17. Editorial Note

On October 15, 1962, a major amphibious exercise was initiated in the southeastern United States and the Caribbean. The training exercise, which was code named PHIBRIGLEX-62, was scheduled for October 15-30. On October 15 more than 40 ships involved in the exercise were underway. The objective of the exercise was to conduct an amphibious assault on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico. The stated intent of the assault was to overthrow the imaginary tyrant “Ortsac”—Castro spelled backwards. Approximately 20,000 naval personnel and 4,000 marines were involved in PHIBRIGLEX-62. The exercise was not suspended until October 20. The CINCLANT history of the missile crisis notes that “as early as about 10 October the National Military Command Center began inquiring informally of CINCLANT as to the nature and scope of PHIBRIGLEX-62. Without ever relating the exercise to the Cuban situation, there were indications of high-level interest in it.” (CINCLANT HistoricalAccount of Cuban Crisis—1963, pages 2-3)