You want these guys on your side in combat… but if peace breaks out, heaven help us!!!
Visit from the Red Cell
Following the commentary about the forthcoming book, No Easy Day, reportedly by a member of Seal Team SIX, I thought it would be useful to revise and reissue a blog I published April 23, 2011.
I was commanding a U.S. Naval Base in
on the southern island of Kyushu,
1983-86. Japan Sasebo had long been an important
base for the Imperial Japanese Navy, and when the United
States occupied Japan
at the end of World War II, it became a base. Our main Japanese base
was U.S. . Yokosuka
We were home port for several U.S.N. submarines and amphibious ships, we had a large fuel depot, an ammunition depot and a large Japanese-run shipyard that we used to repair our ships.
The Red Cell was the creation of a Navy Captain and SEAL named Dick Marcinko and so he and his team of SEALS were sent to
the Navy to train us. Sasebo
SEALs are superb athletes and skilled marksmen --- they can swim for miles, run, lift weights, and kill enemies with their bare hands. They are very tough, mean dudes. These guys are the ones you want on your side in a tough situation. Marcinko also formed Seal Team SIX, and, after several years retired, and continued his various counter-terror training programs as a civilian contractor.
He also began writing books. He is the author of The Real Team; The Rogue Warrior's Strategy for Success: A Commando's Principles of Winning; Leadership Secrets of the Rogue Warrior, and more. I looked at some of these, and the ones I saw were loaded with pretty dirty language.
The modern-day Seal Team SIX has distinguished itself in many missions all over the world that have never been publicized, and it was that team that conducted the raid in
in May, 2011 that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. Pakistan
The Red Cell that Marcinko brought to
was a team of
mostly enlisted SEALs, and their job was to train my guys about counter
Their job would be to penetrate our security, and simulate blowing things up, kidnapping personnel, and such.
In advance of their arrival, we heard how the Red Cell had “attacked” the U.S. Submarine Base at
. In one event, they kidnapped the base
commander's wife. Her husband was a Captain Wendell Powell, whom I
knew. His wife was a nice lady, and she was wearing a dress. The
Red Cell men hung her out of a third story window, holding her by her feet, so
her dress dropped down and exposed her underwear. New London, Connecticut
We had also heard that Marcinko was a particular favorite of our new Pacific Fleet Commander, a four-star admiral named “Ace”
was not your regular smooth, polite, gentlemanly senior naval officer. Lyons
And we had heard that the Red Cell had a reputation for drinking a bit too much and raising hell.
About the time that the Red Cell was scheduled to arrive in
a package arrived at my office. It was from Sasebo .
I didn't know anyone in Hokkaido , and suspected
that this was a trick of the Red Cell. Hokkaido
I had a team of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) men, who are very much like SEALs. They are also superb swimmers and athletes, and trained to plant demolition charges at enemy targets, swim ashore in enemy waters and disarm or blow up explosives. Every Navy ammunition depot had them, and their duties were usually just disposing of outdated ammunition. Like the SEALs, the rest of the Navy considered them “snake-eaters”, a term of great respect and some awe.
I called my EOD team. They came and xrayed the package. They couldn't detect its contents, so they did what EOD people do whenever in doubt. They took it off a ways from my office and blew it up.
What they found was it was a well-destroyed Kokeshi doll. My wife Marty was not happy with me, as it was a doll she had ordered from a Japanese woman who had recently shown her dolls at a craft show at the base.
Marcinko and his team arrived at the base, and immediately went to work, with his men sneaking into secure areas, and simulating what teams of terrorists might do. They were good, and they trained us brilliantly. Our security people, our Marines, our Seabees and I were learning very valuable lessons about how to defend our base. Note that this was 1986, well before the more recent era, when attacks by foreign terrorists are more common.
It was the final day of the Red Cell’s visit, and we knew that there would be a “grand exercise” --- a major terrorist attack that would require the whole base to respond. After several days with Marcinko, we knew that he had a flair for the dramatic, so we expected this would be impressive.
It just so happened that a retired naval officer was visiting the base, and staying in our Bachelor Officer’s Quarters (BOQ). He was a retired Captain. In fact, he had commanded the base just before me, and he was coming back to look into setting up a business relationship with a local cultured pearl impresario.
My predecessor, while he had been base commander, had apparently formed a rather close liaison with his young Japanese secretary.
Marcinko decided that our Grand exercise would be a terrorist takeover of our BOQ. I got a call at my quarters at 3 in the morning. I dressed and rushed down to our security headquarters where an emergency command post had been established. The Red Cell had locked down the whole BOQ. They had “captured” a particularly excitable young Navy lieutenant, and had attached an “explosive device” to his head, and had made him take off all his clothes. The simulated explosive device was set to “explode” if we did not comply with the Red Cell’s demands. This particular scenario was modeled after an actual terrorist event that had occurred a short time before in the
Along about daybreak, after several hours of protracted negotiations, the excitable lieutenant decided to escape from custody by the Red Cell and jumped out of a window, and ran, stark naked, across the grass outside the BOQ.
There were several BOQ rooms full of women at the time. These were the wives of officers aboard a submarine that was out at sea, and, although the wives were excused from this terrorist takeover of the BOQ, they were all awake and watching as the lieutenant scampered past, with only a fake explosive device on his head.
The Red Cell managed to capture the lieutenant, and returned him to custody. However now we had another problem.
The retired Captain, my predecessor, had been “captured” in his BOQ room with the young Japanese secretary. Apparently she had spent the night there with him, probably briefing him on events in
All this got wrapped up into the terrorist "event"--- and it became a task to get the girl out of his room quietly. Of course, all the Japanese on the base, and all our Navy people, found out about it.
Besides the drama with the retired naval officer and the Japanese secretary, the Red Cell had taken many hostages in an event that closely approximated real terrorist events that had recently taken place. These guys were good, and everyone learned a lot. Even the retired Captain.
After it was all over, we invited the Red Cell to our quarters for a cocktail party. One thing I learned is never to have SEALs come to your house for “a drink”.
Let's change the subject to some diverse books and printed material I'm offering:
Asia, The American Magazine of the Orient, June 1920 Concord, NH: Asia Publishing Co. 96 pp. 23 x 30.5 cm. "Three Palaces" by J.O.P. Bland. Author returns to Asia and describes old palaces in Peking,
and Tokyo, where leaders have gone, except for . Very nice photos." Tokyo
of Dara's Mercy" by Oscar MacMillan Buck. "An Engineer in Ther Village "
by A.C. Jewett. Includes excellent photos, including detailed descriptions of
Kaoos Khan, author's interpreter, bodyguard of Kotwal, or Afghan chief of
police, Mohammad Jan Khan, Afghan gentleman and landed proprietor, Safaraj
Khan, Kotwal, or chief of police of Koistan district north of Kabul. "Across Afghanistan Siberia
in the Dragon Year of 1796" Edited by Stewart Culin. "Maharajas and their Jewels"
by Eleanor Maddock. "The Trojan
Horse Enters Damascus" by Thomas. About the
remarkable Colonel Lawrence and Allenby. Excellent photos. "The Mirror of the Russian
Stage" by Oliver M. Sayler.
Excellent photos of various plays. Magazine, outer wraps worn, spine
worn, good. (8253) $41.00. Travel Lowell
The Home Angel, by L.B. Urbino (Levino Buoncuore, d. 1888)
Wentworth and Company. "Does
the reader believe it impossible to live happily, as these good people did, in
a community of negroes? Let him pray that his Christianity may be more
Christ-like, and his heart so enlarged that he can take in all mankind as his
Urbino took on a monstrously obscure subject in this novel about interracial
marriage. Written in the
years of slavery in the Boston, MA ,
this is the story of Esther Le Gendre, whose whose father was a fair-skinned count,
and whose mother died as she was born. Esther
is a "mulattress",
but it's difficult for her to find out her background. She meets her
grandfather, a former slave, and learns that her mother was"colored". Novel is written in the elaborate
language of the mid-nineteenth century, with much religious reference. Very
scarce. 239 pp. 12 x 19 cm. Red cloth on board with blind-stamped and gilt
design. Edges worn and frayed,
inside rear hinge cracked. "Mrs.
Josie H. Lang" inscribed
on front free endpaper. On second free endpaper is a small (3 x 3 cm.) enameled
picture of a woman and a man, and an inscription in pencil: "Leavis Collishead G A 2nd
1869". A few light
stains on pages, fair. (5705) $70.00. Fiction/Race United States
American Almanac and Repository of Useful Knowledge for the Year 1833 Fourth Annual Volume 1832 Boston, MA: Gray and Bowen; and Carter, Hendee and Co. Calendar of Celestial Phenomena for the Year; Red snow of the Alps, Showers of Dust, Meteoric Stones, Mirage, Halos, Parhelia or False Suns, Lightning Rods. Part II: Executive Government. President Andrew Jackson receives salary of $25,000 per annum. Senate: Daniel Webster was Senator from MA; John Tyler from VA, Thomas H. Benton, MO, Henry Clay, KY; John Q. Adams of Quincy, MA was Congressman; Benedict J. Semmes was Congressman from MD, James K. Polk Congressman from TN. John Marshall was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Roger Taney was Attorney General. Bank of the
bill rechartering this Bank was passed by both houses of Congress but was
rejected by the President. Census shows free white population of 10.526,248,
free colored of 319,599 and slaves 2,009,043. Information on each state
provides interesting data on railroads constructed, under construction, and
planned, and river transportation. Section
on United States contains interesting report on
Committee on Slavery and
Removal of Free Negroes, which concluded with resolution that it is currently "inexpedient to make any
legislative enactments for
the abolition of slavery." Includes
reports on various foreign nations, and a Chronicle of Events for Sept. 1831 to
Sept. 1832. 312 pp. 12 x 19 cm. Paper covered book with 4 cm. hole burned in
cover; owner name "Fannie
P. Matthes" handwritten
on cover. Fair. (2555) $79.00. History Commonwealth of Virginia
Chief Wets-It Assiniboine (See "Glimpses of Indian Life" in
American Monthly Review of Reviews
American Monthly Review of Reviews, The; illustrated; October, 1898 Shaw, Albert, Editor New York, NY: The Review of Reviews Co., 13 Astor Place 126 + 81 pp. 18 x 24.5 cm. This issue is full of comment and criticism of the
and Pres. McKinley in the
Spanish-American War. Brilliant and biting political cartoons, several from
German publications, which are smarting at American aggressiveness in United States Cuba and the . Criticism of Secretary
of War Alger for a mismanaged Cuban campaign. "Medical and Sanitary
Aspects of the War" by Dr. Carroll Dunham. Glimpses of Indian Life at the
Omaha Exposition: fascinating article about Indians at encampment-- Assiniboines,
Jicarilla Apaches, Sioux,
Blackfeet, Philippines Omaha,
Chippewa, , Crow, Winnebago, Brule-Sioux,
Flatheads, Mojave Apache, photos.
"The Man at the Helm," William McKinley as War President by Gen.
A.B. Nettleton. The Founder
of a Protestant Brotherhood--Rev. Thomas Champness of the Joyful News Cheyenne .
Periodical, cover has 2 x 2 cm corner torn off, spine frayed and torn, Table of
Contents page misprinted, so that several page numbers do not appear. Good. (5751) $19.00.
Lustige Blätter, No.24 XXXIII Jahrg. 202. Kriegs-Nummer, 30 May, 1918 (Famed German weekly humor magazine, with World War I propaganda)
: Verlag der Lustigen Blätter, (Dr.
Eysler & Co.), G.m.b.H. Cover shows well-dressed African Americans: "Auf dem Broadway in New-York.
Is doch Berlin, Germany
famoose Präsident für uns-- will ganzes weißes Kaffe ausrotten!" Back cover shows Trainer (Pres.) Wilson feeding wine to
animals: "Die gedopten
shows an aged, exhausted Woodrow Wilson losing race to a fit, healthy Kaiser.
Large color cartoon makes fun of Marshal Foch. 16 pp. 24 x 32 cm. Paper
periodical, spinefold worn, very good. (5816) $20.00. World War
Republican Herald and Post, Providence, RI, Saturday morning, October 29, 1864.Providence, RI: Alfred Anthony. Fascinating pre-election coverage of national and local news: Campaign to elect Gen. McClellan, running as a Democrat against President Lincoln; Republicans accused of cutting up McClellan flag in
Criticism of voters’ oath proposed by Vice President Johnson. News from Cedar
Creek on great victory by Union forces. Defeat of Confederates in battle in Newport, RI Shenandoah Valley. Speech by Pres. Lincoln praises
Marylanders on adoption of new constitution. Abraham Lincoln partizans (sic)
burn McClellan banner in . 4 pp. 54 x 64 cm. Newspaper, small
holes in folds, good.
(6120) $39.00. Civil
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