Black Ops - The Book

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A memoir by the highest-ranking covert warrior to lift the veil of secrecy and offer a glimpse into the shadow wars that America has fought since the Vietnam Era.

Enrique Prado found himself in his first firefight at age seven. The son of a middle-class Cuban family caught in the midst of the Castro Revolution, his family fled their war-torn home for the hope of a better life in America. Fifty years later, the Cuban refugee retired from the Central Intelligence Agency as the CIA equivalent of a two-star general. Black Ops is the story of Ric’s legendary career that spanned two eras, the Cold War and the Age of Terrorism. Operating in the shadows, Ric and his fellow CIA officers fought a little-seen and virtually unknown war to keep USA safe from those who would do it harm.

After duty stations in Central, South America, and the Philippines, Black Ops follows Ric into the highest echelons of the CIA’s headquarters at Langley, Virginia. In late 1995, he became Deputy Chief of Station and co-founding member of the Bin Laden Task Force. Three years later, after serving as head of Korean Operations, Ric took on one of the most dangerous missions of his career: re-establish a once-abandoned CIA station inside a hostile nation long since considered a front line of the fight against Islamic terrorism. He and his team carried out covert operations and developed assets that proved pivotal in the coming War on Terror.

A harrowing memoir of life in the shadowy world of assassins, terrorists, spies and revolutionaries, Black Ops is a testament to the courage, creativity and dedication of the Agency’s Special Activities Group and its elite shadow warriors.

About Ric

Enrique “Ric” Prado is a paramilitary, counter-terrorism, and special/clandestine operations specialist, with a focus on international training operations and programs. 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 counter-terrorism/insurgency operations in Peru and in the Philippines. Other key positions included head of the CIA’s Korean Operations and Chief of CIA Liaison in Seoul, ROK. He is fluent in his native Spanish and once held a 2+ level in Japanese.

His military training and qualifications include Airborne, SCUBA, Advance Combat Medical Rescue, S.E.R.E., Mountain Climbing, and Jungle Survival 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 (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).

Mr. Prado is now co-owner of Camp X, Special Operations Lone Operator Training Group and continues his service training and supporting the “SPECOPS” Community as Subject Matter Expert (SME ) at the SWCS’ ASOT (Advanced Special Operations and Techniques) and ASOT Managers Course, Dragon Warrior, Emerald Warrior, among others.