31 July 2002
A knowledgeable investigator has questioned the authenticity of these intercepts due to their unconvincing format which do not match those of known intercepts, and which customarily have classification other than "Top Secret" such as special code phrase. Cryptome passed along this critique to the source which responds:
The original intercepts were made by the US intelligence (probably the NSA) which passed them to UK intelligence. The UK passed them to South African intelligence. South African intelligence prepared these sanitized transcriptions and passed them to the Cuban exile community with which South Africa was exchanging Cuban intelligence material. At a later date, a member of the Cuban exile community recognized the nom de guerre of an acquaintance who had served with the Soviets and Cubans in Angola, told that person about the intercepts and provided copies shown here. The nom de guerre-person claims the contents of the intercepts appear genuine although the formatting fits fabrication for consumers outside the intelligence community in accord with common practice to camouflage means and methods. And that in the intelligence sharing world the code phrase is caveat emptor.
The redacted "SIGNAL" entries are South African intelligence file numbers, redacted by that agency.
Additional intercepts in the series will be provided.
20 July 2002. Ten of these signal intercepts were published here on May 31, 2002. Anonymous has provided eleven additional intercepts with an introduction and annotations on the messages; the 21 are now published with annotations on each. Image of Signal No. 18:
31 May 2002. Thanks to Anonymous for images of original messages.
Signal identification (XXX XXXXX) redacted in originals.
The following 21 signals over the period September 1987 until 27 December 1988 were supplied to the Cuban Exile community in Miami, Florida by member(s) of the South African National Party with links to the Cuban-American Foundation president, Mas Canosa.
They have evidently been extensively reworked since they first record the transmissions of the Cuban, Angolan and Soviet military engaged in combat in southern Angola and northern Namibia against the South African Defence Force (SADF). The end of this conflict, which both the communist countries and South Africa claimed they had won, led to a withdrawing of the 50,000-member Cuban garrison from Angola, the South African administration (there since 1915) and United Nations supervised elections won by SWAPO, the socialist allies of Cuba and the USSR and the present incumbent government in Namibia. The following year 1990, the National Party released Nelson Mandela (head of the African National Congress) from prison and started negotiations towards democracy in South Africa.
Given the format, lexicon and style the original transcript was most probably American, then edited with explanatory notes for South African purposes before being given to the Cuban exiles. Their interest undoubtedly relating to the mention of senior Cuban communist personalities, particularly the nationally popular Divisional General, Arn Ido Ochoa Sanchez, executed by Raul Castro, head of the Cuban military (FAR) and brother to Cuban president, Fidel Castro.
Each signal is prefaced with details of the data capture listed after a standard set of abbreviations.
TOO: Time of Origin including date of transmission: Z = Greenwhich Mean Time
C/S: Call Sign (of sender)
Net: Radio network
Stat: Status (of intercept): decryption status: either in full yield or partially complete.
LO: Language of Origin.
Fm: From: source or sender of signal
DF: Direction Find (sender or receiver) in longitude and latitude.
TO: To: intended recipient of signal.
FMT: Format? Either plaintext or encrypted.
Trans: Trans(mission) type: voice, radio or satellite comsat (Soviet communication space-based satellite or platform).
Signal 1: 17 September 1987
bogey - enemy fighter aircraft.
23 - MiG23A series Soviet fighter.
Rundu - Military base and airfield (home of Mirage (French manufacture) squadron in South African controlled Namibia).
TOP SECRET SIGINT : PEOPLES' REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA SIGNAL: XXX XXXXX LO : Spanish TOO : 18 39 Z 17 Sept 87 FM : COL. MOROJON TRANS : comsat DF : 13 14 48E 013 52 34S C/S : TO : COL WILSON NET : cuban/ic DF : 13 30 04E 14 50 56S STAT : full FMT : encrypted _________________________________________________________ MESSAGE: BOGEY FORMATION INTERCEPT OUR 2 X 23 CONFIRMED RUNDU SCRAMBLE. ONE BOGEY DEFINITELY HIT. NO RUNDU ARRIVAL KNOWN. POSSIBLY DIVERTED. KS[HAGANOVICH] CONFIRMS NO MIRZ DEPLOYED TO NAMIBIA FROM WATERKLOOF OR UPPINGTON SINCE TUESDAY LAST. WILL UPDATE AS NEEDED. REPLY: FEWA IMAGINES BOER GLEASON WOULD HAVE BEEN SUMMONED FROM HIS BOOZE ON THIS ONE. ENDS TRANS TOP SECRET
Signal 2: 26 December 1987
Bushmen: Khoisan people recruited since 1977 by Colonel Jannie Geldenhuis of the SADF (later commanding General of SADF at time of conflict with Cuba) into a specialized tracking and combat unit (31 Battalion) with white officers and senior Noncoms. Relocated in 1990 to the Smitsdrift SADF base in South Africa where they remain today.
Orbat: Order of Battle - an inventory of military hardware and formations of personnel.
Mil Regions: Communist Government of Angola divided the country into military zones for combat purposes. Zone 5 was Cunene on the Namibian border; Zone 6 was Cuando Cubango on Namibian and Zambia borders.
Brigade numbers refer to Angolan main battle formations and included Cuban and iet command elements.
FAPLA: Portugese acronym for the Popular Armed Forces of Angola, the Luanda Government's armed forces and allies with USSR, Cuba and SWAPO.
Volunteers: Cubans "volunteered" for military service in Angola. In reality they were press-ganged.
TOP SECRET SIGINT : PEOPLES' REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA SIGNAL: XXX XXXXX LO : Spanish TOO : 23 57 Z 26 Dec 87 FM : FEWA [VOLOSHILOV] TRANS : comsat DF : 13 14 48B 0 52 34S C/S : TO : GEN. ? COL. WILSON NET : cuban/ic DF : 19 11 82E 15 15 22S STAT : full FMT : encrypted __________________________________________________________________ MESSAGE: COMMANDER, DO NOT UNDER ESTIMATE TACTICAL EFFECTIVENESS OF BUSHMEN UNITS IN BOER ORBAT - 31 BATTALION. LETHAL TO ANY BODY MOVING BEYOND ENTRENCHED POSITIONS. THEY HAVE THE BEST FIELD TACTICAL SKILLS ON THE PLANET IN THIS THEATRE. MOST OF THEM ARE OF ANGOLAN ORIGIN; HAVE EXCELLENT PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE OF 5 & 6 MILITARY REGIONS. CMDRS 66, 59 AND 25 BRIGADE IGNORE 31 DEPLOYMENT AT OWN COST BY FOLLOWING THE SUPERSTITIONS OF FAPLA COLLEAGUES - THEY WILL PAY THE PRICE OF MANY VOLUNTEERS LOST. ENDS TRANS TOP SECRET
Signal 3: 27 December 1987
Bandits: Disparaging reference to South Africa's Angolan rebel allies, UNITA, headed by Dr Jonas Savimbi, recently killed, in May 2002, by the Angolan (MPLA) military.
Cells: Soviet reference to individual mortar or artillery shells.
Nato Quebec / Nato Sierra: letters Q and S referred to as Quebec and Sierra in NA radio parlance.
G5: South African gun with routine range of 45km developed by rogue Canadian ballistics expert Gerald Bull. Considered the world's best in field cannonry at the time.
Chico: Jocular term of familiarity in Cuban Spanish when addressing close colleagues or subordinates.
50 Division: Havana's principal military unit for defense of the Cuban capital transferred into Angola in the latter part of 1986 to help push for final victory over the SADF and UNITA's military wing, FALA. Previously the Soviet Union command directed the seasonal offensives against the SADF/UNITA in southern and northern Angola. Raul Castro insisted in 1986 that operational direction of the war instead rest with FAR as most combat casualties were Cuban and not Soviet. To this purpose Div. Gen. Ochoa was re-assigned from Nicaragua to Angola and the crack 50 (Municipal) Division transferred.
TOP SECRET SIGINT : PEOPLES' REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA SIGNAL: XXX XXXXX LO : Spanish TOO : 22 27 Z 27 Dec 87 FM : FEWA [VOLOSHILOV] TRANS : voice/radio DF : 19 11 85E 15 15 24s C/S : TO : GEN. OCHOA NET : ussr-mac-ftc DF : 13 14 48E 08 52 34S STAT : full yield FMT : encrypted __________________________________________________________________ MESSAGE: BOERS BELIEVED TO BE SOLE OPERATORS OF COMPUTER ASSISTED TARGET SELECTORS AND 155 CANNON [G5] : OPERATIONAL SOPHISTICATION AND STRATEGIC SCARCITY DICTATE BANDITS NOT, REPEAT NOT, AS PREVIOUSLY DISCUSSED, CAPABLE OR PERMITTED TO ORDER FIRING OF CELLS OF NATO-QUEBEC & NATO-SIERRA BATTERIES. CONFIRM BOER LASER RANGING (HANDHELD) USED AGAINST 25 BRIGADE. BOER LEADERSHIP ELEMENT IN 31 BATTALION COMPLAIN OF BANDITS IN 3 GROUP FIRING ON THEM FROM BEHIND. STANDING BY FOR RESPONSE. REPLY: CHICO, KEEP ME APPRAISED ON COUNTER MEASURES AGAINST 155 CANNON AS YOU FORMULATE THEM, NO MATTER HOW INEFFECTIVE YOU THINK THEM. PSYCHOLOGICALLY GUNS ARE DEVASTATING FAPLA AND 50 DIVISION MORALE. ENDS TRANS TOP SECRET
Signal 4: 28 December 1987
32 BN: Battalion manned by Angolan defectors from FAPLA and remnants of the Portugese colonial army with an officer and senior Noncom command staffed by white South Africans, many fluent in the Portugese language.
MRLS: NATO acronym for Multiple Rocket Launch System. The South African system termed Valkiri had a range in excess of 15km and easily better reaching than the USSR Katyusha system's 10km maximum range.
5 Reconnaisance: South African reconnaissance unit based in Caprivi, Namibia, using both African and white operators. Often deployed in teams 3 strong.
[Cuito] Cuanevale: famous battle site in 6 Military Region where Fidel Castro later claimed FAR and MPLA had defeated the SADF. Other place names mentioned are towns in same region.
Local time: Angolan was five (5) hours ahead of Cuban time. South Africa six (6) ahead.
TOP SECRET SIGINT : PEOPLES' REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA SIGNAL: XXX XXXXX LO : Spanish TOO : 00 37 Z 28 Dec 87 FM : FEWA [VOLOSHILOV] TRANS : comsat DF : 17 40 36E 14 39 50S C/S : TO : COL. MOROJON NET : cuban/ic DF : 13 14 47E 08 52 34S STAT : partial FMT : encrypted __________________________________________________________________ MESSAGE: ARTILLERY OBSERVATION POSTS MANNED AS CONFIRMED BY SIGNALS INT[ELLIGENCE] BY INDIVIDUALLY DEPLOYED WHITE MEMBERS OF 32 BN AND 5 RECONNAISSANCE COMMANDO ON BOTH EAST AND WEST BANKS OF CUANEVALE AND AROUND MENONGUE AND ALONG THE ROAD IN BETWEEN. NORTH OF CUATIR; CHAMBINGA - HUBE; DALA; TUMPO; MOVED NORTH AROUND 25 BRIGADE OF BOTH THE MIANE // ... // BUT SOUTH OF VIMPULO. WARN 66 BRIGADE TO EXPECT BOER MRLS EARLY EVENING UNTIL JUST AFTER TWO LOCAL TIME. TOP SECRET
Signal 5: 1149 Z 29 December 87
DDR: East German.
FEWA: Ovambo language name for white South African working as member of the Soviet Airforce. ldentified tentatively as a member of the South African political party, the African National Congress, presently an elected local government representative in the Democratic Alliance party. Also referred to throughout signal series as Colonel Voloshilov.
Low cover: height of clouds or clear-view conditions low enough to hamper take-offs and landings.
Kites: general reference in NATO parlance to aircraft, including the South African airforce.
TOP SECRET SIGINT : PEOPLES' REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA SIGNAL: XXX XXXXX LO : Spanish TOO : 11 49 Z 29 Dec 87 FM : FEWA [VOLOSHILOV] TRANS : voice/radio DF : 19 11 85E 15 15 24S09 C/S : TO : GEN. OCHOA NET : DDR - C3 DF : 13 14 48E 08 52 34S STAT : full FMT : encrypted __________________________________________________________________ MESSAGE: ATTENDANCE NOT POSSIBLE DUE TO LOW COVER. ALSO UNDER BOER AIR ATTACK ALL MORNING. 34 LIGHT CASUALTIES NO KITES HIT. RELIEF URGENT. REPLY: NOTED. NO RELIEF POSSIBLE FOR NEXT FIVE HOURS. ENDS TRANS TOP SECRET
Signal 6: 23 47 Z 29 December 87
Spets: Soviet military slang for Special Forces.
Cahama: South Western airfield in Angola enlarged by Cuban and Soviet military engineers throughout 1986 - 88.
HDEZ: most probably acronym for Spanish surname Hernandez.
Internalional Mission: Collective reference to all combatants from communist countries in Angola.
Minfar: Cuban government acronym for the Defense Ministry headed by Raul Castro.
FLOT: NATO acronym: Forward Line of Target.
Cangambas: unknown Angolan location of SADF/Cuban engagement.
TOP SECRET SIGINT : PEOPLES' REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA SIGNAL: XXX XXXXX LO : Spanish TOO : 23 47 Z 29 Dec 87 FM : FEWA [VOLOSHILOV] TRANS : comsat DF : 17 40 36E 14 39 50S C/S : TO : GEN. OCHOA COL. WILSON NET : ussr-mac-ftc DF : 13 14 48E 08 52 34S STAT : full yield FMT : encrypted __________________________________________________________________ MESSAGE: BOER SPETS [ 5 RECON ] ATTACKED BY RIVERINE APPROACHES. AS IN CASE OF THE RIVER CROSSINGS TO CAHAMA AIR FIELD. COUNTER MEASURE REMAINS NETS WITH TRIGGER/SATCHEL CHARGE. PREVIOUS EVALUATION HDEZ IGNORED TO OWN COST. LET INT[TERNATIONAL] MISSION NOT REPEAT: ONE BRIDGE IS QUITE ENOUGH. AIR SUPERIORITY MEANS OUR VICTORY AT THE STRATEGIC LEVEL IS ASSURED. BEST TO AVOID A HEAVY LAND COST, NO MATTER WHAT MINFAR SAYS. BOERS WE AGREED CANNOT AFFORD PROLONGED DIRECT AIR-TO-AIR ENGAGEMENT OVER FLOT. NO MORE CANGAMBAS! END TRANS TOP SECRET
Signal 7: 02 January 1988
ftc: forward traffic control.
Sortie: air patrol operation of limited duration or range.
Stingers: US Army, shoulder-launched surface-to-surface air rocket system, considired highly effective, more so than the version of its Soviet counterpart SAM 7 Strela. These rockets were supplied by the Reagan and Bush administrations to UNITA.
Saturation: high intensity bombardment.
TOP SECRET SIGINT : PEOPLES' REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA SIGNAL: XXX XXXXX LO : Spanish TOO : 22 42 Z 02 Jan 88 FM : COL. WILSON TRANS : voice/radio DF : 13 30 00E 14 51 00S C/S : TO : FEWA [VOLOSHILOV] NET : cuban ftc DF : 17 40 35E 14 39 50S STAT : full yield FMT : encrypted __________________________________________________________________ MESSAGE: FORWARD POSITIONS WEST OF RIVER UNDER RANDOM BOMBARDMENT. AIR SORTIES POSSIBLE ONCE COVER LIFTS TODAY BY 10 IN THE MORNING. LIGHT CASUALTIES. TACTICAL MANOEUVRE IMPOSSIBLE AND CRITICAL AROUND FIELD. STINGERS FIRED AT OUR TACTICAL: NO HITS. REPLY: IS SATURATION AROUND OUR FIELD POSSIBLE FROM LUBANGO? STINGERS FIRED BY BOER FORCES. LBG - AFB: NO. HOLD ON. ENDS TRANS TOP SECRET
Signal 8: 04 January 1988
Gen. [Konstantine] Shaganovich: General head of Soviet military assistance to Angolan command.
Base bleed: energy drag a projectile such as an artillery shell undergoes during its trajectory.
Charge pack: additional propellant added to cannon breech along with the shell it to increase its range.
USA Daisy Cutter: air delivered ordinance used by United States in closing stages of the Vietnam war in 1972 - 1975.
Cuatir River: site of battlefield defeat of FAPLA brigade 21 with estimated personnel losses of 75%.
Cruz: Literally Spanish word for cross, the outline this fighter-trainer makes at altitude. Used extensively by SADF for lob bombing of Cuban and Angolan positions. This bomber was named Impala by the SADF. It allows the aerial bomber to avoid line-of-sight with intended target during delivery.
Matra: French anti aircraft system brought by South Africa and termed Cactus system.
ATW: Anti tank weapon.
21/25: reformed FAPLA 21 and 25 Brigades.
TOP SECRET SIGINT : PEOPLES' REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA SIGNAL: XXX XXXXX LO : Spanish TOO : 23 48 Z 04 Jan 88 FM : FEWA [VOLOSHILOV] TRANS : comsat DF : 19 11 80E 15 15 20S C/S : TO : GEN. SHAGANOVICH COL. MOROJON NET : cuban/ic DF : 13 14 48E 08 52 34S STAT : full FMT : encrypted __________________________________________________________________ MESSAGE: BOER 155 ARTILLERY TARGET ACQUISITION SELECTORS ARE NOT LIKELY THE MODEL OF USA ORIGIN; SEEM TO BE OF FRENCH MAKE LIKE MATRA  MUNITIONS SUPPLY. GIVEN FRENCH SINGLE MINDEDNESS AND RACIST REGIME'S SUPPLY PROGRAMME OF MIL[ITARY] TECHNOLOGY, HARDLY SURPRISING. SHELL WITH BASE BLEED ACCURACY APPROX 10 METRE. MAX RANGE THEORETICALLY 80KM WITH FULL CHARGE PACK, BUT COUNT ON 45 AS A ROUTINE REACH. BALL BEARING BOMB WITH LASER INBOUND GUIDANCE IS A BOER DEVELOPMENT. NOT A USA DAISY CUTTER, BUT A SOUTH~FRICAN VERSION. VERY EFFECTIVE AGAINST 21 BRIGADE INF[ANTRY] EAST BANK SOUTH OF CUATIR LAST DECEMBER. DELIVERY BY MIRAGE AND CRUZ [IMPALA]. GOING ON ASSESSMENT ON BOER MILAN ATW [ZT-3], CONCLUDE MUST BE DEPLOYED OUR THEATRE; 21/25 ALERTED. ENDS TRANS TOP SECRET
Signal 9: 05 January 1987
"word": reference to Joe Slovo, chairman of the South African Communist Party. Slovo in Russian means word.
The beard: or "el baro" in Cuban slang refers to the Cuban head of state, Fidel Castro.
Maricon: Cuban Spanish derogatory word believed in the Cuban exile community to be a reference to Raul Castro.
Son of Leonid's eyebrows: jocular reference to Ronnie Kasrils, a leading South African communist, in 1994 South African Deputy Minister of Defense, presently Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry. Leonid Breznev: former head of the USSR and, like Kasrils, had thick eyebrows.
Historicos: Cuban Spanish for the "old ones" referring to the first members of FAR who fought with the Castro brothers against Cuban patriot Fulgencia Batista until victory in 1959.
Kito (Rodrigues): Angolan Minister of Defence.
Bengo / Melange: northern Angolan provinces remote form the southern area of the war.
Shapua: commander of SWAPO military formation in south of Angola.
TOP SECRET SIGINT : PEOPLES' REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA SIGNAL: XXX XXXXX LO : Spanish TOO : 12 49 Z 05 Jan 88 FM : GEN. OCHOA TRANS : voice/radio DF : 13 14 48E 08 52 34S C/S : TO : FEWA [VOLOSHILOV] NET : ussr-mac-ftc DF : 13 20 05E 14 50 58S STAT : full yield FMT : encrypted __________________________________________________________________ MESSAGE: BRACE FOR IMPACT, CHICO: THE "WORD" HAVE VISITED HABANA TO SEE THE BEARD AND THE MARICON. SON OF LEONID'S EYEBROWS ALSO CAME WITH THE "WORD". FAMILIARISATION TOUR EXPECTED OUR SIDE SOON. PROBABLY SOME "HISTORICOS" ACCOMPANYING. REPLY: THE "WORD" COMES WITH FEW DEEDS. I HEAR HE CAN AT LEAST PLAY A DECENT HAND OF CARDS. PERMISSION TO SHOOT ON SIGHT THE HEROIC EYEBROWS IF TOUCH DOWN IS 4/5/6 MILITARY REGION. ASK KITO TO CONFINE ANY TOURS TO BENGO AND MELANGE IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. LUANDA: PERMISSION RELUCTANTLY DENIED. BUT I WILL TRY TO DISSUADE. KS[HAGANOVICH] AND SHAPUA [SWAPO] NOT TOO KEEN EITHER ABOUT VISITORS TO OUR POSITIONS. ENDS TRANS TOP SECRET
Signal 10: 11 January 1988
Menonge: FAPLA and FAR aerodrome known for being situated in low rolling hills.
Baxa Longa: Angolan frontier town located few miles north of Namibian border near Rundu.
Window: gap or opportunity.
TOP SECRET SIGINT : PEOPLES' REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA SIGNAL: XXX XXXXX LO : Spanish TOO : 10 57 Z 11 Jan 88 FM : COL. MOROJON TRANS : comsat DF : 13 30 02E 14 15 03S C/S : TO : GEN. OCHOA FEWA [VOLOSHILOV] NET : cuban C3 DF : 13 14 49E 08 52 34S STAT : full yield FMT : encrypted __________________________________________________________________ MESSAGE: CONFIRM BOER OBSERVATION UNIT HAS ARRIVED AROUND MENONGUE. DO NOT YET KNOW IF THEY HAVE JOINED UP WITH BAXA LONGA GROUP OUT OF RUNDU. FEWA TO CONFIRM ANY WINDOW ON THEIR SIGNALS INTEGRATION. REPLY: WILL DISCUSS WITH KS[HAGANOVICH] AND FEWA AT NEXT BATTLE CONFERENCE. ENDS TRANS TOP SECRET
[Following are intercepts additional to those published 31 May
Signal 11: 19 January 1988
44 Sqn: 44 squadron? Possibly transmission or translation error. No known Angola or Cuban flight.
Pedale: FAPLA airfield.
DDR C2: Communist East German command and control. Germans ran and large parts of the Angolan military radio network.
Comsec: Communications security, i.e., radio silence in this instance.
SIGINT PEOPLES' REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA SIGNAL: RM LO Spanish TOO : 2152 Z 19 Jan 88 FM GEN. OCHOA TRANS : comsat/radio DF 13 20 06E 14 50 56S C/S TO CMDRS 21/59 BRI GEN. SHAGANOVIC FEWA - 44 SQN PEDALE - FTC NET : DDR C2 DF situ STAT : full yield FMT encrypted TOP SECRET SIGINT : PEOPLES' REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA SIGNAL: XXX XXXXX LO : Spanish TOO : 2152 Z 19 Jan 88 FM : COL.OCHOA TRANS : comsat/radio DF : 13 20 06E 14 50 56S C/S : TO : CNDRS 21/59 BRIG. GEN. SHAGANOVICH FEWA - 44 SQN PEDALE - FTC NET : DDR C2 DF : situ STAT : full yield FMT : encrypted __________________________________________________________________ MESSAGE: 21 BRIGADE BETTER RE-ENTRENCH BEHIND MINEFIELD PERIMETER OF TMA-5 BOOSTED WITH TNT BLOCK. WIDTH APPROX 3 KM, NETWORKING WITH ANTI-PERSONNEL MINES POM-Z AND PPM-2 AGAINST BOER ARMOUR WITH RUBBER WHEEL AND ALSO PREVENT ENEMY INF[ANTRY] MOVING OFF VEHICLES AGAINST OUT DUG-IN POSITION ON THE CUATIR SOUTH BANK. 59 BRIGADE TO DO THE SAME WITH MINE RESERVE IT HOLDS; IF PROBLEM GET FROM CMDR DETACHMENT 50 DIV[ISION]. FEWA TO HOLD BATTLE CONFERENCE WITH ME MENONGUE SOONEST. CONFIRM. REPLY: COL. IS NOW IN RECON OVER MENONGUE. DO YOU NEED FORWARDED MESSAGE IN FLIGHT? LUANDA: NO. PRESERVE COMSEC. ENDS TRANS TOP SECRET
Signal 12: 23 February 1988
Cabinda: enclave, part of Angolan territory, site of much of Angola's oil production. Target of South African special forces in 1985 - 1987.
Det Encryptor: unknown South African field encryption device.
Hopper / Hooper: Hopper is South African designed frequency hopping radio. Hooper was name of one of the two operations in southern Angola at this time.
TOP SECRET SIGINT : PEOPLES' REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA SIGNAL: XXX XXXXX LO : Russian TOO : 18 46 Z 23 Fec 88 FM : GEN. SHAGANOVITCH TRANS : comsat DF : 13 14 47E 08 52 34S C/S : TO : FEWA [VOLOSHILOV] NET : usssr - mac - ftc DF : 13 30 04E 50 56S STAT : partial FMT : encrypted __________________________________________________________________ MESSAGE: SOUTH AFRICAN ENCRYPTION MACHINE SAME AS DET ENCRIPTOR CAPTURED// ... // BOER SABOTEUR CABINDA. CIRCUITRY MODIFIED ACCORDING TO MOSCOW. CIRCUITRY NOT ENGINEERED AT PRESENT. NOT NATO STANDARD REPLY: USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH HOPPER: EXPECT NO ADVANCES SOON THEREFORE. LUANDA: IS IT "HOPPER' OR THAT "HOOPER"? LBG - FTC; HOPPER IS RAPID FREQUENCY SKIP TRANSCEIVER; HOOPER ENGLISH NAME FOR BOER OPERATION IN JANUARY: SATRANS DEC 87. ENDS TRANS TOP SECRET
Signal 13: 01 March 1988
Twin: The La Guardia brothers one of whom was later executed alongside General Ochoa.
TOP SECRET SIGINT : PEOPLES' REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA SIGNAL: XXX XXXXX LO : Russian TOO : 14 27 Z 01 mAR 88 FM : GEN. SHAGANOVITCH TRANS : voice/radio DF : 13 14 48E 08 52 34S C/S : TO : FEWA [VOLOSHILOV] NET : ussr-mac-ftc DF : 17 40 36E 14 39 51S STAT : full yield FMT : encrypted __________________________________________________________________ MESSAGE: REPORT ON TACTICAL IMPLICATION OF SOUTH AFRICAN SURFACE TO AIR SYS[TEM] CACTUS ON AIR ASSETS. REPLY: THROUGH WHICH CHANNEL AND IN WHAT LANGUAGE? LUANDA: BY HAND OCHOA, A TWIN(?) [HERMANO GEMELO] OR MOROJON. SPANISH BEST. ENDS TRANS TOP SECRET
Signal 14: 02 March 1988
Top cover: minimum operating altitude.
61 Battalion: South African armored/mechanized unit.
SAMS: Surface-to-Air missile system.
Ricky: Cuban Colonel Wilson.
Jesus: Cuban Colonel Morojon.
TOP SECRET SIGINT : PEOPLES' REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA SIGNAL: XXX XXXXX LO : Spanish TOO : 07 55 Z 02 Mar 88 FM : FEWA [VOLOSHILOV] TRANS : comsat DF : 17 40 36E 14 39 51S C/S : TO : GEN. SHAGANOVITCH NET : cuban C3 DF : 13 14 47E 08 52 34S STAT : full yield FMT : encrypted __________________________________________________________________ MESSAGE: BOER SURFACE-TO-AIR SYSTEM CACTUS CURRENTLY OUT OF DATE AGAINST 21 & 23 (MIG] ATTACK PROFILES. IT IS A SHODDY SAM SYSTEM. PILOTS CAN IGNORE ON FIRST PASS SAFELY. SUGGEST TOP COVER REMAIN 2 000. 61 BATTALION CAPTURED OUR SAMS 3 & 14 AFTER THE TACTICAL BLUNDERS ON THE WEST BANK CUANEVALE IN JAN-FEB. SO FAR ONLY 2 X OCCURRENCES WHERE SAME LAUNCHED AGAINST 21 [MIG]. BOERS LACK TECHNOLOGICAL FAMILIARITY AND SLOW TO LEARN OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS OF OUR CAPTURED SAMS. CACTUS OUT DATED, USELESS. REPLY: RELAY TO RICKY AND JESUS ENDS TRANS TOP SECRET
Signal 15: 18 June 1988
Chester Crocker: US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa.
SWAVEK / Ruacana: South African installations in western Namibia.
Techipa: Angolan garrison opposite Ruacana.
Frias: Cuban General commanding 50 Division at Cuito Cuanevale.
Techepa: unknown Angolan battle site.
TOP SECRET SIGINT : PEOPLES' REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA SIGNAL: XXX XXXXX LO : Spanish TOO : 0235 Z 18 Jun 88 FM : GEN. OCHOA TRANS : comsat DF : 13 30 02E 14 50 57S C/S : TO : FEWA [VOLOSHILOV] NET : cuban C3 DF : 14 18 43E 16 18 48S STAT : full yield FMT : encrypted __________________________________________________________________ MESSAGE: BOERS IN NEW YORK CONTINUE TO DENY INVOLVEMENT IN CELLS FIRED ON CUITO CUANEVALE; BUT DECLINE TO CONFIRM OR DENY BANDIT ACTIONS BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT PART OF THE CROCKER TALKS. BEARING IN MIND THE POLITICAL CONSTRAINTS, ADVISE ON BEST RESPONSE TO GO TO BOER CMD THAT PRESERVES OUR CAPACITY FOR ACTION. MINFAR TO AUTHORISE ANY FURTHER COMBAT ACTIONS BUT I STILL HAVE FREEDOOM TO RESPOND TO BOER AGGRESSION THAT THREATENS VOLUNTEERS OR MAY TILT THE STRATEGIC INITIATIVE AWAY FROM US. BOER MANOEUVRE AT SWAVEK BRIDGE, RUACANA AND SURROUNDING TECHIPA. REPLY: CAN IT WAIT TILL THIS EVENING/ I AM ABOUT TO TAXI FOR TECHEPA: WILL INCLUDE FIELD MOVEMENTS FOR FREIAS. LUANDA FTC: YES, THE MARICON IS SCREECHING PLEASE NOTE. ENDS TRANS TOP SECRET
Signal 16: 19 June 1988
Caprivi / Kavango: eastern Namibian zones.
Grootfontein: principle South African garrison northern northern Namibia.
AAA: anti aircraft cannon.
Ondangwa / Nkongo: forward South African airfields.
Mapacha: South African airfield in Caprivi, eastern Namibia.
B-falls: unknown abbreviation for location in Namibia.
Boer trail: South Aftican aircraft often overflew Botswanan territory.
TOP SECRET SIGINT : PEOPLES' REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA SIGNAL: XXX XXXXX LO : Spanish TOO : 18 53 Z 19 Jun 88 FM : FEWA [VOLOSHILOV] TRANS : comsat DF : 14 18 43E 16 18 48S C/S : TO : GEN. OCHOA NET :cuban C3 DF : 13 20 02E 14 50 57S STAT : full yield FMT : encrypted __________________________________________________________________ MESSAGE: A RESPONSE MUST BE MADE OR THE SOUTH AFRICANS WILL TRY TO RECOVER THE LOST TACTICAL MOMENTUM WITH RESUPPLY, BOLSTERED DEFENSIVE POSITIONING AND RELOCATION OF ARMOR. COMSAT CONFIRMS RESUPPLY THE PAST THREE DAYS FROM CAPRIVI/KAVANGO BY NIGHT CONVOY AND CASSPIR OF OVAMBO BATTALION NAVIGATING WITH USA SATELLITE POSITIONING SYSTEM. WE ARE PAST THE STAGE WHERE BOERS WOULD RISK DEPLOYING MIRAGE ASSETS PAST FLOT. CRUZ [IMPALA] CONTINUE TO BE USED IN LOW LEVEL BOMBING SUPPORT. GROOTFONTEIN IS A 25 MINUTES VECTOR. OUR ASSETS ARE CLOSER. PLATFORM CONFIRMS LOW NUMBERS OF MIRAGE ASSETS AT GROOTFONTEIN FIELD AND I THINK A PHOTO RECON ON GROOTFONTEIN A PRIORITY NOW. ONLY 2 X AAA (SWISS) WITH RADAR LOCK ON AROUND FIGHTER PENS. LOW STEALTH APPROACH WITH ROAD PATTERN MAPPING. ALSO ONDANGWA/NKONGO IS PIVOTAL FOR CRUZ [IMPALA] AS IS THE MAPACHA SQUADRON. THEY WILL NOT SCRAMBLE AT NIGHT. RECOMMEND ATTACK FALA SUPPLY B-FALLS/MAPACHA FIRST IF ARTILLERY/MRLS CONTINUES TOMORROW OR SOONER. NO VECTOR OUT OVER ZAMBIA IF FUEL SHORT. BOER TAIL INTO BOTSWANA NO PROBLEM. REPLY: ACKNOWLEDGED. WILL DO ENDS TRANS TOP SECRET
Signal 17: 29 June 1988
Rolex: wrist watch popular among Cuban senior command.
Oshakati: South African command centre near Ondangwa airfield.
11-76 / An-26: Soviet heavy lift air transporters.
TOP SECRET SIGINT : PEOPLES' REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA SIGNAL: XXX XXXXX LO : Russian TOO : 21 16 Z 29 Jun 88 FM : GEN. SHAGANOVITCH TRANS : comsat DF : 13 14 47E 08 52 34S C/S : TO : FEWA [VOLOSHILOV] NET : ussr-mac-ftc DF : 13 20 05E 14 50 58S STAT : partial FMT : encrypted __________________________________________________________________ MESSAGE: GREETINGS: YOUR NEWS FROM THE FRONT ENCOURAGING. CONVEY TO ALL CMDRS THE BEST SUCCESS IN THE FINAL DEFENCE OF THE ANGOLAN REVOLUTION. REMAIN TOUGH AND VIGILANT// ... // OCHOA SENDS HIS BEST AND HAS LEFT A MEMENTO ROLEX FOR YOU WITH ME. CHANGES IN INT[ERNATIONAL] MISSION HAPPENING ON THE CUBAN SIDE. AFRICANS IN A PANIC OVER THE RECON FLIGHT GROOTFONTEIN AND PHOTO RECON OSHAKATI. HOWEVER, 1 X MIG DOWN OUT OF FUEL: PLATFORMS CONFIRMS KITE LANDING INTACT. PILOT PRESUMED PRISONER. REPLY: IL-76 OR AN-26 BACK TO YOU THIS THURSDAY? LUANDA: WILL ARRANGE. ENDS TRANS TOP SECRET
Signal 18: 10 July 1988
Colonel: FEWA / Voloshilov.
AFB: Airforce Base.
TOP SECRET SIGINT : PEOPLES' REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA SIGNAL: XXX XXXXX LO : Spanish TOO : 0742 Z 10 JUL 88 FM : GEN. OCHOA TRANS : radio/voice DF : 13 14 49E 08 52 34S C/S : TO : COL. VOLOSHILOV [FEWA] NET : cuban/ic DF : 13 20 06E 14 50 56S STAT : full yield FMT : encrypted __________________________________________________________________ MESSAGE: REVOLUTIONARY AND FRATERNAL GREETINGS, CHICO. ABOUT OUR BRIEFING LUANDA: DIRECTIVE INTERNATIONAL CONTINGENT: BOER GELDENHUIS INFORMS US THAT ALL RACIST FORCES HAVE FULLY CEASED ARTILLERY BOMBARDMENT FROM EAST OF RIVER POSITIONS AND THEREFORE HAS NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR FIRES BEING DIRECTED AGAINST US AT CUITO. BOER CANNOT ANSWER FOR BANDIT FORCES [UNITA]. ASSESS AND RECOMMEND BEST OPERATIVE COURSE OF ACTION THROUGH NORMAL CHANNEL IMMEDIATE. MOST URGENT. REPLY: COLONEL IS OUT OF ROOM FOR THE MOMENT AT SQUADRON DEBRIEFING. WILL DELIVER TO HIM NOW. LUANDA: STANDING BY. LUBANGO AFB: HE SAYS WITHIN ONE HOUR. WILL YOU WAIT FOR DIRECT COMMS? LUANDA: GENERAL SAYS ONE HOUR FINE. HAVANA WAS ASKING LAST NIGHT FOR OUR DETAILED RESPONSE BECAUSE OF NEW YOR[K] DISCUSSIONS END TRANS TOP SECRET
Signal 19: 08 37 Z 10 July 1988
Sukhoi: Soviet bomber.
Vectors: plotted directions for aircraft movements.
Mbinda: unknown Angolan official?
Bothas: South African President P.W. Botha and foreign affairs minister R.F. 'Pik' Botha.
Van Heerden: South Africa's chief diplomat.
"Witkop" Radenhorst: SADF Chief of Operations.
Cowboys: reference to Patrick Buchanan, Washington politician?
TOP SECRET SIGINT : PEOPLES' REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA SIGNAL: XXX XXXXX LO : Spanish TOO : 0837 Z 10 Jul 88 FM : COL. VOLOSHILOV [FEWA] TRANS : comsat DF : 13 20 06E 14 50 56S C/S : Fapla - FTC TO : GEN. OCHOA NET : DDR-C2 DF : 13 14 47E 08 52 34S STAT : full yield FMT : encrypted __________________________________________________________________ MESSAGE: AT THE POLITICAL LEVEL REPLY TO BOERS THAT BY THEIR OWN LOGIC ALL FIRES MUST STOP BY 12 NOON ANGOLAN STANDARD TIME OR MIG/SUKHOI WILL BE FORCED TO CONDUCT OFFENSIVE OPERATIONS IN SWAPO LIVERY AGAINST WINDHOEK, WALVIS BAY AND GROOTFONTEIN. THE INTERNATIONAL MISSION CAN ALSO PLAY AT THE SAME GAME. FOR THE MILITARY ISSUE AN ORDER IN CLEAR FOR STRIKE VECTOR BY SEA AND LAND APPROACHES FOR THESE TARGETS; IN ADDITION TO A REQUISITION FOR FUSELAGE PAINT IN SWAPO COLORS : BLUE, GREEN AND RED. MBINDA MUST AGREE FIRST. NO NEED TO INFORM SWAPO YET - SHAPUA IS ON OPERATIONS IN 5 [MILITARY REGION] SOMEWHERE - HE IS NOT AT THE BLUE HOUSE AS OF YESTERDAY. BOER GENERALS WILL BACK DOWN BECAUSE THEY KNOW THEY HAVE LOST THE STRATEGIC INITIATIVE. WHETHER THEY HAVE INFORMED THE BOTHAS IS BEYOND KNOWING FOR THE PRESENT, BUT I DOUBT THEY HAVE. THE WISER COUNSEL AMONG THE APARTHEID DIPLOMATS WILL NOT PASS UP THE OPPORTUNITY TO SLAP DOWN THE SADF. VAN HEERDEN HAS AN INDEPENDENT MIND AND WOULD NOT PASS UP AN OPPORTUNITY TO MOVE AHEAD WITHOUT INFORMING THE CRIMINAL CLIQUE OF BADENHORST & GELDENHUIS, BOERS HAVE EXPERIENCED A PROFOUND WEAKNESS IN MATERIEL/ASSETS AND AIRMINDEDNESS. CROCKER WILL LIKELY LASSO THE COWBOYS IN WASHINGTON. REPLY: STAND BY FOR RESPONSE. LUBANGO AFB: WILCO. LUNADA FTC: WOULD MAKE A GOOD PLAN ANYWAY. RICARDO AGREES BUT WE WOULD NEED ASSETS FROM YOUR PEOPLE. A REQUEST TO KS [HANGANOVICH]. WHAT DO YOU THINK? LUBANGO AFB: YOU ARE KIDDING, RIGHT? YOU ARE SERIOUS! LUNADA: CHICO, NEVER MORE SO. LUNADA FTC: WILL GET MOVES ON. FORESEE NO MIL[ITARY] PROBLEMS. TOP SECRET
Signal 20: 25 December 1988
Gaborone: capital of Botswana.
ETA: estimated time of arrival.
TLG: Tony La Guardia, one of the Cuban twins?
TOP SECRET SIGINT : PEOPLES' REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA SIGNAL: XXX XXXXX LO : Spanish TOO : 15 27 Z 25 Dec. 88 FM : GEN. SHAGANOVICH TRANS : comsat DF : 13 14 48E 08 52 34E C/S : TO : GEN. OCHOA NET : ussr-mac-ftc DF : 13 20 05E 14 50 56S STAT : full yield FMT : encrypted __________________________________________________________________ MESSAGE: FEWA ARRIVED TODAY GABORONE. WANT HIM POSTED MY CMD. CLARITY ON ARRANGEMENTS ESSENTIAL BETWEEN US BEFORE HIS ETA MY HQ 16 25 GMT 27 DEC. ACKNOWLEDGE BY HAND OF OFFICER ONLY. PREFERABLY TLG. REPLY: GOOD NEWS INDEED. FINE WITH OUR END. ENDS TRANS TOP SECRET
Signal 21: 27 December 1988
IC: in clear - radio transmission not coded.
"No Rundu arrival known" Implication: Cubans and Soviets were reading the electromagnetic transmissions of the South African military or there was an agent in observation near the SADF base with radio link back to Angola.
FEWA: aka Soviet Colonel Voloshilov: South African political dissident under Soviet cover.
Boer: literally Afrikaans language word for white, Afrikaner farmer; collective disparaging reference to South African whites under apartheid.
Gleason: General in High Command Staff of SADF responsible for directing operations in South African miltary in Angola and Nainibia - reputedly an enthusiastic drinker.
Jesus Morojon: Head of Cuban military intelligence in Angola.
Ricardo "Ricky" Wilson: head of Cuban airforce operations in Southern Angola.
TOP SECRET SIGINT : PEOPLES' REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA SIGNAL: XXX XXXXX LO : Russian TOO : 0218 Z 27 Dec. 88 FM : GEN. SHAGANOVICH TRANS : comsat DF : 13 14 49 E 08 52 34S C/S : Fapla FTC TO : GEN. OCHOA NET : cuban/ic DF : 13 20 05E 14 50 58S STAT : full yield FMT : encrypted __________________________________________________________________ MESSAGE: AS DISCUSSED AT OUR LAST BATTLE CONFERENCE, THE AIR OPERATIONS OFFICER, COL. SERGEI VOLOSHILOV, WILL RETURN OUR COMMAND POST TODAY ON AN-26 SHUTTLE. ALL COMMUNICATION REGARDING REQUISITIONS FROM US TO IC GO THROUGH HIM. INFORM COL. WILSON OF THIS ARRANGEMENT. NO MINFAR [HAVANA] INVOLVEMENT UNTIL AGREED AT NEXT PERSONAL MEETING. REPLY: UNDERSTOOD. JESUS [COL. MOROJON] HAS PACKAGE FOR YOU TO COME BY RETURN SHUTTLE BY HAND OF FLIGHT OFFICER. END TRANS TOP SECRET
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