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The Crossroads of Special Operations

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Black Ops: The Life of a CIA Shadow Warrior | Ric Prado

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Enrique “Ric” Prado is a paramilitary, counterterrorism, and special/clandestine operations specialist.  Mr. Prado is a twenty-four-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency where he served as an Operations Officer in six overseas posts.  He was Deputy Chief of Station and “Plank Owner” of the original Bin Ladin Task Force/Issues Station under Senior Analyst, Michael Scheuer, as well as Chief of Station in a hostile Muslim country.  He also served as Chief of Operations in the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center (CTC) during the September 11th attacks, where Mr. Prado helped coordinate CIA/CTC’s special operations (SPECOPS) activities with the National Security Council and FBI, as well as with elite U.S. military representatives from Delta Force and SEAL-Team Six, then detailed to CTC/CIA.  He retired as Senior Intel Service-2 (SIS-2, Major General equivalent at CIA).

Mr. Prado spent his first ten years at CIA as a paramilitary officer in Special Operations Group/Special Activities Division (SOG/SAD, Ground Branch) which is CIA’s “special operations force.” His service included 36 months in Central America jungles as the first CIA officer living in the anti-Sandinista “Contra” camps.  Subsequently running counterterrorism/insurgency operations in Latin America and in the Philippines.  Other key positions included head of the CIA’s Korean Operations and Chief of CIA Liaison in Asia. He is fluent in his native Spanish and once held a 2+ level in Japanese.  He received the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal (highest award given to a retiring operations officer) and the George Bush Medal for Excellence in Counterterrorism, among others.

Cuban born and immigrating solo to the US at the age of 11 – which landed him in an orphanage in Pueblo, Colorado – “Ric” inherited early on a “debt of honor” to the USA.  Thus, he volunteered for military service at the age of 20.  His military training and qualifications include Airborne, SCUBA, Advance Combat Medical Rescue, S.E.R.E., Mountain Climbing, and Jungle Survival all under the auspices of the US Air Force elite Pararescue Teams (1971-1976).  CIA training included: Ops/Case Officer certification training (The Farm), Counterterrorist Operations, Advanced Tradecraft Course, Free-Fall parachuting, Draeger close-circuit (US Army Combat Diver’s 1984 and SEALS 2003), Korean Ops, and numerous CT driving and weapons-related courses.  Mr. Prado is also a graduate of the elite Henk Iverson’s Lone Operator course (2018), Bob Kasper’s Knife Fighting course, and holds several advanced belts in the martial arts.

Mr. Prado continues his service training and supporting the “SPECOPS” Community as Subject Matter Expert (SME) at the SWCS’ ASOT (Advanced Special Operations and Techniques) and Dragon Warrior, Emerald Warrior, among others.  That is almost 50 years of diverse service to Country.  This book is a continuation of his loyalty; this time, in an effort to portray the real ethos of the CIA, it’s exceptional personnel and how CIA contributes to every current US endeavor in support of freedom and democracy.

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