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United States Naval Prison Facility (Cuba)

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Camp Omega sign

Camp Omega signboard.

During the mid 1970s, a massive United States Naval Prison Facility was located within Cuba. It was located within the southernmost tip of Cuba and was considered a "black site" because of its status as being an American "slice of pie" on communist soil with no legal jurisdictions.

Location and layout

Mgsgz (9)

Refugee camp at the United States Naval Prison Facility.

The facility was located near a mountainous region. In addition, its size was expansive, which included several searchlights, its own airfield which included a heliport, prison facilities, and several white tents. The people normally guarding the facility were  United States Marines who were stationed there. During instances of hurricanes, they wore green raincoats. It also contained various Jeeps and APCs, and was guarded by watchtowers and guard dogs, which were Doberman Pinschers.

The base contained two refugee camps, marked by numerous white tents, which contained refugees from both Cuba and Haiti.[1] They were separately designated the "West refugee camp" and the "East refugee camp."

It also contained a couple of prison facilities[2] and a prison camp named Camp Omega, which contained animal cages to house prisoners.[3] It also had a makeshift storehouse.[4] Camp Omega in particular also had maximum security clearance. Officially, Camp Omega was not in use,[5] and was even purported to have been dead for several years. The soldiers also frequently have to do special shifts with the old prison area, which resulted in a lot of problems for the staff, including elimination of breaks as well as various personnel getting frustrated about the situation, even comparing their job to living in a prison.[6] In some cases, they also have to forego any personal activities due to exhaustion from the special shifts.[7]

Nearing the northeast was the Admin building, which had an external power generator that controlled the base's lights, a central control tower, a main gate, and a boiler room, the last of which acted as a makeshift prison and interrogation room. When the boiler room is being used for interrogation purposes, the area is made off-limits from the personnel, although the screams can occasionally still be heard by the guards. Because of the Admin building's importance to the personnel, it was also dotted with surveillance cameras.[8] It was also where the XOF was stationed whenever they paid a visit to the base. They also have routine checks, as well as did various vital checks for prisoners undergoing interrogation.[9]

The base also contained three armories. Despite their containing military-grade firepower, however, the armories were sealed with an ordinary lock instead of something more secure, largely because they were located in the middle of the base and thus had reasonably low chances of anyone not affiliated with the Marines entering the armories and stealing the firepower.[10][11] They also had to deal with some delays in resupplying the base, also resulting in some soldiers getting concerned that it would be "[their] ass" if they don't get it in high gear.[12]

In order to ensure no prisoners escaped, and thus ensure the base's activities weren't exposed, the perimeter of the base, including the seashore near Camp Omega, was dotted with landmines.[13]

History

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United States flag seen at Camp Omega.

The base was constructed sometime during the Spanish-American War in the late 19th century on land that had been leased to the United States, as a gesture for America's involvement in aiding Cuba gain its independence from Spain. Because of the conditions of the deal stating that the base and American ownership of it remains in effect only until either both countries decide to dissolve the base or otherwise America abandons the base, it still was owned by the American forces even after Cuba's revolution in 1958 and subsequent transformation into a communist country, and either way did not give any indication that it would vacate the site. Tensions arose from mines being planted on each side, and the U.S. stated that it followed neither Cuban nor American law, with United States Marine Corps members being assigned to guard the area. When it was first developed, the base was originally intended for detaining refugees from Haiti and Cuba. However, the CIA and its like, during the 1970s, eventually ended up implementing a program to imprison "enemies of the State" on the base, an action that was strongly suspected to be due to Cipher's influence.

Because of its status as leased land, this meant it was outside official American jurisdiction, thus civil liberties were not applicable in the base, and as such extreme torture was allowed, with human rights activists both from America and from other Western countries not being allowed inside. The part of the base not surrounded by the ocean or treacherous mountains was also surrounded with landmines planted by both American and Cuban forces, thus making escape on foot impossible.[14]

The Marines on the base would attempt to get rid of any evidence of what was going on in the base if they found it.[15][16][17] They were also ordered to execute any prisoners who tried to escape,[18] and also stayed behind upon execution to ensure the body was picked up by the meat wagon.[19] However, some Marines did have suspicions about whether the prisoners were really combatants.[20]

Warning: The following events occur in the pseudo-historical Side Ops in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes; its level of canonicity is ambiguous.


On December 3, 1974, Big Boss infiltrated the facility as part of a hit against a sniper team active during the Laotian Civil War, Glaz and Palitz, who had arrived at the place the day before.[12] Glaz and Palitz also had ominous premonition of their impending assassination.[21] However, shortly after completing the mission, Big Boss, Miller, and MSF noticed that they seemed to be terrified, moreso than they would be of death. This caused MSF to become suspicious of the base's practices, eventually sending some agents from the Intel Team, into the base to find out any information on it.

On December 7, 1974, one of their agents, Hideo, requested an emergency extraction from the base. Hideo then managed to hijack a Jeep and drive to the heliport with a Hind escorting him. Unfortunately, his jeep crashed, and he was knocked unconscious, forcing Big Boss to directly interfere by stepping off. He then managed to take out the soldiers and an APC threatening the chopper, as well as shoot down a Blackhawk chopper pursuing them while they were escaping.

On December 21, 1974, Big Boss infiltrated the facility once again in broad daylight while aboard a truck, this time to meet up with an undercover agent planted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and retrieve a Sony cassette tape that contained vital information. However, because the base was under tight security and their every action was being monitored, Big Boss and the agent had to maintain cover by the former placing him into an interrogation hold and then knocking him out after getting the necessary intel, and the latter stowing the tape away at a guard tower instead of directly supplying Big Boss with the tape, respectively. However, the agent's cover had been blown before the operation, and he had been forced to use a dummy tape containing an interrogation as a trap for Big Boss with a threat against his family. After Big Boss evaded the trap and interrogated the agent again, Big Boss then located a bald Marine that acted as an agent of Cipher and retrieved the real tape from him. He then escaped and supplied the MSF's client with the evidence that the base had become a black site.

On January 9, 1975, the JCS ordered for a MAGTF to invade the base due to suspicions about it being converted into a black site, based on evidence supplied by MSF earlier. In addition, at least three Pentagon agents ended up caught and imprisoned at the black site, alongside an MSF Intel Team agent that Miller had secretly dispatched to investigate further into whether the base had ties to Cipher. MSF had also been secretly hired to take out three of the base's four anti-aircraft emplacements. However, the base ended up undergoing a full alert due to the MAGTF's amphibious assault carrier being spotted earlier than expected. Big Boss managed to take the anti-aircraft emplacements as well as an APC that had a cannon to shoot down any choppers. He also managed to rescue the imprisoned agents. However, the base ended up being targetted by a bombing run by unidentified fighter aircraft, obliterating it, with Big Boss just barely escaping before the bombing run commenced. They later suspected that Cipher had been involved in the base's becoming a black site.

Side Ops information ends here.

In 1975, Paz Ortega Andrade, after being discovered by a Belizean fisherman in the Caribbean, was detained at the camp by Cipher, feeling that their former agent had been compromised. Ten days later, Chico ended up captured after an attempt at sneaking into the facility from Santiago to retrieve Paz without MSF's knowledge ended up resulting in his getting caught, and ended up talking with the threat of killing Paz, as well as being subject to torture of unimaginable levels. Two days later, a mysterious, disfigured man arrived at the camp with his group, XOF, to supply Chico with a Walkman, telling him that "[Paz] told him everything," and that they ensured that she met a painless end in order to keep their promise before departing, also making it clear that Chico was to act as a double agent as a result. Afterwards, they left, also removing any signs of the logo of XOF.

Shortly thereafter, Big Boss infiltrated the camp, intending to rescue Paz and Chico, the former as a means to find out any leads towards Cipher, as she was the only viable lead to them. Big Boss utilized a prototype arm device to navigate his way around the camp, and also intended to use flare grenades to signal his extraction method, a Hind D, upon rescuing them. Because of a hurricane occurring at the time of the operation that was predicted to last until morning, Big Boss's infiltration went off without a hitch.[22][23][24] Big Boss managed to locate Chico and Paz and rescued them.

Behind the scenes

Mgsgz (5)

The iDroid displays a map of the prison facility.

The United States Naval Prison Facility appears in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. The facility is based on the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, which is also located near the southern tip of Cuba. The facility's Camp Omega is a nod to Guantanamo Bay's Camp Echo and Camp Delta (which didn't actually exist until 2002). In addition, like the Naval Prison Facility, in real life, the United States first seized Guantanamo Bay and established a naval base there in 1898 during the Spanish–American War. In 1903, the U.S. and Cuba signed a lease granting the U.S. permission to use the land as a coaling and naval station. The lease satisfied the Platt Amendment; this amendment stated a naval base at "certain specific points agreed upon by the President of the United States" was needed to "enable the U.S. to maintain independence of Cuba." Hideo Kojima, in an interview with the Guardian, confirmed the facility was meant to reference Guantanamo Bay, and was meant to be his commentary on the detaining of prisoners and terrorists at the location by the United States.[25]

The U.S. and Cuba signed a treaty in 1934, granting the US a perpetual lease. Both the U.S. and Cuba must agree on any termination of the lease. From the 1970s onward, the U.S. used portions of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base for temporary housing of Cuban and Haitian refugees intercepted on the high seas, as many were trying to get from the Caribbean to the United States. When the Guantanamo Bay detention facility was established in 2002, the U.S. claimed that Guantanamo Bay detainees were not on U.S. soil and therefore not covered by the U.S. constitution, and that the "enemy combatant" status meant they could be denied some legal protections. Environmental files included in the PC version of Ground Zeroes also confirms that the location is indeed intended to be Guantanamo Bay.

The opening for Ground Zeroes was originally supposed to show the entire camp before settling on the sign for "Camp Omega." However, the scene was excised to simply start at the showing of the sign as a demonstration of the Fox Engine's lighting effects after discussion between Kojima and his team.[26]

The method by which Big Boss infiltrates the facility's grounds, climbing a rock wall, is similar to that performed by Solid Snake in Zanzibar Land, which was itself based on the film The Guns of Navarone that influenced series creator Hideo Kojima.

The TGS 2013 showing of Ground Zeroes featured an exclusive Side Op that was set in the prison facility. The mission depicted Big Boss interacting with an MSF planted mole at the facility, retrieving a Walkman cassette tape, getting into a shootout with enemies (which resulted in his extraction chopper being shot down), as well as destroying an enemy vehicle with a C4 booby trap.

The facility is destroyed in an air raid in the pseudo-historical Side-Op "Destroy the Anti-Air Emplacements," which is set a few months prior to the events of Ground Zeroes.

A series of Twitter posts confirmed that the United States Naval Prison Facility/Camp Omega was planned to be visitable in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. It also revealed that those who owned Ground Zeroes would have had something special in store, although it wasn't made clear whether that meant Camp Omega itself is only accessible via a savefile for Ground Zeroes or if it is accessible regardless, but only those who have Ground Zeroes save files could get special missions there.[27][28][29] A screenshot was later leaked showing Big Boss near a data terminal in an environment that suggested it took place at the United States Naval Prison Facility.[30]The final game featured no ability to return to the facility, however. A developer, however revealed that it was planned to be a visitable location in Episode 3, with the facility being massively updated by that time, and that Snake was to retrieve files from a computer terminal. However, it ultimately ended up cut largely due to problems posed with the FOX Engine and the attempt at making it run on both the PS3 and Xbox 360.

The United States Naval Prison Facility returns as a playable map in the latest iteration of Metal Gear Online, now simply called Black Site.
"BLACK SITE
The infamous US military base nine years after the events of "METAL GEAR SOLID V: GROUND ZEROES". It contains a multi-level base with mostly flat and spacious surrounding areas.
"
―Black Site description on the Metal Gear Online website

Gallery

Appearances

References

  1. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014).
    Kazuhira Miller: That's the refugee camp. I hear it's where they hold refugees from countries like Cuba and Haiti. On top of a decades-long dictatorship, Haitians also face an ever-growing wealth gap. A lot of those people likely risked their lives to get out. The flow of refugees is non-stop. Some make it to Florida, but others are caught and sent to Cuba's "Little America." It's the prison facility, home to "enemy combatants."
  2. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014).
    Kazuhira Miller: There's the prison, full of "enemy combatants" abducted from around the world. Those detainees are held indefinitely without solid evidence or trial. A black site if ever there was one.
  3. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014).
    Kazuhira Miller: That's where your targets are. Are those animal cages...?
  4. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014).
    Kazuhira Miller: It's got a roof. Must be for storing materials or something. See anything you could use as a foot hold? Looks like some kind of storehouse.
  5. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014).
    Kazuhira Miller: The old prison... Officially, it's not in use.
  6. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014)
    Marine 1: (Hey) You hear about the special shifts guys have been pulling at the old prison area for the past two weeks? // Marine 2: Yeah, some "high-value prisoners" or something. You get that duty and kiss your break time goodbye, man. My buddy was crying on my shoulder about it. // Marine 1: But that place has been dead for years. Now we've got these I-don't-know-who's bringing in "enemy combatants" from Stateside. // Marine 2: Right. And the CO is tearing his hair out. // Marine 1: Feel like I'm livin' in a prison, man.
  7. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014)
    Marine 1: After chow I got a poker game with some boys from second squad. You in? // Marine 2: Nah, man, not today. I'm totally wiped after these special shifts they got us pulling lately. // Marine 1: OK, some other time.
  8. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014).
    Kazuhira Miller: It's feed is being monitored at their CP. If you take it out, you can bet guys would come running from inside. It's a surveillance camera. Don't get spotted.
  9. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014)
    Marine 1: Hey, shouldn't the guy doing the check have been here by now? The outer gate's open and everything. // Marine 2: Leave the gate open. He must be running late. // Marine 1: Should we do something? They gotta check the vitals of that prisoner, don't they? // Marine 2: Got nothing to do with us. Forget about it. // Marine 1: ... Yeah, sure. // Kazuhira Miller: You hear that? You need to hurry up your escape before they realize Paz is missing.
  10. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014)
    Kazuhira Miller: Is that for storage or something...? Warehouse, huh... Hey, Boss, this is no time to go treasure hunting. That warehouse got your attention? I won't stop you - just don't get seen. A warehouse inside the base... Could be worth a look, especially if they're storing weapons inside.
  11. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014)
    Side Mission 1: Eliminate the Renegade Threat
    Marine 1: What's going on? You did an inventory of the armory day before yesterday, right? // Marine 2: Yeah, hadn't been in there for 6 months. // Marine 1: If you're not the gunny, you ain't seeing much of that place. // Marine 2: Couldn't believe it's still just an ordinary little lock on it. // Marine 1: Right, you would think they'd be more careful with firepower like that. // Marine 2: It's right in the middle of the base, though. Nobody's getting in there. // Marine 1: Still, you never know, man. // Marine 2: No way - end of story.
  12. ^ a b Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014)
    Marine 1: Sorry, got held up. // Marine 2: What happened? They want this resupply going full speed. If we don't get going, it's my ass. // Marine 1: That gear in the back, huh? When do we get our super guns? // Marine 2: The big hitters get the big hitters, man. // Marine 1: We've got big hitters over these days. // Marine 2: Whaddya mean? // Marine 1: You see those two came in the other day? // Marine 1: Yeah, inspecting the base. // Marine 1: More like keeping tabs on it. They act like they own the place. Who are those guys? // Marine 2: Word is they got their start here. Guess you could call it a homecoming. // Marine 1: So that's how it is. ... Shit, we better move. // Marine 2: Yeah.
  13. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014)
    This conversation only occurs if Big Boss steps on a landmine.
    Kazuhira Miller: Boss, you ok?! Landmines... To take out any prisoner trying to escape. They really want to keep that place under wraps, huh...
  14. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014).
    Info > Pre-mission Brief: Mission Background & Intel > Mission Intel: US Military Base, Cuba
    Kazuhira Miller: Snake, you can forget about civil liberties where you’re headed. God only knows what they’d do to you if you get caught. Do not let that happen. The Cubans leased the land to the U.S. as a gesture for helping them gain independence from Spain. The deal remains in effect until both countries agree to dissolve it or the U.S. abandons the land. That’s why America still operates the base even after la revolucion. Problem is, it’s leased land. // Naked Snake (Big Boss): Meaning it isn’t American soil, so the U.S. constitution doesn’t apply there. That allows them to withhold its civil rights protections. // Miller: Yeah, that’s Uncle Sam’s excuse. The area was originally only for detaining refugees from countries like Cuba and Haiti. But a few years ago, the CIA and its like started using it as a black site. Enemies of the State are renditioned there and subjected to extreme forms of interrogation. You can bet Cipher had a hand in that. As you’d expect, American and other Western human rights organizations aren’t allowed anywhere near the place. What happens there disappears down the memory hole. // Big Boss: Who knows what they’re doing to Chico and Paz. // Miller: I’d like to interrogate her ourselves, but if worst comes to worst, make sure she’s dead! Chico on the other hand we have to bring back – fast! He knows too much about us… // Big Boss: Kaz! // Miller: The area’s surrounded by mines placed by both the U.S. and Cuba, making escape on foot impossible. You’re heading into the lion’s den, Snake. Don’t take this one lightly. Come back in one piece. // Big Boss: Yeah.
  15. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014).
    Note, Miller only gives this response if the player hasn't found the tape before this conversation
    Marine 1: Where's that recording? There should be one left here. // Marine 2: That tape? Uh, I tossed it already. It's, it's in the trash up top. // Marine 1: Get that garbage truck around ASAP. If that tape gets out, we'll be in deep shit. // Marine 2: Got it. // Marine 1: Right, it's time. // 'Kazuhira Miller: A cassette tape... It may contain classified information. I'll mark the location he mentioned. Go find it if you can.
  16. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014).
    Note, Miller gives this response if the player already found the tape by the time this conversation occurs
    Marine 1: Where's that recording? There should be one left here. // Marine 2: That tape? Uh, I tossed it already. It's, it's in the trash up top. // Marine 1: Get that garbage truck around ASAP. If that tape gets out, we'll be in deep shit. // Marine 2: Got it. // Marine 1: Right, it's time. // 'Kazuhira Miller: A cassette tape... Must be the one you already found.
  17. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014).
    Marine 1: Hey, we get confirmation on that garbage disposal yet? // Marine 2: Yeah, they just took care of it. // Marine 1: All right, I'm heading back up top. Stay here and keep watch. // Marine 2: You got it.
  18. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014).
    Marine 1: All quiet? Seems they tracked down the prisoner that got out. // Marine 2: Ah, that guy. // Marine 1: Execution order's been given on the down-low. They're about to do it now. // Marine 2: Right. I'll go. // Marine 1: Tell him from me, man - It's nothing personal. // Marine 2: Right. // Kazuhira Miller: That escaped prisoner might have intel about the base.
  19. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014)
    Marine 1: Sorry I kept you waiting. // Delta 4: Yeah. Well, let's get on with it. // Marine 1: (sigh) Right. All yours. // (Delta 4 walks over with the soldiers to the escaped prisoner, then proceeds to fire a few rounds before the prisoner dies. Delta 4 then takes out his radio) // Delta 4: CP, this is Delta 4. Situation resolved. Returning to posts. Out. // (The first marine proceeds to inspect the deceased prisoner's corpse to make sure he's dead, then walks back with the other men) // Marine 1: Your men can return to your posts. I'll wait here until the meat wagon turns up. // Delta 4: Roger that.
  20. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014).
    Marine 1: You think these "enemy combatants" are really combatants? // Marine 2: Best not to think about it. // Marine 1: They look like civies to me. // Marine 2: No, they're terrorists. // Marine 1: What did they do? When's the last time you heard of a terrorist attack on Americans? // Marine 2: There's lots of things you don't hear about - doesn't mean they don't happen.
  21. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014).
    Glaz: Any reports I should know about? // Palitz: No sir, I haven't heard anything. // Glaz: Is something wrong? // Palitz: I just have this feeling. // Glaz: Remember the LRRP in the mountain region of Laos... // Palitz: Yeah, the enemy scouts were set up, just waiting for us... // Glaz: I had the same feeling then. // Palitz: Sir, I... // Glaz: It's stinging in the corner of my eye. I've got a bad feeling about today. // Palitz: The only reason I was able to make it out alive then was because of you, sir. // Glaz: Let's get out of here. Come on. // Palitz: Sir!
  22. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014)
    Info > Pre-mission Brief: Mission Background & Intel > Mission Tips
    Kazuhira Miller: This is a one-man infiltration mission, Boss. Equipment is the bare essentials. Anything else will be OSP. The target location is a prison camp on a US military base. Those marines have the place locked down tight. Your only backup will be one extraction chopper. We can't send anything else. // Big Boss: You won't need to. // Miller: Again, this is infiltration - a Sneaking Mission. Your number one priority is remaining undetected. Use discretion before engaging any guards you encounter. Be mindful of their sensory perceptions: sight, sound, smell, and pain. Fortunately, these atmospheric conditions will continue until dawn. That should provide you with some cover. // Big Boss: 'Least the weather's on my side...
  23. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014).
    Kazuhira Miller: The guards' situational awareness won't be that great due to the hurricane, but still, don't get careless.
  24. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014).
    Marine 1: (Yo!) I'm soaked to the bone. // Marine 2: Forecast says we got this until morning. // Marine 1: Looks like they're right - for once. Can you believe that crew taking their choppers out in this storm? It's pitch-black too. I knew they were crazy. // Marine 2: Either that, or they got some stone-cold rotorheads at the control. And they flew a tight formation - I guess they got a lot of trust. // Marine 1: Trust, my ass. You'd have to drag me onto one of those. // Marine 2: Yeah, no shit.
  25. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jul/18/hideo-kojima-interview-metal-gear-solid-phantom-pain
  26. ^ http://www.metalgearinformer.com/?p=13550
  27. ^ https://twitter.com/JunkerHQNet/status/528573811705544704
  28. ^ https://twitter.com/JunkerHQNet/status/528574055725924352
  29. ^ https://twitter.com/JunkerHQNet/status/528574280121221120
  30. ^ https://twitter.com/HEITAIs/status/632878398012940288

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