When I was in the Navy, I was stationed at Norfolk Naval Operating base. There was a minor stir when I was there, and it had to do with Richard Marcinko and his Red Cell operation. Of course, this incident was rumor, but I believe it to be true. This incident explains what happened at Ft Hood and at the Washington Naval Yard pretty effectively.
It was in the late 80’s, and the commander of SEAL team 6 had been given a new assignment: test the US Military’s ability to handle a terrorist attack. He hand picked a group of 12 SEALs and one Marine to play the part of a terror organization unofficially called “Red Cell.” The Cell was to stage mock attacks on Naval installations as a test of their security.
The tests were to be announced, and the plans for the attacks made known to the base commander of any installation beforehand. This reportedly irritated Marcinko, who felt it was not a true test if the commander of an installation knew when, where, and how an attack would come. So, he played fast and loose with the rules.
He was perhaps the most despised officer in the Navy, for the cardinal sin of making other officers look foolish. This is one reason why SpecWar is not highly regarded by most officers.
The Norfolk base was on alert for a Red Cell exercise. I was on duty that night, and we had been warned to be on alert for swimmer attacks. Extra watches were posted. Thinking this was a SEAL attack, the commanders assumed that the attack would come by sea. They were wrong. According to rumors at the time, the Red Cell members attacked an ambulance just off base as they were eating at McDonald’s. They stole their uniforms, and used the ambulance to enter the base, and stage a kidnapping of the Commander, Naval Forces Atlantic.
This was reportedly the incident that caused the ultimate end of the Red Cell program, according to rumor.
Instead of recognizing the true problem and fixing it, the military brass simply punished the person that exposed the problem. This is a typical response from bureaucrats that care more for their careers than they do for organizational success. That is the basic flaw of our military: it is more of a jobs program than it is a true fighting force.
This is also the reason why it will be our nation’s militarized police force that subjugates the American people, and not the military. A militia force in the US would do well against our own military. The police in this country are better armed than the Army. This is illustrated by the fact that an attack on a military base that houses the Chief of Naval Operations by a lone gunman was more successful that it would have been on any city police station.