Conspiracy at Desert One
By Bernace Charles
Late March 1980
With the waiting for freeing the hostages, Kevin Keller had tired. He
became weary from hoping for a full rehearsal of the rescue-effort. There
was one occasion he was glad to have taken place. A CIA operative had flown
into Iran to survey a landing sight known as Dessert 1. The agent had buried
remote-controlled landing lights. All the leading plane would need to do
was send the signal; the lights would pop up through the sand; and they
would light the landing zone.
Now, they could push for a full rehearsal. Colonel Keller was with Major
Olson in the back room of the operations section of the Pentagon. There,
men worked to fill the lists and orders for moving needed equipment to
Wadi Kena, Egypt. Colonel Keller patted Olson on the back as he leaned
over a flow chart and said, "They finally have a place where the insertion
force can land and refuel."
Olson stood erect and said, "Yes, they do. We need to take it to
the general and push for it. With the words, Colonel Keller was thankful
a stretch of the Dasht-e-Kavir Desert 200 miles southeast of Tehran offered
landing sites to the east and west of a graded, dirt road. The site offered
wide movement for the six planes and eight helicopters needed for the rescue-effort.
It offered more space than the little used airports considered for a take
down on the first night's insertion. The only thing to worry over was the
fact someone might come driving through the landing zone. The possibility
of this happening would depend on luck and the time of night the lead C-130
set down on the desert floor. With good luck, everything would run like
clockwork. With bad luck, no one wanted to think about it. >>>
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