Caribbean Fury Background and Scenarios

CV-67 USS John F Kennedy
Caribbean Fury Background: The short Caribbean series represents events running parallel to the early days of Northern Fury. The Soviet Foreign Service has been actively instigating trouble in America's back yard. U.S. domestic difficulties and a global 'Post-Cold War' malaise made western response to the evolving issues fragmented, conflicting and generally ineffective.

In Nicaragua, American withdrawal of all support to the Contra's after the Iran-Contra fiasco allowed the Sandinista's breathing space; however, when the anti-Sandinista 'Chamorro' government won the election in 1990 the revolutionary movement immediately restarted, ending in a bloody coup in 92 with a Soviet leaning Sandinista Junta in control. A major funding proposal involved the planning and eventual building of a Nicaraguan Canal to compete with Panama, financing, construction and control of which would be from Moscow.

Although Honduras maintained a marginally effective government with significant US aid through the 80's, the cessation of funding and support of the Contras in Nicaragua left a power vacuum which the US-trained army could not effectively fill. By 1989 the Cinchoneros Liberation movement, now with significant Soviet backing, gained the upper hand when several Army and Air Force units turned to their cause. The televised execution of 37 American soldiers caused world outrage but was quickly eclipsed by events in Europe and elsewhere. US retaliatory cruise missile strikes at rebel targets were followed by a raft of hostage taking incidents, piracy against civilian shipping and a general withdraw of the expatriate community. The success of the widely-anticipated coup in May of 91 was a forgone conclusion, with the former President and family already living at their palatial residence near Portland Oregon.

Following the coups in Honduras and Nicaragua, a militaristic anti-American movement gained momentum and these new governments started rearming with cast-off Algerian and Libyan equipment (as these two countries rearm themselves, mostly with Polish and former East German equipment - see Mediterranean Fury) aided by Soviet deception, training, transport and financial resources.

An attempted coup in Guatemala failed due to US clandestine activities, but there remains a solid anti-Western sentiment, including significant numbers of displaced jungle fighters who have now taken on the cause of freeing Belize of British rule. Costa Rica has remained stable as has Panama, although attempts in both countries to overthrow western supporting governments have been made, but failed miserably. The El Salvadoran Civil war rages on with both the US backed government and the FNLN precipitating atrocities which get more shocking every year.

Colombia has remained staunchly pro-western, and billions of US dollars ensure they remain so. The leftist guerrilla movements that started in the 60's, primarily FARC but others also, have gained strength but are relatively well contained. The drug cartels, however, have significant and expanding power, outspending the government on technology and now using safe havens in Honduras and Nicaragua to ease their transport risk.

Mexico is showing signs of emerging out of economic and political distress. It is relying heavily on the newly signed North American Free Trade Agreement and the population are expecting great things. So is the world, with the evolving revolt in the Chiapas region causing new concern! From a military standpoint, with only 12 F-5s and Gearing class destroyers, any major conflict domestic or otherwise will undoubtedly draw the US in to stabilize or protect its neighbor. Rebellion is in the wings should NAFTA fail to improve the Mexican economy.

Venezuela entered a new phase in its history with Hugo Chavez seizing power during his 2nd Coup attempt in 1992 and the death of President Perez while en route to his impeachment hearings. Sitting on vast oil reserves and solidly linking itself to the new Soviet Government, Venezuela is quickly evolving as a regional power. By exerting political and financial energy and at times the threat of military involvement, neighboring countries are falling into line with Chavez's vision of a resurgent Caribbean trading block to control international trade into the Central and South American region. Local U.S., British, Spanish, Dutch, French and other interests have all been negatively affected.

US efforts in Haiti and the continuing support of the Dominican Republic continue along historical lines, as does the evolution of the Eastern Caribbean islands.

Cuba, as always is the most interesting of the Caribbean countries. With a resurgence of Soviet interest the Cuban military and air force in particular has been experiencing a period of revival not seen since the late 50's. It is suspected that most of the older SAM systems have been replaced by newer and much more capable ones, probably SA-10's, and that the older MiG 17's & 21's have been replaced by MiG-23's and 29's. It is rumoured that a Kilo class submarine is now on the inventory. Two weeks ago, three RORO ships unloaded under cover of darkness, heavy security and some obvious deception measures. All of this was monitored by U.S. security agencies but it is unclear what was unloaded. Indications are that it was not missiles, but probably aircraft, munitions and support equipment of various types.

Security Assessments: The chart below should assist in understanding the status of the many Caribbean and Central American countries and their key equipment.

CountryLeaningConcernsAir ForceNaval ForceLand ForceDependency
CubaSovietAggressive12x MiG-29
60x MiG-23
48x MiG-21
Multiple SAM Bdes
3x Koni FF
2x Grisha FFL
3 Tarantul FFL
18-20x OSA II FAC
12-15x Ptl Boats
2-3x Foxtrot SS
?1x Kilo SS?
3 Armd Div
3 Mech Div
12 Inf Div
1 Arty Div
AbBn Bde
NicaraguaSovietRe-arming24x MiG-23BN
24x MiG-21bis
12x Mirage 5D
12x Mirage 5DE
Patrol craft80K, COINLibya
HondurasSovietRe-arming12x MiG-23B
12x F-5F
10x A-37B
Patrol craft50K, COINUSSR
VenezuelaN/AIndependent23x F16 Bl 15
36x Mirage
12x F-5
12x AT-27
6x Mig-25
6x Lupo FF
6+ patrol craft
Several Amphibious ships
3 Inf Div
1 Armd Div
1 Jungle Div
1 Cavalry Div
El SalvadorDividedCivil War20-30x A-37
12x UH-1
3 patrol craft14K, COINGovt - US
Rebels - Cuba
MexicoWesternEconomic12x F-52x Ex Gearing DD
2x Ex Bronstein FF
70K, 7x BdesUS
HaitiWesternInsurrection Mil dissolved in 1995Util, TgNoneInternal securityUS/UN
GuatemalaWesternInsurgencyNonePatrol craft39K, COINUS
BelizeWesternInsurgencyTpt/TrgNone1.5K, 3x BnUK
Costa RicaWesternInsurgencyUtilityNonePara Mil guardUS
PanamaWesternInsurgencyUtility/TrgNonePara Mil guardUS
ColumbiaWesternDrugs/insurg16x A-37
12x Kfir C2
Recon, EW, MPA, Tanker, Tpt, Trg, Util
4x Padilla FFL
1x Dealey DE
2x Type 209 SS
2x CG Cutters
Patrol craft
250K, 8x DivUS
Aruba, Bonair, Curacao (ABC)WesternProximity to VenezuelaNoneNoneNoneNetherlands
Trinidad & TobagoWesternProximity to VenezuelaUtil, MPAPatrol boats3K, 4 BnsUK
GrenadaWesternNoneNonePatrol boatsPoliceUS
BarbadosWesternNoneUtilPatrol boats1K, 1 BnUK
St Vincent & GrenadinesWesternNoneNoneNonePoliceUK/US
St LuciaWesternNoneNoneNonePoliceUK/US
GuadeloupeWesternNoneNoneNonePoliceDept of France
MontserratWesternNoneNoneNonePoliceBritish Overseas Territory
Antigua and BarbudaWesternWorld's Smallest military NonePatrol boats245 in militaryUK
AnguillaWesternNoneNoneNonePoliceBritish protectorate
St Kitts & NevisWesternNoneNoneNonePoliceBritish protectorate
Saint MaartenWesternNoneNoneNonePoliceNetherlands
Netherlands CaribbeanWesternNoneNoneNonePoliceNetherlands
British Virgin IslandsWesternNoneNoneNonePoliceBritish protectorate
US Virgin IslandsWesternNoneNoneNonePoliceUS protectorate
Dominican RepublicWesternNone40 Util~25 Patrol boats56K, 6 BdesUS
JamaicaWesternNonetil, SAR, TrgPatrol boats3 BnsUK
Turks & CaicosWesternNoneNoneNonePoliceBritish protectorate
The BahamasWesternNoneNonePatrol boatsPoliceBritish protectorate
Cayman IslandsWesternNoneNonePatrol boatsPoliceBritish protectorate

US forces in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico area are a mixed bag of US Air Force (USAF) Regular, National Guard, Training, Experimentation, US Coast Guard and US Navy (USN) units.

USN: In addition to ships home-ported in the Gulf and Florida, Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West, only 85 nautical miles from Havana and is the home of one the US Navy's advanced air combat training centers using A-4 Skyhawk's, F-4 Phantoms, F-16N and other aircraft in Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT). Another major facility is NAS Jacksonville, home of the P-3 community on the east coast.

USAF: There are several major bases ringing the Gulf Coast, Tyndal and Eglin being the most active but MacDill and Patrick in central Florida also being important hubs. Since Homestead Air Force Base (AFB) was closed in 1992 due to damage from Hurricane Andrew, no permanent USAF forces have resided in south Florida. Although the base is being reconstructed and can conduct operations, it will be another year before it is ready to permanently house an air wing. Howard AFB in Panama houses a veritable museum of US counter insurgency and jungle warfare aircraft from the USAF, USMC and US Army.

Several NATO countries also have a presence in the Caribbean, primarily the UK in Belize, the Netherlands in their colonies, France in Martinique and Guadalupe.

Scenarios planned for this campaign are:

113 FebHot Tamale'sUSS Kennedy CVBG vs CubaHard
215 FebRetribution!Major operation to eliminate Cuba as a threat
317 FebRumble in theJungle Counter strikes throughout Central America to eliminate opposition
419 FebShow of ForceStrike into Venezuela to destroy a Soviet base while trying not to expand the war
515 MarSucker punchVenezuela launches surprise attack to gain control of several European interests and distract the US and NATO

Scenarios created by Bart Gauvin, AKA Gunner98