne-time cover basis. Some

examples of objectives Id this category,. <r. are awaiting verifica-tioo at the time of thii writing, will be foaod in TAB C.

Th* nature of our intelligence activitiesto Cuba is such that new installations could be builtnew equipment brought in and deployed without our knowledge. against this potentiality, thereeed for frequentof the entire Island to detect new installations (includingnuclear storage sites'- and new deployments of weapons. Thralsoeed for determining, by aerial search ofareas, the exact location of weapons or installations reported

to be present. Under current conditions, BRASS KNOB onperiodic basis appears to offer the most potential for accomplishingask, leather permitting, weekly coverage of the island Is required.

Conclusions. Our current program of reconnaissance using ft mix of high and low level photo reconnaissance is essentially what wa must continue for the foreseeable future if we are to satisfy our outstanding intelligence requirementa.

Recommendation, lt is rvcorr.rr.endeu tba: thr program* be approved as defined in the attachments here to TABs A, B, and

C. The tabs will be updatedontinuing basis.


James Q. Reber Chairman

Committee on Overhead Reconnaissance

rs (S)

COMOR requests that it be kept aavisec ot the availability, readiness, and performance capabilities of such special recce capabilities in order tbat it may adjust its requirements accordingly.


high altitude coverage of airfield* listed is required to determine:


type, and number of aircraft. Unnsaal concentration or dispersalc,

Camilo Cienfuegos [

San Antonio de losBanos

xs (S)

Military Semi-weekly/od-ca1j

Although daily high-altitude coverage willajor change, low-lovel coverage is neededemi-weekly basis if we are to maintain current our estimates of Soviet ground force equipment and personnel, or toetermination of th* capabilities, groupings, and possible missions of these forces.


Santiago de las Vegas Holguin




COMOR Namber


Missile Sites

missile sites will require high altitude coverage on the order ofeek in order to detect any changes to the sites. Any indications of change will require immediate low-level rnrrrsgr . i_ I

alas^aatiai afcaunl I'llor



Santa Crux, del Norte La Sierra Campo Florida Guerra






Mariel Naval Base Banes Naval Base





on experience to date,consider that on-callwill be adequate to keep track of any changes in the general Low-altitude photography has provided some good technicalon-call coverage by low-altitude aircraft can stillreatcircumstances


DropWeekly On-Call

CINCLANT contingency plane require accurate up-to-date information on the condition of landing beaches and drop and landing zones, if they are to be kept current. In addition to 'he condition of the objectives themselves, access rouies. obstacles, and the location of enemy anti-aircraft weapons and counter landing forces must be determined in detail if operations are

to be enabled to proceed with minimum casualties, and maximum opportunity of success. Twice-weekly high-altitude reconnaissance must be supplemented by low-level coverage on call in order to provide the required detailground forces materiel,nd the nature and extent of obstacles.


To maintain an updated ground order of battle,oncentration of personnel and equipment, it is necessary to cover the Guantanamo area twice weekly by hi qh-altitude photography. Due to the small scale cf this photography it will at times be necessary to launch low level aircraft to provide large-scale photography, so as to ascertain the trus functions and capabilities of specific areas which indicate intent to attack or signs of extreme buildup.

Weekly high-altitude coverage of secondary airfields is required to determine:

1.. Operational status of the airfield, i Unusual concentrations or dispersal of AC,2

Low -altitude coverage required as specific items are identified and Urge-scale photography is required lor detailed technical information.

Military Ground

Encampments and Vehicle/Equipment Parks

Current contingency plans and national estimates requ ire detailed knowledge of ground order of battle and the state of readiness of the




ground forces in Cuba. Inventories of arma, artillery, vehicles, and heavy equipment, the state of readiness, organisation, disposition, and tbe preparation of positions and field fortifications occupied or to be occupied, all contribute to thia knowledge. Weekly high-altitude surveillance, supplemented by low-level reconnaissance of questionable targets deemed sufficiently critical can, when subjected to detailed photo interpretation, contributeajor way to the satisfaction of this requirement.


ab B

Shipping SuxveilUncc

imperative tbat daily aurveillancs by meana ofaircraft ba obtained of certain key ports In Cuba. ia necessary in order to firat ascertain whichin port aad whether they bave any potential for loadingmilitary cargo. Once this information la obtainedmeans (or any other available meana) low levelwill be necessary in order to ascertain the exact nature ofbeing off loaded. Equally important will be thewhat military equipment ia being loaded for shipment out.



Santiago de Cuba

La Isabela Casllda

Matanaae Cardenas Cieniuegoa Punta Gerardo Caibarien

porta requiring weekly high altitude surveillance:

Bahln Honda Nuevitae Punta Alegre La Coloma Nueva Gerona Moa Bay Cabanas

of aecondary or other porta to any daysatter of decision based upon information that ahipaor expected.

Original document.