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July 3, 1962

Chief of the General Staff Marshal of the Soviet Union M. Zakharov, 'Instructions for the Chief of the Advance Survey Group and His Deputies'

This document was made possible with support from Blavatnik Family Foundation

[signature] R. MALINOVSKY


Copy Nº [handwritten: 1]


[handwritten: 4] July 1962



for the chief of the advance survey group and his deputies



The advance survey group is being created to solve the following problems:

- the choice of regions and points of concentration (basing) and the quartering of troops with their combat equipment, weapons, automotive transport, supplies of ammunition, and means of material and technical support;

- the organization in the ports of the unloading of the arriving units, combat equipment and equipment, their [the arriving units’] reception, quartering, and comprehensive support;

- the preparation of measures to isolate the troops from the local population, to prevent military espionage and sabotage, to ensure the concealment of the troops during unloading, while leaving the ports for the designated deployment regions (points), and during basing;

- the preparation of measures providing the necessary conditions for the uninterrupted operation and maintenance of the missile, aviation, naval, automotive, armored, and electronic equipment, weapons and ammunition of all kinds in constant combat readiness;

- the preparation of quarters and the maintenance of stocks of fuels and lubricants, food, and other means of material, technical, and medical support;

- the development of a plan for the use of the men and equipment, carrying out preparatory measures ensuring the organization command and control of the troops and bringing them into combat readiness as soon as possible after unloading.


The advance survey group is obligated to familiarize itself at the destination area [with the following] with the aid of Soviet military specialists:

- with the overall military-political situation and the situation in individual, most important areas;

- with the physical-geographic data and character of the coastline;

- with economic and climate conditions;

- with the conditions of the disembarkation of the troops and combat equipment at the ports;

- with opportunities for housing the troops in the designated areas.

After this the group is obligated to conduct a careful survey and solve concrete problems on site.

1. Determine the possibilities of each of the ports to receive and unload the arriving ships, take the necessary steps to increase the mechanization of the unloading, the organization of the reception of the ships and the conduct of the unloading work, and the security of the ports and the areas adjacent to them. Designate routes for the troops and combat equipment to leave the ports to the deployment areas and prepare crews for the organization of traffic regulation and the provost service.

On the basis of updated information about the ports and considering the selected deployment points, submit a report to the General Staff in cipher by 15 July 1962 about which ports are unsuitable for unloading the equipment we have planned.

2. If possible choose the units’ areas of deployment (housing) outside population centers; house the personnel in tents, camouflaged. The quartering of the troops might be done from the inventory of existing military housing if they are made available to the troops by the local military command.

The areas of the deployment of the troops and combat equipment should ensure the conditions for the organization of security and the performance of a maneuver in important directions.

Determine the places at the deployment (housing) areas for:

- the quartering of personnel, dining areas, and services;

- field parks for motor vehicles, combat vehicles, and places for servicing them; 

- the communications centers, the bodies and control posts with their technical equipment;

- the firing positions of the artillery, tanks, and missile launchers of all systems;

- depots of material resources;

- the assembly of subunits and units on combat alert with the necessary routes to lead the troops and combat equipment in any direction.

When selecting the deployment areas take into consideration the presence of water sources meeting the needs of the unit and the presence of roads allowing the water to be brought in.

Be strictly guided by the requirements of UVS [Internal Service Regulations] when quartering units.

3. Choose the launch areas for the missile regiments in areas of the terrain shielded from observation, with roads and bridges available to transport units of special equipment and the passage of prime movers, the availability of lines of communication, and sources of electrical power with the necessary power, voltage, and frequency.

Determine places for the deployment of PRTB [mobile missile technical bases] and technical subunits.

Study the density, accuracy, and condition of the geodetic and topographical network. Organize geodetic and topographical work, preparing it for the arrival of the troops.

Study the conditions for the construction of the “Chusovaya” [R-14] launch positions, clarifying the availability of local construction materials; determine the measures ensuring the rapid deployment of the missile regiments and bringing them into combat readiness.

4. Study the technical characteristics of the airfields and launch sites (primary and reserve), the dimensions and quality of the airfield, the runways, the presence of airfield facilities, containers, warehouses, and means of radiotechnical support.

Determine the possibilities of sheltered housing and the conditions of the operation of aviation equipment, and also the measures which need to be conducted for the uninterrupted use of equipment and its support in constant combat readiness in the conditions of a tropical climate.

Judge the possibilities for an airfield maneuver and a maneuver of FKR [front cruise missile] launch installations, and also for the support for the procedures established for PRTB’s.

Plan measures to improve the conditions for the airfield basing of aircraft and their maintenance in constant combat readiness.

6. Determine the basing for the naval forces on the basis of a study of available ports and the military and political situation.

7. Choose sites for the location of RTB’s based on the peculiar properties of the use of the special ammunition and securing their constant readiness for battle.

Find out the presence of buildings, excavations, or ground cover which can be used (adapted) to store and assemble the articles [missiles].

If there are no buildings or excavations determine the substance and scope of the engineering work for shelter and create security zones for special PRTBA [vehicle-based missile technical bases] machines, primarily vehicles and storage facilities (tents) with the special ammunition.

If there are buildings and excavations which might be used to store and assemble the articles [missiles] establish the substance and scope of work to equip (adapt) them for the designated use. When doing this it is necessary to take into consideration:

- ensure explosives safety and conduct the necessary fire safety measures;

- lightning safety measures;

- the presence of fixed sources of electrical energy or the use of mobile PRTBA power plants;

- the possibility of ventilation equipment;

- separate storage of batteries from the articles [missiles];

- providing a distance between articles [missiles] of 0.4 – 0.6 meters during storage;

- the height of buildings (excavations) for the storage of articles [missiles] – 3 – 3.5 meters, but if there is a crane – a height to the hook of the crane of 5.6 meters;

- cargo gate openings (entrances) – 3 by 3 meters;

- the minimum dimensions of the places of assembly and inspection of the articles [missiles] 80 – 100 square meters;

- the minimum dimensions of the area for loading and unloading work – 22 by 20 meters.

Find out the annual data about the parameters of the air and work out the necessary measures and suggestions to ensure the maintenance of the ambient air parameters required for the normal operation and storage of the articles [missiles] (a temperature from 5-30 degrees Celsius, a relative humidity from 45-70%). Work out measures to ensure the procedure and the security at the place where the PRTB is deployed, paying special attention to the security of the places where the special ammunition is stored.

7. Study the nature of the coastline, determine the sectors most amenable for landing amphibious assault parties and sabotage groups. In the interests of amphibious assault defense and fighting sabotage groups, protecting the combat formations of the missile troops, the airfields, and the naval bases determine: the areas of deployment (quartering) of the motorized rifle regiments and their maneuver in threatened directions considering the nature of the terrain and the presence of roads.

8. Confirm the grouping of the air defense men and equipment on site.

Determine the places of the surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft gun firing battalions, taking into account the location of the troops and facilities being covered, the state of the road network, the assurance of the concealment of the surface-to-air missile combat formations and the necessary angles of crest clearance for the vectoring, reconnaissance, and target designation stations. Establish the availability of local power lines and communications lines. Determine the sectors of the deployment of technical battalions, [and] the locations of control posts, missile storage facilities, combat units, and fuel components.

Determine the combat formation of the radar units, choose the positions of the radar stations with consideration for the creation of a continuous radar coverage, primarily over the location of the missile regiments being protected, the naval forces, and over sectors of the coastline most advantageous for landing assault parties.

9. Study the local climate and weather conditions and their influence on the maintenance and operation of all kinds of combat equipment of conventional and special weaponry, ammunition, food, and technical equipment; work out the measures needed to lessen the harmful influence of the tropical climate on them.

10. As a rule, position the control bodies outside population centers and take local communications equipment into consideration for the command and control of units.           

Check the availability of local civilian and military communications equipment, landlines, and communications centers, radio and radiorelay communications, [and] study their technical condition, the nature and procedure of the operation, and also the possibility of [their] use for ensuring the command and control of the formations and units of all troop arms and branches of the Armed Forces.


Check the technical characteristics of the lines of communications, the frequency ranges of the radiorelay and television networks, the multiplexing equipment, the possibility of interfacing local lines and nodes with the communications equipment of our troops. Study measures for communications security.

11. Determine the measures which need to be conducted for the rapid deployment of the bodies of the tactical-level [voyskovoy] and operational rear and the organization of rear support.

Place depots outside population centers if possible, considering the availability of roads [and] conditions for concealment and security. Use existing quarries, various excavations, and natural cover for this, and also existing military housing areas and depots located in isolation from the local population.

Take into account for use all resources at airfields and in ports.

Determine the locations for the placement of depots of special fuels with consideration for assuring the safety of the troops and the local population.

Determine the availability of containers for the storage of fuel, lubricants, and special fuels, local resources of food and fuel, and also stocks which might be used for repair organizations.

Prepare measures to produce a rapid flow of fuel and lubricants from tankers and the unloading of the material resources arriving by sea.

Study the condition of the lines of communications and the possibility of using rail transportation to move troops and military cargo.

Find out the sanitary and epidemiological situation and the influence of climate conditions on the human organism and think about measures to avert disease in the troops and study the special requirements for medical support.

12. As ships arrive at their destinations with troops, equipment, and cargo the advance survey group is to organize their unloading with combat support measures. Convey to the commanders of units and subunits which have arrived the military and political situation in areas they are deployed, set them the task of deploying in the assigned places, organize work to equip the troops and for subunits to develop the deployment areas and the disbursement of the allotted funds. It [The survey group] bears responsibility for bringing the combat equipment and weapons into a combat-ready condition, the maintenance of high revolutionary vigilance by all personnel, the establishment of firm military discipline and order, and the organization of the everyday life and activity of the units according to the order of the day and in accordance with the Regulations of the Soviet Army and Fleet.

The group is to keep a precise account of the arriving personnel, weapons, and combat equipment.

Exercise control over the constant observance of security measures, concealment, secrecy, and the necessary norms of the behavior for servicemen.

13. With the arrival of the passenger ships “Latviya”, “Nakhimov”, and “Estonia” organize the unloading of topographic maps from them and issue them to the arriving troops in the necessary quantity for work according to the decision of the chief of the advance survey group.

14. As a result of the work done the chief of the advances survey group is to make a decision on the combat use of the troops and report to the General Staff by cipher by 30 July 1962.


The work of the advance survey group and each officer is conducted in the strictest secrecy and with the observance of measures of concealment. It is delivered to the destination by aircraft as a group of agricultural specialists of the USSR, posing as irrigation and water reclamation engineers and technicians to continue the work begun in June of this year by the group of Cde. [handwritten: Sh. R. Rashidov].

Documents for the generals and officers are being drawn up by the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Diplomatic passports are being made out to 4 people (the commanding general, the chief of the political department, the chief of the 8th department, and the chief of the staffing, accounting, and troop service department). The necessary documents (operational, cipher, and topographical maps) and stamps are being transported as diplomatic documents by people having diplomatic passports. The storage and housing of them on site is to be organized by the senior officer of the group of Soviet specialists.

On arrival at the destination the group is met by representatives of the local Ministry of Agriculture. Subsequently all survey work by the group is done in the company of these representatives.

All members of the group proceed to the new destination area in civilian clothing. It is categorically forbidden for members of the group to bring military items with them.

All necessary military items and uniforms are delivered on transports.

All survey work is done covertly, in small groups of 1-2 vehicles, observing the precautionary measures developed and under the guise of the cover stories, taking local conditions and features into account.

Enlist representatives from formations and units working in the group to receive their units and bring them to the designated deployment areas.


ATTACHMENT: A list of the advance operations group on sheets.






[handwritten: 3] July 1962

These instructions describe the purposes and required conduct of a Soviet survey group that went to Cuba under cover as agricultural specialists in July 1962.  The advanced survey group was tasked with finding suitable locations for Soviet missiles as well as reporting on the effects that Cuba's tropical climate may have on Soviet equipment.

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TsAMO fond 1, opis 14041cc, delo 1, ll. 128-137. Contributed by Sergey Radchenko and Vladislav Zubok and translated by Gary Goldberg.


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