Faced with mounting Congressional criticism of the Kennedy’s administration’s transparency on the Soviet buildup in Cuba, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and John Hughes of the Defense Intelligence Agency laid out in unprecedented detail for television cameras and the reporters the intelligence information that gave the administration the confidence to say that no long-range nuclear missiles remained in Cuba.
Date: February 6, 1963
Original Title: Special Cuba Briefing
Film Type: Black and White / Sound
Credit: Department of Defense
Archival Source: National Archives / 200-McNamara / 200-McNamara.1
Transcript / Shot List
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
SPECIAL CUBA BRIEFING
By HONORABLE ROBERT S. McNAMARA
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
State Department Auditorium 5:00 P.M.
February 6, 1963
SECRETARY McNAMARA: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen: In recent days questions have been raised in the press and elsewhere regarding the presence of offensive weapons systems in Cuba. I believe beyond any reasonable doubt that all such weapons systems have been removed from the island and none have been reintroduced. It is our purpose to show you this afternoon the evidence on which we base that conclusion.
Since July 1, over 400 reconnaissance flights have been flown over the island of Cuba by U.S. military aircraft. These reconnaissance flights provided the essential basis for the national decisions taken with respect to Cuba in October. They provided the basis for the military preparations necessary to support those decisions. They provided the evidence we were able to present the world to document the basis and the rationale of our action.
The reconnaissance flights recorded the removal of the offensive weapons systems from Cuba, and they continued to provide the foundation for our conclusion that such weapons systems have not been reintroduced into the island.
Mr. John Hughes, the Special Assistant to General Carroll, the director of our Defense Intelligence Agency, will present to you a detailed photographic review of the introduction of Soviet military personnel and equipment into Cuba, with particular emphasis on the introduction and removal of the offensive weapons systems.
After Mr. Hughes completes his review, I will summarize very briefly our current estimates of the Soviet military strength in Cuba.
MR. HUGHES: Mr. McNamara, gentlemen: The Soviet offensive military build-up in Cuba l in addition to provoking certain swift military and political responses on the part of the United States, caused to be implemented one of the most intensive military reconnaissance efforts ever directed against a single objective area.
This intensive effort l employing a variety of sensory medial has been continued up to the present time. The purpose of this briefing is to relate chronologically the nature and extent of the Soviet build-up as reflected by reconnaissance means.
We will begin with offensive systems, long-range ballistic missiles and jet bombers. Included in this category will be the nuclear weapons storage facilities which the Soviets were constructing at each of their offensive missile bases.
We will trace the Soviet offensive missile build-up from the initial deployment of systems components at the site locations, following carefully the rapid improvement of launch facilities, through to operational readiness.
We will illustrate how the United States was able to monitor the dismantling of Soviet offensive bases and to verify the loading and removal of missile components from the island. In addition, the latest photography, covering the former offensive" missile bases, which was acquitted within the past few days will also be reviewed.
A similar chronological accounting will be provided for the offensive bombers. We will then review the other weapons systems introduced by the Soviets into Cuba. These will include the SA-2, surface-to-air missile: the MIG-2l fighter interceptor, the coast defense cruise missile, and the guided missile coastal patrol boats.
We will then discuss briefly the nature and size of the regular Soviet ground force units that are deployed in Cuba at the present time.
Finally, the large Soviet logistical base constructed in support of the weapons systems introduced into Cuba will also be described. As we review these aerial photographs, many items of military equipment and numerous geographic locations in Cuba will be highlighted.
In addition, there are certain items of unique military interest revealed by these reconnaissance materials on which I would respectfully request that you focus particular attention.
They are, one, the magnitude, intensity, and remarkable rapidity of the Soviet build-up, particularly as it is reflected in the period 14 through 28 October1 two, the Soviet faculty for simplicity and use of the field expedient; three, Soviet techniques of camouflage concealment and deception: four, United States reconnaissance capabilities to include the various types of strategic and tactical reconnaissance photography, low versus high altitude, color versus black and white and oblique versus vertical; and, finally, photo interpretation techniques and capabilities that were employed against and with these reconnaissance materials to include the volume review of photography and such things as measurements of ground objects to tenths of a foot.
By late October, three major offensive weapons systems were deployed in Cuba by the Soviet Union. The first and most significant, primarily because it achieved an operational capability, was the medium range ballistic missile, the MRBM. Second in importance was the intermediate range ballistic missile, the IRBM. This system, though far more lethal in range capability than the MRBM, never reached an operational status. The fixed IRBM launching facilities were still under construction in Cuba when Chairman Khrushchev agreed to dismantle his bases.
The IL-28 bomber, although capable of reaching target areas in the southeastern United States and Central America, also never reached full operational status. Of the 42 unassembled bombers delivered to Cuba, only seven reached final assembly stages and were classified as flyable, and of these, initial emphasis was placed by the Soviets upon assembly of the trainer version.
There is little doubt that the Soviet Union in September of 1962 embarked upon a major military construction program in Cuba, involving their most advanced offensive weapons systems. A primary objective was to achieve clandestinely a full operational capability for all systems by early December 1962, in order to confront the United States at that time with a fait accompli.
Fortunately, this goal was never achieved, because of the ensuing political and military actions that were accomplished in light of the timely and accurate evidence provided by the photography that we will now review in considerable detail.
(Slide: Soviet Offensive Missile Build-Up in Cuba)
Starting first with the offensive weapons systems introduced into Cuba, it is appropriate to note that the Soviets selected four geographic locations to deploy these offensive systems. They selected the San Cristobal area, southwest of Havana: an area at Guanajay, just west of Havana- and two further east, one at Sagua la Grande and one at Remedios.
On this slide the red symbols reflect deployed Soviet field medium range ballistic missile sites. If you will notice, there are six sites depicted, four in the San Cristobal area and two in the Sagua la Grande area, 135 nautical miles to the east. Each of these sites included four launch positions and had deployed the Soviet medium range ballistic missile. In addition to the field MRBM, the Soviets also had under construction by late October 1962 fixed launching facilities for the intermediate range ballistic missile at two locations, one just west of Havana, Guanajay, where two four-launcher sites were identified and shown in yellow on .this photograph, and a single one at Remedios, farther to the east. The Remedios one, we believe, was in an early stage of construction, and it, too, would have been paired up with another four-launcher site had the Soviets had time to develop this location.
In other words, there were nine Soviet offensive missile sites in Cuba, six of them with four launchers each for the MRBM, three of them, fixed sites, for the IRBM, and each of these included four launch positions.
The question might well be asked if the Soviets were able to deploy and we were able to detect by 14 October 1962 these systems deployed at these four geographic locations, what was found at these locations in prior or earlier photography?
We have selected our best photographic materials covering these sites prior to 14 October and would like to review them very quickly.
This is the Remedios IRBM location as it appeared on 5 September 1962, an open farm field situated in the virgin forest area shown, and a country road cutting through this sector that within the next four or five weeks will soon be occupied by Soviet IRBM construction forces.
This is the Guanajay IRBM location as it appeared on 29 August. Again, there is no evidence of military activity or occupancy. Note again in this area, which will soon have Soviet IRBM facilities under construction, there is no evidence of activity.
Here are the IRBM locations in the San Cristobal area covered on 29 August. There is no evidence of military or general occupancy observed at those locations which later were to have the Soviet offensive sites. Notice, if you will, on this particular graphic taken on 29 August, as it was checked carefully by our photo activities, there is no evidence of activity.
In this area there is an open, wooded sector, several heavily forested sectors through here, with no evidence of military occupancy.
Sagua La Grande area is shown on 5 September with excellent quality photography, and outlined in this rectangular area is the location of the future location of the Soviet MRBM site.
Notice, if you will, that, this area was carefully checked at that time and even though there is a heavy cloud shadow through here, our photo interpreters could pick out a small village or hamlet here, and this country road, the agricultural activity, and no evidence at that time of military occupancy or activity.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the historic photograph of the Cuban crisis. It was acquired with a high altitude aircraft moving south-north over the western sector of the island of Cuba in the early morning hours of 14 October 1962.
Note, if you will, that the photograph appears grey in color and tone. The reason is the early morning hour, and we are also observing at this time a Soviet MRBM unit that apparently recently has just arrived in the area.
As the photo interpreters and intelligence analysts carefully reviewed this photograph on 15 October, they noted eight large missile transporters, four at this location, and three at this location, and a single one at this particular location.
In addition, the Soviets had already deployed in a tentative firing position, four erector launchers, one here, and one here, and another one here, and a fourth one at this location.
No doubt, the Soviets were employing the field expedient and making every effort to achieve an operational capability at these sites as quickly as possible. Lines of propellant vehicles were observed standing nearby. Note, however, the absence of any extensive tracking or activity.
The Soviets have apparently in the past few days pulled into this particular area, with their equipment, and have temporarily emplaced their erectors, and have set themselves up an irregularly dispersed or displaced tent area off to the side. We will observe them improve this particular location.
The intelligence analysis carefully checked the photography acquired on 14 October in the vicinity of San Cristobal. A few miles to-the east another Soviet MRBM unit was just being deployed. Note, if you will, six missile transporters with missiles on them are tucked away in this small wooded area.
On 14 October, again, a Soviet missile convoy is just arriving at the site, and we have caught the Soviets just as they are about to deploy their equipment at their respective firing equipment.
High altitude photography acquired during the next few days revealed the full nature and extent of the Soviet MRBM threat as found in Cuba. In the Sagua LaGrande area, 135 nautical miles east of Havana, two four launcher field MRBM sites were covered, one of which is shown in this graphic.
By this time, the Soviets had driven a rough road into this particular area, and four launch positions observed, one here and one here. The erectors have already been placed at the centers of these pad areas. In addition, missile shelter tents have been completed.
At these two pad areas the Soviets are still busy at work. The erectors have not been emplaced, but they stand nearby in an adjacent motor pool. Propellant vehicles are also noted.
The missile equipment that was observed in the Sagua LaGrande and San Cristobal area was carefully examined by our intelligence analysts. It was determined that the missile being deployed at these two locations was the standard Soviet MRBM that had been observed earlier in the Moscow parade as shown on this particular photograph. The missile, itself, measures 73.3 feet in length and has a range of 1100 nautical miles.
When we saw this system deployed in Cuba, we saw it deployed on this identical transporter. The missile, however, was deployed, or at least taken into the field site areas, minus its nose cone. The nose cone was transported in a separate vehicle. The object we were observing, then, measured some 59.6 feet in length and was, indeed, the Soviet MRBM deployed at Sagua LaGrande and at San Cristobal.
Gentlemen, again the question is asked if a 70foot long missile, and if a 68 to 70-foot long transporter were found in Cuba OD 14 and 17 October, how did these weapons and how did those components reach the island? The United States Naval surface ships and aircraft had carefully photographed all Soviet ships that came to the island of Cuba in August, September, and October. We determined that the hatches of certain larger ships could accommodate the transporter and the MRBM missile.
It was our conclusion that the large hatch Soviet ships did bring the MRBM systems clandestinely to the island of Cuba. One of these large hatch ships, the Soviet ship Poltava shown here approaching the island on 15 September, 1962. It is photographed obliquely and vertically. We checked carefully the deck cargo. All that we can observe loaded are simple 2-1/2 and 5-ton trucks and vans. Notice though, that the ship rides high, as though instead of a bulk cargo it has a space-consuming cargo, such as an MRBM.
In addition to finding field MRBM's deployed in Cuba, considerable concern was evoked on 17 October 1962 when high altitude cover provided the first positive identification of a fixed intermediate range launching site in the area of Guanajay and later in the area of Remedios. Two four-launcher fixed sites were identified in the Guanajay area, one of which is shown on this aerial photograph. There are four launching positions, one here, another here, and two others at these locations. They are paired and focused on a central control bunker. Conduits led from the central bunker area to the center of each of the pads.
Notice that vehicle shelter revetments for vehicles which must remain in the launch position during firing are nearing completion at these locations.
At this time, a missile servicing building is roofed and nearing completion, while a nuclear warhead storage bunker is having the final touches accomplished with regard to roof construction.
The Soviets at these particular IRBM sites brought with them large amounts of prefabricated construction materials, so that they could rapidly complete their construction program at these sites.
An assessment was made by the intelligence community to the effect that the field MRBM sites on San Cristobel and Sagua La Grande were designed to fire the 1100 nautical-mile Soviet medium-range ballistic missile. This particular weapon deployed in Cuba could reach all key target areas in the southeastern United States, and such other important cities as Washington, St. Louis and Dallas.
Included within the range of the weapon fired from these MRBM sites also was the Panama Canal. The 2200 nautical mile intermediate ballistic missile could reach most key target areas in the North American Continent with the exception of the small portion of the northwestern section of the State of Washington, and all of Alaska. Key countries in the northwestern portion of South America also came within range of this particular weapons system.
The President directed that beginning 23 October 1962, on the day following his Address to the Nation, that the United States military aircraft be directed in a low altitude mode against the Soviet offensive bases on the island of Cuba, in order to provide us more definite data on the nature of the weapons systems being deployed.
The reconnaissance versions of the U. S. Air Force 101, and the Navy F8U, were selected for this particular mission and are shown here.
These aircraft swept in at an altitude of well below 1000 feet and caught the Soviets by surprise on 23 October 1962. Here is the launching site at San Cristobal No. 1, the missile erected is under canvas cover at this location, but telephone cabling leads from the launch point to the covered generator to man and control equipment in the wooded sector to the upper right on this photograph.
A missile shelter tent measuring 100 feet in length and 17 feet wide has been completed. This is the place where the missile is kept and kept perfectly tuned prior to that time when it might be required at the launching position itself.
Note, if you will, that Soviet oxidizer vehicles and Soviet propellant vehicles with the fuel stand ready in this particular launch position area.
The Soviets respond quickly to our low altitude effort. They affect camouflage and concealment where possible. Here at San Cristobal Site No.1 we observe three Soviet MRBM missiles on transports one at this location and two in the lower portion of the photograph.
Note, if you will, that the Soviets have stretched tarpaulins over these missiles, and then they have taken mud or paint and disruptively smeared it across these tarpaulins in order to break up the natural outline of the cylindrical object that lies beneath.
In addition to canvas cover and disruptive painting, the Soviets also attempt camouflage. Nets are strung across these two missiles, again in an attempt to break up the natural outline of the cylindrical object lying beneath.
We note that in addition to the single missile shelter tent formerly found at these sites, a second missile shelter tent is also being constructed at the launch position areas. His second tent is for the re-fire missile. The Soviets intend to provide a re-fire capability for each of their firing positions.
In the upper portion of this photograph you will see a firing position being improved. The white rectangular area is a concrete launch pad, upon which the erector will soon be emplaced. The circular structure is a firing ring and flame deflector on which the MRBM will be emplaced. It is just resting in wet concrete. The concrete mixer can actually be seen on the photograph.
The two white linear areas off to the right are what we call wheel chocks, and the rear wheels of the Soviet transporter rides in to these chocks and the transporter acting as a carriage, rotates in the chocks and erects the missile onto the firing table observed at this location.
The Soviets improved their MRBM sites in this particular manner.
In addition to providing more permanent facilities at their missile launching sites, and in addition to effecting all means possible insofar as cover and camouflage are concerned, the Soviets, in response to our low altitude effort, deployed the best weapons that they could to counter this reconnaissance effort. The surface-to-air missile would be ineffective against a high-speed, low-flying, supersonic aircraft. The best weapon one can use against such aircraft are conventional anti-aircraft artillery, so the Soviets deployed this system at the sites.
Observed here on 27 October, at San Cristobal Site No.1, is a six-launcher site with a 57-millimeter anti-aircraft gun crew. Notice that the range finder has already been emplaced in the center of the area and the radar itself, to acquire the target l has also been emplaced.
One interesting thing there is that the Soviet crews or the Cuban crews at these particular sites never had the warning necessary as these aircraft swept in at speeds in excess of 500 knots. You can see the crewmen running towards their weapons now. It is too late to respond to these fast-moving aircraft.
The low-level photograph provided us with excellent detail on the nature of the support equipment usually associated with the Soviet MRBM. This is one of the typical firing positions for the MRBM. Notice the approach roadway. It is widened at this location and includes a missile erector under canvas cover in the center. Under canvas cover is a missile stand and flame deflector where the missile will actually rest prior to firing.
Command and control equipment is located nearby. These include vehicles and tents which are connected by cable lines back to the firing position itself. Note, if you will, that two missile shelter tents, one for the primary and one for the re-fire missile, are found nearby, and that telltale trackage suggests that a long vehicle has been first pushed and then backed into the missile shelter tent to the lower left.
Ladies and gentlemen, off to the right the propellant vehicles stand ready to service this site, while off to the left the nose cone and warhead area remain active. This was a completed and operational soviet MRBM site as it was observed in Cuba on 23 October.
Q: Mr. Hughes, would one question be in order? How many of those erectors have been seen leaving Cuba?
MR. HUGHES: I beg your pardon?
Q: How many of the erectors that you had in the picture have been seen leaving Cuba?
MR. HUGHES: Sir, we have carefully counted the erectors leaving the Island of Cuba. Seventeen erectors left the Port of Mariel from the four sites observed in the San Cristobal area. These sites had 16 launching positions and 16 erectors. The Soviets moved from the Island of Cuba, 17 erectors from this particular area. We feel that the extra one, the 17th, was a spare that they had just in case one of them did break down.
Q: Sir, I have a Naval intelligence report here which says there were 24—
SECRETARY McNAMARA: Let me suggest that you hold your questions until the end. I will try to answer them if they have not been covered by Mr. Hughes' briefing. He is going to show the movement in and the movement out.
MR. HUGHES: Gentlemen, there is a low altitude of the IRBM site at Guanajay, located in the area just west of Havana.
During this period, when low altitude cover was acquired over the sites beginning 23 October, construction continued very extensively and intensively in the IRBM fixed facilities.
Note, if you will, two launch positions are observed. One here and one here. These are larger fixed launch pads in contrast to the field MRBM sites. Note, if you will, that a launch ring to hold an IRBM has already been emplaced at the location. The Soviets are working at this location to emplace a second ring.
Conduits lead to a centrally positioned control bunker which is also nearing completion. Note, if you will, the missile servicing building where again the missile is kept in tune prior to being moved into the launch position area. A nuclear warhead storage bunker is up in the upper center portion of the photograph and on the date of this particular photograph, 23 October, it is nearing completion.
The Soviets constructed nuclear warhead storage bunkers at the intermediate range ballistic missile launching sites and at the medium-range ballistic missile sites. The ones at the MRBM sites were somewhat smaller, although, similarly configured to those identified at the IRBM sites.
This is one of the Soviet nuclear warhead storage bunkers under construction at San Cristobel Site No.1, southwest of Havana. The Soviets again brought quarter sections pre-stressed concrete arches to the island of Cuba. Each of these quarter sections were pasted together at the top to form a half section. They measured a meter wide and the Soviets quickly moved adding section by section until they had completed an arch roof structure measuring between 60 and 75 feet in length.
Notice, if you will, the Soviet crews working on the roof of the structure, the date of this particular photograph, while concrete-mixing crews as well as piles of aggregate, sand and gravel and so on, are noted in the area. But, again, the emphasis was on field expediency in the use of prefabricated materials.
Even the fence posts that the Soviets used were brought from the Soviet Union and with concrete forms, as shown in the lower left portion of the graphic.
At this particular time, in addition to making permanent facilities in and around the MRBM areas, and in addition to providing nuclear warheads storage facilities, the Soviets began on about 27 October to make things more comfortable for themselves in Cuba.
With the launch positions in the upper portions of this photograph now nearly completed, and made permanent, and with the nuclear warheads storage bunker in the upper left portion of the photograph nearing completion, the construction equipment was diverted to construct and build Soviet barracks buildings for the crews.
Note the eight buildings in line here, the one of which does not yet have its roof in place. At this particular time, on 27 October, the Soviets were still working in these areas as though they were not going to go home in the very near future.
The photography that we acquired with our low level missions permitted us to assess very accurately and fully the nature of the Soviet MRBM system deployed in Cuba. An engineering sketch of a typical battalion launch site is shown in this particular vue-graph.
Notice, if you will, that each of these sites includes four launch positions, one here, another here, another launch position here, and a fourth one at that location. A central propellant area for oxidizer and fuel, usually found near the center of the site areas. In addition, a fence-enclosed warhead storage building, earth covered for hardening purposes, including eight nose-cone vans situated nearby in the center of one of these launch position areas we usually found an erector, a firing position, command and control equipment, as well as two missiles, they are either outside on their transporters or in missile servicing or ready tents.
Gentlemen, the intelligence community reported that on 28 October 1962 the Soviets did achieve a full operational capability for all MRBM facilities in Cuba. This is on the morning of the 28th that this report is being made.
In addition, they report that based on an analysis of the rate of construction they observed at the IRBM sites the Soviets are aiming toward full operational capability for all IRBM facilities by 15 December 1962.
The irony of this particular graphic is this: The intelligence analysts reported, based on their study of the photography, that the Soviets on this date had reached full operational readiness for their MRBM sites. As you know now, and as I know, Mr. Khrushchev on 28 October 1962 agreed to dismantle these bases that on that date were just completed.
The job that now confronted the reconnaissance planners in the military department was to determine a means to monitor the dismantling of the IR and MRBM sites in Cuba, and to verify the removal of the missile components from the island. This was done in three ways: First, low altitude aircraft swept in over the nine offensive missile bases to observe and monitor dismantling: second, high altitude aircraft swept the islands to monitor where this equipment was being moved and to insure that it was being moved to the port areas and being loaded on Soviet ships. This second phase was also assisted by low altitude reconnaissance.
And thirdly, as these ships departed the island of Cuba, they were monitored by United States surface craft and aircraft, and the missiles were inspected on the decks.
Gentlemen, this is a low altitude photograph acquired on 29 October over one of the MRBM site areas, No.3, at San Cristobal. We did notice a change the day after Mr. Khrushchev made his announcement.
If you will notice, the erectors have been removed from their firing positions. They have been drawn back. Missile transporters that were in formerly ready locations have been pulled out of these locations, and there has been reduction in the readiness of these particular sites. We can't account for these changes at this particular time, but during the next few days we do observe dynamic changes.
The Soviets dismantle the MR and IRBM bases. On 11-1 we cover Sagua La Grande, where two launch positions are observed and where just 74 hours earlier we had rated this base as fully operational. Note that it is completely clear of all cabling and operational equipment. This base or launching position has also been cleared.
Note, if you will, that all that remains in this site area on 1 November is a single military convoy collecting the remaining equipment and debris from the 17 area, about to move away from this site location.
Ladies and gentlemen, in addition to moving equipment away from the MRBM launch sites, the Soviets methodically destroyed the fixed facilities in the vicinity of the firing position. This is San Cristobal site No.2. A few days earlier this was a concrete launch pad. This area also was a concrete launch pad. Soviet bulldozers have churned back and forth, disrupting the earth and leaving only chunks of concrete remaining. Soviet bulldozers at this location have churned back and forth and broken up these sites so that all that remain are chunks of concrete.
The sites were destroyed in this manner at the MRBM facilities. Note, if you will, that a missile ready tent is just being collapsed at the time of photography. One side is sagging and in a few hours we will observe this one removed.
In addition to removing equipment from the site areas, and in addition to destroying the fixed facilities in the vicinity of the launching positions, the Soviets carefully cleared all the remaining operational equipment and debris from their site locations.
This is Sagua La Grande, Site No.2. Just a few days earlier it was fully operational. Cabling had connected with an erector at this location. Command and control equipment was found in this area. Missile ready tents with missiles in them were found at this location. Command and control equipment and other servicing gear were also noted. By this date, all of this has been removed.
There were camouflage in these areas. There were palm branches that the Soviets had cut from trees and stuck into the road area in order to break up the reflection we were acquiring with our photography. All these were dozed away and swept clean.
On this date, 3 November, all that remained was a Soviet single dump truck moving slowly through this area, picking up the remaining debris with a police crew in apparent anticipation of moving from the site area.
The job of dismantling the IRBM sites was one somewhat different than that required for the dismantling of the MRBM sites. Here the Soviets did not have a road system and did not have any operational equipment yet deployed at these locations and nonetheless they did have certain fixed facilities, launching pads, connecting cable lines, controlling bunkers and so on. This is one of the IRBM sites. It is Remedios, 160 miles east of Havana. This again is a former launch position observed on 9 November with low altitude photography.
A Soviet bulldozer has churned back and forth and destroyed this launching pad. The conduits that extended for the cabling from the launch pad area here to the control bunker here have been ripped from the ground and they have broken up and destroyed and even the trench has been carefully graded and filled by Soviet bulldozers.
The sites at Guanajay No. 1 and Guanajay No. 2 were also broken up in a similar manner.
Gentlemen, in addition to calling for the dismantling of Soviet missile sites in Cuba, and in addition to calling for removal of Soviet offensive missiles and components from the island, the President announced on 22 October that he would invoke or establish a quarantine of the island to prevent the arrival of additional offensive equipment.
At that particular time, 18 Soviet dry cargo ships were enroute to the island of Cuba. Of these 18, five included the large hatch type.
After the president's announcement and after the establishment of the quarantine, 16 of these ships reversed course and returned to the Soviet Union. I might say they were carefully followed coming over and carefully followed going back by the United States naval surface craft and aircraft. They were followed back into the Baltic Sea and followed back into the Mediterranean. It was quite interesting to note that five of the 16 ships that reversed course included the large hatch type.
The job again confronting the reconnaissance planners during this particular phase was to insure that the missile equipment, the missile components being removed from the launch site areas was being taken to ports and removed from the island of Cuba and not simply being redeployed at some other location or hidden at some other location.
High altitude aircraft swept the island, and all of the naval facilities and seaports were carefully checked. Approach roadways were followed, and the Soviet equipment as it left the nine respective site areas, was monitored as it moved into the port areas of Cuba.
Equipment in central Cuba, from the offensive base deployed in Central Cuba, was evacuated from the island, from La Isabela in the north, and Casilda Port in the south. Offensive missile equipment that was deployed in the San Cristobal area here located southwest of Havana and Guanajay just west of Havana, was evacuated through the Port of Mariel. The Soviets employed the ships that they had in the harbors of Cuba at the particular time to remove these offensive weapons from the island.
Here is an example. This is the port of Mariel, as it appeared on 2 November 1962. Three Soviet ships are here. A few weeks ago they brought equipment to the island. They are resting high in the water. They are being assigned the task at about this time to remove the offensive missile equipment from the island. On this date the first advance convoys of the equipment from the San Cristobal IRBM sites begin to arrive.
In addition, other equipment has already been brought into the area, is nearing the ships and is about to be loaded onto the ships themselves. The metal rings and launch stands that were ripped from the concrete pads are shown at these locations prior to their being loaded onto the ships.
Ladies and gentlemen, the United States did not just insure that the missile alone left the Island of Cuba. We insured that the missile system left the island of Cuba. All components of that system were carefully counted as they left the site area, 'as they reached the port motor pools, and as they were loaded on Soviet ships.
Here is one of the parking areas near the Port of Mariel, one of the pier areas. Here we observe and carefully count without low altitude photography, the Soviet oxidizer trailers from the MRBM sites, the Soviet fueling trailers from the MRBM sites, other fueling and oxidizer trailers being shown at this location.
The specially configured IRBM fueling trailer noted at Guanajay No.1. They are also counted and tabulated as they move into the area prior to shipment away from the island. Missiles, including four IRBM’s under canvas cover on a transporter are noted in the upper left corner of the photograph.
The other key components are checked as they leave the island. In the San Cristobal area there were 16 launch sites and 16 erectors. The equipment from San Cristobal moved to Mariel.
Here we observe 17 missile erectors from the San Cristobal area, each with their launch stands, prior to being loaded on Soviet ships that are moving in one by one to take over the offensive equipment.
Note, if you will, the special nose cone bands and other special support equipment are also observed in this particular area, and carefully counted as they leave the island.
In addition to following the port areas, and in addition to carefully recovering the offensive missile bases to insure equipment is removed, we covered the approach roadways between the sites and the ports. We catch the Soviets on the road, we catch them in overnight bivouacs, like the one shown here near Trinidad. This is a Soviet missile equipment and temporary storage area just north of the port of Casilda.
Twelve missile transporters from the Sagua La Grande area are waiting their turn to move the 12 miles south to be loaded on Soviet ships. Note the other components, including oxidizer trailers, cranes, servicing vehicles, et cetera.
A few days later we check the port of Casilda, on 6 November. The MRBM missiles on transporters have been moved southward from that temporary storage area and six have been placed on the soviet ship Kurchatov. Here are the six missiles under canvas cover and loaded on this particular ship. The ship is nearing the completion of its loading cycle. The forward hatch covers are closed. The rear hatches are being closed. Here Soviet crewmen and technicians await in line or go up the gangway in loading the ship itself.
Note the ship is under steam and about to move away. We will observe this ship leave this harbor area in a few hours. This shadow is cast by an RF-10l reconnaissance aircraft as it moves in over its target area at 600 feet.
The next day, the Kurchatov leaves and another ship moves in, the Komsomol. Here again we had this type of photograph to see what the Soviets were loading on their ships, and to insure that, indeed, the missile systems were leaving the island.
We can carefully monitor the erectors pulled down from Sagua La Grande, count them and see them loaded on the ships. We can actually see into the holds of these Soviet ships and see the equipment, which includes fueling trailers already placed there by large cranes.
Back at Mariel, the three Soviet ships that had been riding high in the water are now nearly fully loaded. The Soviet ship Grotz is standing off in the center of the harbor area. The Diunogorsk is shown in the upper right area maneuvering to another location to pick up another missile on its deck. It already has three MRBMs loaded. The Anasov shown here has six MRBMs loaded; they are already deck loaded. Two more MRBMs will be loaded on this ship prior to its departure from the Mariel area.
Here they are, awaiting their turn to be moved up into the ship area, and when the hatches are closed, these are finally lifted on the deck of the Avason. When the Avason departs Mariel, it will carry eight missile transporters, it will carry eight Soviet MRBMs. These eight are shown on the deck of the ship itself wrapped under canvas cover. Note if you will, that cranes, other supporting equipment, oxidizers transfer vessel, erectors, and cherry pickers and other particular or unique equipment associated with the MRBM site are also deck loaded.
When these ships reach the area of the quarantine, they encountered United States surface craft and aircraft inspection. As you note the United States destroyer 878 pulls alongside the Soviet ship Volgoles, the Soviet crewmen tear back the tarpaulin cover exposing the Soviet MRBM on transporter beneath.
A helicopter stands off the Soviet ship Brotsk and here the tarpaulin cover has been pulled back, exposing the Soviet MRBM ballistic booster, minus nose cone. It measures 60 feet in length and it is tightly wrapped in all-weather protective covering.
Note the cable trench that we carefully measured which terminates at its precise point, the carbon veins, the missile fins, and all the detail of the erector transporter as it is shown deck loaded on the Soviet ship Brotsk. These ships, all eight of them, are following by United States surface craft and aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean, into the Baltic Sea, the Danish Straits, into the Mediterranean Sea, and on to the Black Sea to their home waters. This is a photograph one of many we have, acquired by United States naval reconnaissance aircraft of the Komsomol in the Mediterranean on 19 November, 1962, with its deck load of eight medium range ballistic missiles going home from Cuba.
The Soviets removed their 42 missiles from Cuba on these eight ships in these numbers, from these ports, on these dates, 5 through 9 November.
The next most serious problem confronting the United States following the removal of the offensive missile from the island of Cuba, was the continued deployment and assembly of the Soviet Beagle IL-28 bomber. This particular bomber could carry a bomb load in excess of 6,000 pounds to ranges out to a radius of about 600 nautical miles. It could reach key target areas in the southeastern United States. Forty-two of these unassembled bombers were delivered –to the island of Cuba. Thirty-three were delivered to San Julian airfield in western Cuba, and the other nine were delivered unassembled to Holguin Air Field in east central Cuba.
We were a bit more fortunate with regard to being forewarned insofar as the offensive bombers were concerned than we were with regard to the offensive missiles. Observed on the deck of a soviet ship, Kasimov, on 28 September 1962, were 10 large shipping crates, and the ship is approaching Cuba. Eight of them are shown here and two more were observed at these locations.
We carefully studied these crates. We frankly didn't know what they included. After a very careful assessment of these crates, and a very careful assessment of the characteristics of various Soviet aircraft and other types of equipment, it was judged that the Kasimov was carrying Soviet IL-28 bombers to Cuba on this particular date. A report to that effect was released on 9 6ctober 1962.
These crates were delivered to San Julian Airfield, for when our high altitude aircraft observed the airfield on 15 October, 21 of these 60-foot long crates were found parked in the central area. They measured 60 feet in length and were similarly configured to those observed on the Soviet ship Kasimov. In addition, one of the crates had been broken open, exposing a 58-foot long fuselage, conforming to the configuration of the IL-28 bomber.
During the next few days and weeks, we observed with high and low altitude photography the progress of the Soviets and the Cubans in assembling these particular bombers. As I mentioned earlier, at San Julian Airfield, 33 of these unassembled bombers were delivered in crates. Of these 33, 13 were broken out from the crates and assembly begun. Of these 13, seven reached final assembly stages and were considered as flyable, and of these seven, four were considered to be the trainer version.
So, frankly, the Soviets and the Cubans never reached full or operational status or readiness with their offensive bombers on the island of Cuba prior to their being removed. This low altitude photograph taken on 27 October shows you the detail we can acquire with regard to monitoring the stages of assembly here. The Beagle aircraft being assembled at this location -- this one is minus the tail section or the horizontal stabilizer.
Notice, if you will, the engine mounts are being emplaced at this location, while other aircraft components, including tail sections, wings, and a partially completed aircraft are observed in the field area. We carefully watched these aircraft and the field as well, and monitored day by day the progress the Soviets were making in the assembly of these airplanes.
They responded again to our low altitude reconnaissance efforts. They threw canvas, tarpaulins, and nets over their assembly activities. They took the 20 remaining crates and dispersed them throughout the airfield and threw camouflage nets across them. But the one thing you must understand here is that with extremely low altitude, high resolution photograph, even the activities of the Soviets beneath the camouflage netting cannot be denied.
Chairman Khrushchev agreed to dismantle the bombers and remove them from the island on 20 November. The job, again, of the reconnaissance aircraft was to provide the means or to be the means to monitor disassembly of the bombers and to verify the removal of the components from the islands.
High and low altitude aircraft continued after the 20th to cover San Julian Airfield and Holguin Airfield. Frankly, some additional assembly and construction was noted. But on 25 November the first evidence of disassembly was noted. On this high altitude photograph you can see Soviet IL-28 bombers. Now the wings have been separated from the fuselages, and engines have been separated from the wings. In addition, the 20 aircraft crates that have been dispersed throughout the airfield area itself are now being collected along a central taxiway, apparently in preparation for movement away from the airfield.
By 4 December, low altitude coverage of the San Julian area reveals that in this region and in the overall airfield and in its environs, the IL-28 bomber aircraft and its components have been removed.
At Holguin, as I mentioned earlier, nine IL-28 fuselage crates, shown here on this photograph, and the smaller component crates for engines and electrical equipment were delivered to the island on 4 November. This photograph was acquired on 5 November. By 27 November these large crates and the components crates were removed from the Holguin Airfield.
Again, the high-altitude aircraft swept the island. They swept the port areas to determine which ones would be used for the removal of Soviet offensive bombers from the island. They checked the railroads and railheads. Finally it was found that the Soviets were moving the Soviet fuselages from Holguin to the port of Nuevitas, and the bombers located in western Cuba were being moved to the port of Mariel.
The Soviet ship Ikhotsk pulled into the port of Mariel and picked up three of the IL-28 bomber fuselages. It moved along the north coast of Cuba to the port of Nuevitas where it picked up the nine crated IL-28 bombers from the Holguin Airfield. When this ship departed Cuba on 5 December, it carried 12 of the Soviet offensive bombers. This particular photograph was taken as the ship, after picking up three of the bombers at Mariel, is now moving to the port of Nuevitas.
Here it is at Nuevitas, viewed with high altitude photography, picking up the rema1n1ng crates. Four are already deck-loaded and the remaining five in the dock area.
The Soviet ship Kasimov departs Marie1 on 5 December with 15 more IL-28 bombers, deck loaded. Eleven are in crates and four are under canvas cover at these locations.
The remaining 15 bombers are observed parked in the outer area at Marie1 port. Five of them are not crated. The remaining ten are. The Soviet ship Krasnograd, a large hatch ship, pulls into the Marie1 area. Its hatches are open. It is being readied for loading. This ship will depart Cuba on 7 December with these 15 bombers.
Gentlemen, these ships when they reach the area of the quarantine are inspected by United States naval surface craft and aircraft. Here in response to a request of the captain of the Soviet ship, that he permit inspection and counting of the Soviet bombers, the soviet captain directs that the crews dismantle on the decks of the ships the shipping crates. The end sections are pulled off, and the top sections are stripped back, exposing the IL-28 fuselage jet.
Gentlemen, all 42 bombers observed in Cuba that were later observed deck-loaded on Soviet ships were inspected in this manner, and all 42 of them, some of which were in crates, were fully exposed as they departed Cuba.
With regard to the bomber threat, then, three Soviet ships, the Okhotsk, Kasimov, and Krasnograd, removed the 42 bombers observed at San Julian and Holguin Airfield from the island of Cuba. Ports selected were Nuevitas and Mariel, and these ships departed Cuba on these particular dates.
I might mention at this time that all other airfields in Cuba were under continuous and constant surveillance. These aircraft were not moved to other airfields. They were moved to these port areas, and loaded on these three ships.
No complete appreciation for what the Soviets intended in Cuba as a prime offensive base could be had unless we fully understand the nature and extent of the deployment of Soviet defensive systems to the island.
The Soviets deployed five categories of defensive weapons systems on the island beginning sometime in August and September.
The air defense systems deployed included the surface-to-air missiles known as the SA-2. It also included the high performance interceptor fighters known as the MIG-21.
Key or critical possible areas were protected by coastal defense crew missile systems deployed at four known and an additional possible location. In addition, guided missile patrol boats provided a mobile launching capability for anti-shipping work with 12 Komar-class boats were delivered to the island.
And finally, Soviet ground forces at four locations have also been identified on the island of Cuba, and their equipment are still found on the island.
This graph depicts the deployment of the Soviet SA-2 surface-to-air missiles' on the island of Cuba. These 24 locations, each one marked in red, are characterized by six launching or firing sites. The system can reach out to ranges of 30 nautical miles, and you see the interlocking fan providing continuous cover of the north coast of Cuba effected with this particular system.
Notice, if you will, key areas of southern Cuba are also provided protection. This weapon can reach to altitudes of 80,000 feet.
The first evidence of Soviet surface-to-air deployment in Cuba came with high altitude photography acquired on 29 August 1962. At that time, in the vicinity of Havana, a half dozen or so sites were uncovered. Again, the emphasis was placed upon the field expedient. The Soviets quickly moved in and set six circular firing points around a centrally positioned guidance area. A temporary service road was constructed, and a local capability was attempted for this particular site area.
When they had time, the Soviets improved their surface-to-air missile sites, as observed on 23 October on this low altitude view of Bahia Honda. Now a revetment now encloses each of the firing positions.
In addition, the central guidance area is also reverted, and concrete hard stands have been placed beneath the erectors and launchers and camouflage and cover is provided over each of the launch positions and in the vicinity of the centrally positioned guidance radar.
Color photography was employed with great success over these locations in Cuba. Here is a color view of the Soviet SAM site at La Coloma, again with the road path torn, and the six firing positions focused on a centrally located guidance area. Notice, if you will, that three missiles are uncovered; one here, another here, and another here. They measure 33.7 feet in length and have two stages. Note again, if you will, three other missiles are under canvas cover, a standard Soviet practice.
In addition to the deployment of surface-to-air missiles, the Soviets also deployed in Cuba the Fishbeds, the MIG-2l fighter interceptor. This particular aircraft is equipped with air-to-air missiles, can reach altitudes of 40,000 feet and speeds of 1,000 knots.
The MIG-2l aircraft was initially deployed at Santa Clara Airfield. It came unassembled. It was assembled at Santa Clara and later we observed them being redeployed to San Antonio de los Bonos in the west and Camia Airfield in the east.
This photograph was acquired on 5 September 1962, a high-altitude photograph. It is the first photograph we have indicating or proving that the Soviets were deploying a MIG-2l-type aircraft in Cuba. Here is the delta-wing configured aircraft, and this enlargement is several hundred times, near four aircraft shipping crates or boxes.
During the next six or seven weeks these MIG-2l aircraft were assembled at a rapid clip. In the period between 5 September and 17 October, 38 additional aircraft were assembled, so that by this date, 17 October, 39 were observed in line along the runway area. Older MIG-1S aircraft given to the Cubans by the Soviets were also identified at this field.
That the MIG-2l aircraft were flyable was proven by two points. First of all, as shown here, they could be observed taking off from the runway, as one is here at Santa Clara on 18 October. Note the delta wing aircraft with its shadow cast along the runway, just as it leaves the runway in take-off. These aircraft, as I mentioned, were also deployed at two other fields.
On 10 November, low-altitude photography provided us something interesting and new concerning the Soviet MIG-2l aircraft in Cuba. We found, interestingly enough, near these aircraft on this date air-to-air missiles. Here is the AA-2, a Soviet air-to-air missile with a range of six nautical miles. It is positioned near the delta-winged or configured MIG-2l aircraft. The Soviet crew is placing a rack below the aircraft. The missile will be appended to this rack, as it is already appended to the racks in the wings of these other locations. In addition to employing the MIG-2l in Cuba, the Soviets were affording it an additional weapons capability, that is, the air-to-air missile.
Key beach areas in Cuba are defended by coast defensive missiles. These missiles are aerodynamically configured and have a range of 40 nautical miles. We have four operational sites, one at Banes in eastern Cuba, one at Siguanea, and two near Havana, Santa Cruz del Norte and Campo Florida. A fifth site has also been identified west of the Havana area.
An excellent photograph of one of the operational sites is shown at Siguanea, on the Isle of Pines. Here they have taken the highest site, and dozed it down, and then chose two earth positions, both of which were reverted. Inside is the 34-foot long rail launcher uncovered at this location and canvas-covered at this location.
Note the guidance area where command control and cabling is effected from this camouflaged and concealed sector. Because these areas were so close to the beach, so close to the sea, they were vulnerable to attack. The Soviets therefore constructed trenches, Soviet personnel trenches, automatic firing weapons, to afford defense.
In addition, to the left in this photograph seven of the cruise missiles on transporters can be observed.
The guided missile patrol craft Komar was observed at two locations in Cuba, one at Mariel in the west, where eight were identified, and Banes in the east, where four were identified.
We noted these boats patrolling back and forth, but we feel that eight are stationed at the Mariel area and four in the area of Banes.
This is a photograph of the improved naval base at Banes.
Again, observe the date of this photograph, 3 November. A barracks building has been completed, a typical Soviet-type building, and a missile servicing tent 60 feet in length, a drive-through type, as well as cruise missile crates for the missiles fired from the four Komar guided missile patrol boats parked in the pier areas to the left.
This is an enlargement of that pier area, from our low altitude photography. The boats, Komar boats, measure 83 feet in length. They weigh 66 tons and on the aft end they have two missile firing canisters. These canisters measure 20 feet in length. The missile fired from this boat is estimated to have a range of 10 to 15 nautical miles. It is primarily a mobile anti-shipping missile launching platform.
Soviet ground forces were deployed in Cuba sometime after mid-September, the first photographic evidence we have of these ground force locations came on 17 October. They are deployed at four major and several smaller locations. Each of these locations is characterized by highly mobile armored task groups. They included assault guns, tanks, tactical rocket launchers, anti-tank weapons and a motorized infantry battalion. Note, if you will, that Artemisa Garrison was designed to protect or provide coverage for the western sector of Cuba, where MRBM bases were located.
The Remedios Garrison was designed to protect the central sector 01 the island of Cuba. The Holguin Garrison was designed to serve as required in the eastern sector of the island. And then, apparently, just in case they might be needed right on the outskirts of Havana, at Santiago de Las Vegas, was another Soviet garrison area.
High altitude photography was and is being acquired over these garrison points. Frankly, initially when we saw these garrison locations, we thought that these were tent areas or maybe Cuba militia and much of the equipment arriving in these site areas might be Soviet equipment going to be given to the Cubans.
We carefully, though, checked the character of this equipment with our low altitude photography and we could only say they were probably tanks, probably mortars with high altitude photography. Great detail could be discerned with our low altitude materials. No longer was it a question of whether they were mortars; it was what was their caliber.
Here are Soviet 6,000 yard, 120 millimeter mortars, the base plate, the tube and the mountings, all very clearly discernible. Seven of them observed in line. The prime movers and Soviet servicing vehicles are also found in this location.
In addition at these four locations we find the modern Soviet T-54 tank, with 100 millimeter gun, 35 to 40 of these tanks are identified at each of the locations. Here are the T-54 tanks under canvas cover, and here are the T-54 tanks uncovered with hatches open, Soviet crews working on them, and tubes being rotated. The date of the photography is 6 November. This is the kind of quality we had with the low altitude materials.
In addition to finding modern tanks and mortars at these Soviet ground force garrison areas, each of which had anywhere from 1,000 to 1,250 men, more modern Soviet ground force fighting equipment was also observed. This photograph was taken in Moscow on 7 November 1962. This is the Kremlin wall, and here the Soviets proudly display their Frog 3 and 4. The Frog is Free Rocket Over Ground. It is like our own Jonest John. Here is a Frog 3 at this location with bulbous warhead, and Frog 4 at this location. Both of these weapons are mounted on a PT-76 amphibious tank chassis.
In Cuba, on 25 October, our low-altitude aircraft found the same weapons system deployed. Here is the launcher and the Frog at Remedios. Here is the re-fire missile and the missile transporter, along with your associated guidance equipment.
Notice, if you will, on this graphic other more modern Soviet equipment, including five l30-millimeter rocket launchers, the standard SU-l00 assault gun, and other T-54 tanks under canvas cover.
The Frog missile transporters and launchers, once our low-altitude reconnaissance began, were carefully hidden by the Soviets. They secured them behind fences, as is shown by this particular photograph, and they either camouflaged them or placed them under clumps of trees, as is shown by this particular photograph. Note the six missile transporters tucked beneath the trees but still discernible on low-altitude photography.
In addition to the tactical Frog rocket launcher which could reach ranges no greater than 25 nautical miles, the Soviets also deployed in Cuba an anti-tank weapon that was a fairly modern and new one, nicknamed the Snapper. This particular vehicle was mounted on a scout car, and it included a triple pylon launch structure. There are three rails, and appended to each of these rails is a Soviet missile which is Wire-guided. This particular photograph was taken in Moscow on 7 November 1962.
On 6 November 1962 these same weapons were observed at one of the garrison areas in Cuba. Here again are your Snappers in line, eight of them. Notice, if you will, the rear section of this Snapper weapon has been raised back. The three launcher rails are clearly visible, as they are on this particular weapon. The Snapper back section is just being raised on this location. It is closed at this location. No doubt, modern Soviet equipment and Soviet ground forces in Cuba.
In addition to the deployment of the modern weapons in Cuba, the Soviet garrison commanders, like any good garrison commander had, in flagstone and flower, implanted the front of their garrison areas, and these are recently completed barracks buildings, the insignia or symbols of the Soviet units. Here is the symbol of the Soviet Armored Forces, the symbol of the Soviet Infantry Forces, the infantry leaf, and this particular unit has been awarded the equivalent of the Presidential Citation, the Elite Guards Badge.
These areas have been dressed up and fairly well improved, nice surfaced roads and more permanent buildings constructed at this location.
Q: What is the date of this photograph?
MR. HUGHES: This photograph was acquired in the week between the 1st and 7th of November.
In summary, ladies and gentlemen, the Soviet Union introduced into Cuba eight categories of modern offensive and defensive weapons systems, which we are confident were maintained under the direct control of the Soviet forces in Cuba.
At the height of the Soviet buildup in Cuba, in late October, the order of battle situation reflecting the various locations where Soviet offensive and defensive systems were deployed was as shown by this graphic.
Since 28 October when Chairman Khrushchev agrees to remove certain weapons systems, our aerial reconnaissance has permitted us to verify (I), that dismantling of the MRBM bases and remove all of the missiles and key system components from the island; (2), the dismantling of the IRBM bases and the removal of the IRBM operational support equipment; and, (3), the dismantling and removal of the IL-28 bombers. Along with this equipment removed from Cuba, we estimate that 5,000 Soviet soldiers and technicians have also departed the island. Remaining in Cuba, therefore, are the defensive weapons systems shown here at their deployed locations, along with the approximately 17,000 Soviet troops and technicians.
In addition to carefully monitoring the remaining defensive forces on the island of Cuba, the United States reconnaissance aircraft have effected continuous surveillance of former Soviet offensive missile and bomber bases.
As late as Monday, 4 February, these areas were inactive, still dismantled and marked by no military activity.
I would like very quickly to review three or four of our most recent photographs of Soviet ports and the former offensive missile basis.
Q: Excuse me, would you repeat that about as late as 4 February? What was dismantled?
MR. HUGHES: Sir, we have covered as late as 4 February and have been continuously covering up to that time, the former offensive missile bases in Cuba. These particular bases continued to remain dismantled, and there is no evidence whatever that there is any effort on the part of the Soviets or of the Cubans to re-establish them.
Q: Is this both the medium and intermediate?
MR. HUGHES: Medium and intermediate, and I would like to review these for you with our most current material.
As the President indicated, a single Soviet ship had apparently come to Cuba, possibly bringing arms to the island. I want to give you some idea of the intensive reconnaissance effort we direct against Soviet shipping reaching the island of Cuba.
This is the Soviet ship in question, the Simferopol. It is docked at Havana port. Our aircraft are covering it nine times during the period of its unloading. Our photo interpreters carefully monitor and describe the types of unloading equipment the Soviets Or Cubans have brought into this area. We measure the boxes and the crates that are being taken off the ship. None of the boxes or crates, none of the vehicles observed in this area, are capable in our judgment, of supporting any type of offensive weapon systems. They are all in the general category of 20 or 21 feet in length or smaller. Most of the vehicles observed unloading equipment are 2-1/2 ton, five-ton type, open-bed or flatbed trailers.
In addition to covering, say, the port of Havana, we carefully and continually watch the port of Mariel. This is the main area where the Soviets brought much of their equipment to Cuba, we believe, and the primary area where much of it has been removed. This is the port of Mariel a week ago Sunday as it appeared on 26 January. This is the pier or port area where those three Soviet ships had been docked. The area where much of the equipment had been laid out in the open is now white and clear. There is no activity in and around this particular area.
This is LaBoca pier, in this area through here, where two more berthing points have been used by the Soviets. These also are not marked by any activity at this particular date.
This photograph was taken of the LaBoca pier area on 27 December 1962. Again our aircraft are sweeping back and forth and observed this Soviet ship moving into the harbor area from out in the ocean sector. At that time, we also observed parked at dockside 10 probable Frog missile transporters along with their support equipment. This ship pulled in, this equipment was apparently loaded, and moved away from the LaBoca pier area. This is one of the first photographs that we have firming up at least the fact that some of the Soviet tactical rocket forces have departed the island.
Gentlemen, if I might just recall your attention to the earlier photograph shown here of the Guanajay Site No. I, here are two fixed launch positions. Here is the concrete ring set in the center of a concrete pad. Here is a nice, straight cable conduit leading to the control bunker here, and the control bunker here, and here is the pad area being worked on at the height of the build-up.
This is the area observed from high altitude photography as it appeared on 26 January, off in the upper left sector. Notice, if you will, that the concrete pads that were destroyed during that period still remain destroyed, and that the control bunkers and conduits that are noted in this particular area are essentially the same as they were when we noted them destroyed on our low-altitude photography in early November. There is no essential change, no evidence of occupants or activity at this particular location.
This photograph we showed you of the MRBM launch site No. 3 at San Cristobal after the Soviets in the background had made the site launching facilities more permanent, had begun construction of their nuclear warhead storage building. I reported to you that they even now had time to work on permanent barracks buildings.
I would like to show you a photograph of this area as it appeared a week ago Sunday or Monday.
Here is the San Cristobel site on 27 January. All the equipment has been moved from the area. The remains of the broken-up pads are still evident in the area. There is no attempt by anyone to reactivate the firing positions at these particular locations. In addition, when the Soviets moved away, they did not have time to dismantle the barrack buildings that they just finished prior to destruction of the site, but during the period since the Soviets have moved from the area, we have noted that these prefabricated barrack buildings, apparently a high priority item in Cuba, nave either been vandalized or taken away by the Cubans, and now even the barrack buildings that used to be in the area after the Soviets left have been completely removed.
There is no evidence of antiaircraft artillery or any occupants in this particular sector. I might say that we could show you the nine offensive missile bases with this type comparative photography.
In addition, ladies and gentlemen, there is little doubt that the Soviet union did embark upon a bold venture to establish clandestinely a major offensive weapons base in the Western Hemisphere. That the United States was able to deter this effort and is now able to monitor the remaining defensive forces is in large part attributable to the reconnaissance photography that we have reviewed this afternoon. Thank you very much.
SECRETARY McNAMARA: In summary, then, ladies and gentlemen, we have recorded the entry of Soviet offensive weapons systems into Cuba and we have recorded their removal. In addition we have reported the introduction into Cuba of a substantial quantity of Soviet Military personnel and Soviet Military equipment, defensive arms. Soviet military personnel on the island, including technicians, increased, we believe, to a total of approximately 22,000 by roughly the 1st of November. That total, as Mr. Hughes reported to you, has been reduced by the disembarkation, removal of about 5,000 men from Cuba and their Shipment to the Soviet Union, leaving a total of about 17,000 Soviet military personnel including technicians in Cuba today.
Included in that total of 17,000 are four Soviet combat forces, each force approximating 1,000 to 1.250 men in strength, roughly 5,000 men in total for the four forces, each force being the equivalent approximately of one of our reinforced battalions.
Recently, our reconnaissance has revealed that certain equipment of these Soviet combat forces, namely that associated with the tactical rocket units, has also started to be moved out of the island back to the Soviet Union.
The United States maintains a continuing and an effective high altitude surveillance program covering the island of Cuba. Photographic coverage of the entire territory of Cuba is obtained at least once a week. That coverage provides surveillance of key areas, port areas, airfields, naval bases, cruise missile sites, Soviet ground force garrisons, and certain of the navy logistical centers.
In addition to this weekly island-wide coverage, individual high altitude flights for more detailed coverage of specific objectives are scheduled whenever receipt of intelligence indicates the need for such additional reconnaissance.
Low level reconnaissance aircraft are kept on a 24hour alert basis for use whenever required. And supplementing this program, the reconnaissance aircraft of the United States Navy continue to photograph all Soviet shipping arriving or departing from Cuba.
The Soviet Union did attempt to establish clandestinely a major offensive weapons base in this hemisphere. The United States was able to deter this effort, and the United States is now monitoring the remaining Soviet personnel and equipment in Cuba through reconnaissance activities of the type which we have described to you today.
I will be very happy to attempt to answer such questions as you have that relate to the military build-up in Cuba.
Q: Mr. Secretary, I understand –
SECRETARY McNAMARA: Would you identify yourself?
Q: Paul Scott, of the Allen Scott Column.
I understand the Navy, which has surveilled the ships going out, has made a report to you, "In no case were bare missiles disclosed for scrutiny.
In effect, no actual missile, the actual missile, itself, was seen going out. Also, that six launch rings which were spotted in Cuba have never been photographed on ships going out; that only four of the 17 erectors that you talked about were actually photographed on ships leaving, and that 24 erectors were spotted beforehand; that of your trailers, only two were spotted on ship, where actually 71 were photographed ahead of time, and the generators that run the missiles, only one was photographed on ship where 13 were photographed ahead of time.
I wonder if that wouldn't show that a tremendous amount of equipment for IRBM bases are still in Cuba?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: It definitely would not, Mr. Scott. I think you saw, yourself, this afternoon, the movement of a tremendous amount of equipment associated with the 42 missiles, the movements of that equipment onto the ships, and the movements of those ships out of Cuba, and the movement of those ships traced by Naval reconnaissance aircraft into the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the Baltic.
We have other pictures accounting for all of the major missile system equipment and its removal from the island of Cuba.
Q: Mr. Secretary, the difficult} is in understanding the policy that there have been many types of warning about Cuba. On September 4, the President said there were no organized combat units in Cuba, in a White House statement, but he added, "Should these be discovered, the gravest issue would arise. I Is that still our policy, about those combat troops?
SECRETARY M:.':NAMARA: If I understand your question correctly, you stated the president stated on September 4 there were no organized combat units in Cuba, sent there by the Soviet Union, and should such units be introduced into Cuba, the gravest issues would arise. I think that you can see from the evidence we have presented to you today that there were no organized combat units in Cuba.
There are today no offensive weapons systems in Cuba. The only Soviet arms that we can detect in the island are defensive in character.
Q: Mr. Secretary, Sarah McClendon, of the EI Paso Times. I don't understand why you say these weapons are not offensive, because tanks are offensive if they are used in offense. Why couldn't some of these weapons that you have seen there, the frogs, and test mortars, and these other equipment, why couldn’t they put on these vessels and sent to Latin American countries and they become offensive?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: There are no amphibious capabilities or no capabilities in Cuba such that they could move any of this equipment to any other part of the hemisphere. The President has stated that it is this government's policy to insure that the Island of Cuba will not be used as a base for subversion or overt or covert aggression directed against any duly constituted government of any nation in this hemisphere.
Q: Well, sir, you said if you sent these on ships that would be amphibious equipment.
SECRETARY .McNAMARA: They have no equipment for making such shipments.
Q: Mr. Secretary, can you tell us how many of these MIG's are still in Cuba, what their range is, and could they make a nuclear attack on the United States?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: Yes. There are, we believe, approximately 102 MIG aircraft in Cuba; of the 102 approximately 42 are the MIG-2l types. Those aircraft do not have a nuclear bombing capability under normal circumstances and they are not configured for such missions at the present time.
Moreover, our air defenses are such that were they to be configured for bombing missions, carrying the maximum bomb load that they would be capable of, their range would be very, very law and their radius of action under the probably tactics that they would use, on the order of 100 nautical miles.
Q: In that many miles, what sites could they hit?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: That would be the tip of Florida.
Q: John Scali, ABC. Mr. Secretary, you said that certain equipment associated with the remaining Soviet forces has started to move out. Can you give us some details on that and what you think it means?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: Yes. I don't wish to over-emphasize this point. I don’t wish to mislead you into thinking that there are clear indications that the four Soviet combat forces which I described as having on the order of 1,200 men apiece, roughly 5,000 in total, are at the present time moving out of Cuba. But it is a fact that certain of the equipment formerly assigned to those forces, specifically certain of the rocket equipment, has been moved out of Cuba. What this implies for the future, I can't state.
Q: Mr. Secretary, what do we think these Soviet combat forces are doing in C~? Why are they there still?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: It would be sheer speculation on my part to answer your question. I don't know. I think it is quite clear that they were sent there initially to protect the offensive weapons systems introduced by the Soviets into Cuba. It is quite clear that the Soviets refused access to those systems by the Cubans and sent these combat units of their own to protect their personnel and equipment associated with the offensive weapons systems.
Q: Mr. Secretary, on the photographs shown here there is a gap between early September and mid-October. Was it purely weather that denied us any reconnaissance over that five or six weeks over Cuba itself? There were a couple of ship pictures in the middle.
SECRETARY McNAMARA: We did not show to you today, simply for lack of time, even a high percentage of the photographs we have taken in the last four or five months over Cuba. We have run to date over 400 sorties, for example, over the island, since the first of July. We showed you pictures from only a very small fraction of those. We did carry out reconnaissance flights over the island of Cuba on the 5th of September, the 6th, the 29th of September, the 5th of October, and the l0th of October.
Q: You mentioned subversion in Latin America. Do we have any plans to prevent the use of Cuba as a Soviet training school for Latin American Communists?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: The President has stated, as I mentioned a moment ago, that it is the policy of the government to prevent the use of Cuba as a base for subversion or overt aggression against the other nations of the Hemisphere.
Q: What plans do we have to prevent it?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: We have contingency plans to prevent that situation.
Q: Mr. Secretary, inasmuch as you had to reshow, in effect, the photographs to re-establish what is taking place in Cuba, what is your rationale for at first refusing to release photographs taken of Cuba and since then restricting how many photographs you release for publication?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: We are dealing with very sensitive matters this afternoon. A number of questions have been raised regarding the type of Soviet equipment currently in Cuba. A number of doubts have been expressed as to whether the offensive systems which were introduced into Cuba by the Soviet Union have been removed. We considered it so important to expose to you the extent of our knowledge that we have done so, even at the risk of degrading our intelligence capability.
It is always a fine line to draw between the release of the information that is in the public interest on the one hand, and the maintenance of security of our intelligence collection efforts on the other.
Q: Mr. Secretary, we are told that there is a great deal of defensive armaments, ground, air, naval, in Cuba. It is repeatedly insisted that all of this armament in Cuba is defensive. Can you tell us what is defensive about a Communist bastion of this magnitude 90 miles off our shores? What is defensive about something like that?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: I think it is clear that much Soviet equipment has been moved into Cuba, but I think also we should put in perspective the quantities. I have mentioned to you and showed you pictures today of the Soviet ground force equipment. It is the type of equipment that is associated with four reinforced battalions. That is a very, very small force. It is not an offensive force in any normal sense of the word "offensive ".
The type of equipment that is included in that force is the type of equipment that can be used on the Island of Cuba. It is not mobile. Their aircraft are not such as to provide the bombing support or the offensive support that would be necessary to utilize that force. It is very difficult to draw the precise line between an offensive weapon and a defensive weapon. I think under the circumstances, most of you would agree that the medium range ballistic missiles and the intermediate range ballistic missiles were offensive weapons. I think most would agree that rifles, under circumstances in which they exist in Cuba, are probably defensive weapons.
The other weapons of the types we described appear to us to be properly described as defensive in the environment in which they are deployed in Cuba.
Q. Mr. Secretary, all this information I presume has been made available to Senators Dirksen, Keating, and Thurmond, but apparently they don't agree with your estimate. Would you care to comment? Do you feel that they think their sources of private information are more accurate than yours? What do you suppose to be the motive? Do they think that you are not telling us the truth on these matters?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: I believe you should address the question to them rather than to me. I don't like to speculate on the thoughts and motives of other individuals.
Q. Mr. Secretary, a few hours ago Senator Keating said he would eat his hat if the Defense Department and others would say that the medium range missile sites had been bulldozed out in the same way that the intermediate range ballistic missile sites had been bulldozed out. Do you have a hat for him?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: I don It own a hat and I hope he does r because he is going to have to eat it, based on the evidence that we presented today.
Q: Mr. Secretary, I understood Mr. Hughes to say that on the 9th of October a report was issued to the effect that IL-28 ts arrived in Cuba. I don’t have such a report.
SECRETARY McNAMARA: Perhaps John can answer the question.
MR. HUGHES: What had happened was that the report in the intelligence community had been released to the effect that our analysis of these crates led us to conclude that they carried Soviet IL-28 bombers. This was late in the evening, 2213 hours, in fact.
The information was briefed to policymakers on the l0th. It was the missions that were programmed subsequent to that time that covered San Julian Airfield and revealed these aircraft deployed.
Q: This was in a secret document?
MR. HUGHES: Yes, sir: it was.
Q: Mr. Secretary, evidently the CIA chief is not quite maybe as exactly positive as you seem to be today. At the Preparedness Subcommittee today he said that these reports of build-up are being meticulously checked but absolute assurance on these matters, he says, could only come from continuing, penetrating on-site inspection.
DO you see the need for such things, or are you happy with aerial reconnaissance?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: I believe that the aerial reconnaissance we are carrying out shall serve as a basis for estimating the Soviet movements of equipment into Cuba. I think that it is, of course, possible that estimates of the numbers of personnel, for example, might vary somewhat between an onsite count on the one hand, versus aerial reconnaissance on the other, but I personally believe that the aerial reconnaissance does provide a satisfactory basis for estimating the numbers of equipment by type of equipment on the island of Cuba, put there by the Soviet Union.
Q: The IRBM's that you have mentioned, you show pictures of other equipment but there is no photograph of a parade of an IRBM and other photographs of IRBM. That is one question.
The ships that turned back, do you believe that they carried IRBM's, and the third related question is, were there any atomic weapons ever identified or detected in Cuba, and if they were, what happened to them?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: The ships that turned back very probably carried IRBM missiles and/or associated equipment. The movement of nuclear warheads into Cuba I believe occurred. I believe we observed it in certain vehicles and we observed the movement of those vehicles out of Cuba, and we traced the shipment of those vehicles on ships back into the-home waters of the Soviet Union.
Q: How about the photographs of the IRBM, the first question?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: We have photographs of IRBM's not on the island of Cuba, but taken elsewhere. We simply didn't show them today.
Q: Mr. Secretary, is there any limit to the quantities of material and men that the Soviet Union might bring into Cuba beyond which the United States might feel it necessary to take action, and what might this limit be?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: I think that we made clear twice this afternoon the general standard underlying our policy. We will not tolerate the use of Cuba as a base for the export of subversion and aggression against the other governments of other nations of the Hemisphere.
Q: Mr. Secretary, are there any sea-based offensive weapons of the Polaris type or others operating in and around Cuba?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: No, and I think perhaps what you have in mind is that there are recurring rumors that the Soviets have established submarine bases on the shores of Cuba, bases which might presumably be used for submarines carrying missiles. We have no evidence whatsoever that such bases have been established. AS a matter of fact, we have positive evidence that they have not been.
Q: Mr. Secretary, I got the impression from Mr. Hughes that you had no photographic count of the number of missiles that went into Cuba, but from your initial statement I gather that you are saying that you do have a record of the number of missiles.
SECRETARY McNAMARA: We have a record of the number of missiles observed in Cuba, and we have recorded that exact number moving onto ships and on the ships moving into the home waters of the Soviet Union.
Q: Mr. Secretary, Murray Marder, the Washington Post. Sir, can you clarify for us who is in control of the SA-2 missiles, and also if it is the American supposition that they will be withdrawn -- that the troops will be withdrawn -- would the missiles necessarily be withdrawn or will they be left in Cuban hands?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: My answers will have to be based on sheer speculation. I don't know the rationality of the personnel in control of the surface-to-air missile system in Cuba. I believe it to be controlled by Soviet personnel.
Secondly, will the systems be removed? I don't know. I have no indication that they are being removed.
Q: Mr. Secretary, May Craig, of the Portland, Maine, Press Herald. Senator Dirksen said that planes cannot tell us what may be in the caves in Cuba. Are you satisfied that you know or don't know?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: I am satisfied that there are no major elements of offensive weapons systems in the caves in Cuba. I believe that the photography which we have carried out, a portion of which we have shown you today, of all Soviet ships moving into Cuban waters, and of the equipment that has been unloaded from those ships, makes it unlikely beyond any reasonable doubt that offensive weapons system equipment could not have been unloaded and moved into caves without our detection.
Q: Mr. Secretary, to pull all of this together, can you then say that you are personally convinced that there is absolutely not one single offensive system in Cuba, of any kind, any place, anywhere?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: I think that is quite a certification. I don1t believe it would be wise to use your exact words. But I do want to leave no doubt in your minds. I am satisfied that there are no offensive weapons systems in Cuba, and I am satisfied of this beyond any reasonable doubt.
Q: Q. Mr. Secretary, it is my recollection that the President at a press conference a few days after September 9 indicated that there were no offensive missiles in Cuba. Is my recollection wrong, or is this explained by delay in getting this material to the President?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: I am not certain I understand your question.
Q: I can't remember the date, but sometime in early September, maybe the 11th or the 14th, didn't the President make a statement saying that we had not found any offensive systems in Cuba? Now I understand that as of the 9th we know that there were bombers.
SECRETARY McNAMARA: No, I believe the date was a few days earlier than you are recalling, and the information on the bombers was not analyzed for several days, a substantial number of days as a matter of fact, after the photographs were taken, this because you recall that the first ship -- a photograph of which was taken, I believe, on the 8th of September -- showed only deck cargo in crates. That photograph was transmitted back to this country from the area in which it was taken, developed, processed, interpreted, and then the results of the interpretation translated into a series of analyses of alternative possibilities.
All this took a number of days, and it wasn't until long after the 8th, therefore, that any report was made by the intelligence analysts to the policy formulators in the government of the probability that they were IL-28 bombers.
Q: Mr. Secretary, Norris of the Washington Post. In view of the fact we didn't know when and how the offensive missiles got into Cuba, no photographs, we were surprised, how do we know that only 42 came in and that 42 went out?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: As you mow, we covered the entire island of Cuba with fine-resolution photography, analyzed every foot of it several times, located 42 missiles, and their associated equipment, balanced the missiles against the type of equipment, accounted for all of the equipment and all of the missiles leaving Cuba, and there is no evidence today, again based upon high resolution photography taken in good weather, of any missiles or missile-related equipment on the island of Cuba.
Q: Mr. Secretary, has anyone from your Department got together with these legislators to see what intelligence they do have and to discredit it fact to face with them?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: Members of the intelligence community have repeatedly met with members of the public including members of the Congress, who have indicated they have received information relating to Soviet movements, equipment and personnel into Cuba and discussed the material with them.
We receive several thousand reports each month of material in Cuba or personnel and material moving into Cuba. These are all analyzed and evaluated, and based upon them, conclusions such as those we have reported to you today are developed.
The reports which we received from the public or from other sources are included in the evaluation process. To the best of my knowledge we have all of the information that has been reported by legislators or other members of the public.
Q: Mr. Secretary, Senator Stennis said today that in the course of events it may very well be that a new and similar show of strength, force, and determination might be required by the situation in Cuba. Do you agree with that?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: I think only the future can tell. At the present time, as we reported to you, we see nothing but defensive arms on the island of Cuba. I think our national policy is very clear, and we will examine the events of the future against that policy as the future unfolds.
Q: Can you tell us if any efforts are being made to harass or interfere with our photo-reconnaissance activities?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: Our photo-reconnaissance activities are continuing, and beyond that, I don't believe it would be wise for me to comment.
Q: Mr. Secretary, could you comment on the possibilities that Cuba is being used as a training base for subversion in other Latin American countries, or sabotage, and do you connect the Venezuelan oil field thing with that?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: I have no evidence that Cuba is being used as a base for subversion directed against other Latin American countries. It is a matter that is of constant interest to us and one we are monitoring continuously.
Q: Is there anything to suggest that the Soviet-Cuban force might be there to suppress any revolt against the Castro regime?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: Again, an answer would be sheer speculation, and I don1t think that it would throw any light on the truth for me to speculate.
Q: Mr. Secretary, Ann Bordone, Northern Virginia Sun and others: I am wondering, since they stole the march on us in Cuba a little bit, have we significantly changed our intelligence in other countries so it won't happen again so fast?
I am sure we have, but will you confirm it?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: The question is since the Soviets stole the march on us in Cuba, have we changed our intelligence methods as they relate to Cuba or elsewhere.
This is an interesting question, since it starts with a statement, statement I happen to disagree with. We are dealing with a closed society. In that closed society in Cuba are six million people, covering all ages from the newly born to the aged. Of the six million people, 100,000 are government agents, government agents with the power to withhold food ration books from th6sethey detect operating in a way disloyal to the government.
Under these circumstances, the intelligence evaluation process -- checks and evaluation process -- and the results that have come therefrom as have been described to you today, seem to me to be remarkable. I don't believe that the Soviets stole a march on us. I think we have been continuously informed within a matter of days after the act of the major actions they have taken during this period.
I believe we are continuing to be continuously informed. Since I don't play an active role in the intelligence checks or evaluation, I can say without being immodest, I think a remarkable job has been done by all those associated with this activity for the past six months.
Q: Do the Frog missiles, some of which are still in Cuba, have a nuclear capability?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: The Frogs are almost certainly capable of nuclear and non-nucle r fire.
Q: Mr. Secretary, hasn't the Navy detected radioactive material, a large amount, corning into Cuba within the last four weeks?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: No. The Soviets have announced some movements, I understand, of certain isotope products or something of that kind. That may be what you are referring to.
Q: Would 750 kilograms of fissionable material, which is nearly a ton, be isotopes, sir?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: I am not enough of a nuclear scientist to say. But if you are implying that the Navy has detected the movement of nuclear warhead material into Cuba in the last four weeks, they absolutely have not, and I say that without any qualification.
Q: Mr. Secretary, I gather from what you say that in recent weeks Cuba has become less of a military threat to the united States than it was at the time right after the crisis, after the missiles and the bombers were removed, less of a threat in the sense of, I think you said, 5,000 Russians had returned to the homeland.
It is a lessening threat to the United States, from what I gather.
SECRETARY McNAMARA: Cuba is a lessening military threat to the extent that the military personnel of the Soviet Union and their equipment are being removed. As you point out, 5,000 Soviet military personnel have moved out in the last eight or nine weeks, and there appears to be some continuing movement out.
What the future holds, I can’t say,
Q: Mr. Secretary, do you have any reason to suspect that the source of the information the Congressmen and Senators are passing out may come from your own department, and, if so, are you making checks into this and doing anything about it?
SECRETARY McNAMARA: No, I don It have any reason to believe that the source of information reported to the public by the legislative representatives comes from the Defense Department or any other department of the government.
There are such a wide variety of reports circulating today, largely from refugee sources, of activities in Cuba. I think it quite natural that the Senators and Representatives should receive some of those and should be concerned about them. I think this is only to be expected, and we are endeavoring, as best we can, to meet with them, to obtain from them the information they have received, to collate it with our information, and to insure that it is properly evaluated in developing the final conclusions as to the Soviet presence in Cuba.
Now, gentlemen, we have been here two hours. We tried to give you as complete an expose as it is within our power to do of the information we have gathered over the past four months. I hope it leads you to the conclusion it does me, that there are no offensive weapons systems in Cuba today, that all those that were introduced by the soviets have been removed, that the remaining Soviet presence in Cuba, Soviet military presence, is limited to four combat forces, roughly each the size of a reinforced battalion, plus such other technical and advisory personnel as are associated with the air defense units and he training of Cubans in the use of the patrol craft and coastal defense equipment furnished to them.
Thank you very much.
NOTE: This transcript was prepared by the Department of Defense and has not been checked word-for-word against the film of the briefing. The original transcript is in "Countries: Cuba, Testimony, McNamara 02/07/1963" folder, Box 63, National Security Files, John F. Kennedy Library.