THE FCI TALLADEGA HOSTAGE RESCUE

JAMES A. MCGEE

PHASE LINE GREEN— by James A. McGee, one of the most decorated agents in FBI history, offers a real-life look at what it’s like not just to be a member of an elite counterterrorism unit, but what it takes to execute a successful assault and save lives.  

 

“Special Agent McGee offers the public a glimpse at the dedicated law enforcement officers who, without hesitation, risk their own lives to save the lives of others.  The special agents who comprise the FBI HRT embody the spirit of fidelity, bravery, and integrity shared by all FBI agents.   The HRT motto “Servare Vitas—To Save Lives” is testimony to this creed.   There are many success stories that are often overlooked because nothing went wrong.  The FCI Talladega Hostage Rescue was definitely one of those.  This account captures the essence  of law enforcement on the front lines.  Every American needs to know who’s guarding their freedom and the sacrifice associated with performing this duty.”

 

-Former FBI Director William Sessions

 

 

 

HOTEL TEAM

FORCED ENTRY ALPHA UNIT

POST-ASSAULT

BEHIND THE STORY:

1991—Talladega, Alabama:

 

Cuban inmates at the federal correctional institution (FCI) overpowered their guards and took eleven hostages.   The inmates were facing deportation and were desperate not to go back to Cuba.  The FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) was brought in so that, in the event that negotiations failed, the hostages could still be saved.  Ten days into the standoff, the inmates threatened to start killing hostages.  In the early hours of the morning, the HRT waited outside the correctional facility at phase line green for the command: “EXECUTE!”

 

The term “Phase line green” refers to the final position before an assault commences.  At phase line green, assault teams wait only for the signal to go before breaching a crisis site to save hostages.

 

“Copy Hotel at green, stand by, I have  control, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Execute…..get down, get down, get down……”

 

 

   

“SERVARE VITAS”

© All Rights Reserved—J.A. McGee