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KB
06-11-2007, 08:20 AM
A Navy Seal, Injured and Alone, Was Saved By Afghans' Embrace and Comrades' Valor


http://media3.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/photo/2007/06/10/PH2007061001350.jpg (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/photo/gallery/070608/GAL-07Jun08-77355/index.html)
Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell

http://media3.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/graphic/2007/06/11/GR2007061100224.gif
http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/photo/homepage/hp6-10-07e.jpg (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/10/AR2007061001492.html?hpid=artslot)

14 service members helped rescue Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell in one of the more remarkable accounts to emerge from Afghanistan. (Courtesy of Josh Appel)

By Laura Blumenfeld (http://projects.washingtonpost.com/staff/email/laura+blumenfeld/)
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 11, 2007; Page A01

The blood in his eyes almost blinded him, but the Navy Seal could hear, clattering above the trees in northeast Afghanistan (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/related-topics.html/Afghanistan?tid=informline), rescue helicopters.

Hey, he pleaded silently. I'm right here.

Marcus Luttrell, a fierce, 6-foot-5 rancher's son from Texas (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/related-topics.html/Texas?tid=informline), lay in the dirt. His face was shredded, his nose broken, three vertebrae cracked from tumbling down a ravine. A Taliban (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/related-topics.html/The+Taliban?tid=informline) rocket-propelled grenade had ripped off his pants and riddled him with shrapnel.

As the helicopters approached, Luttrell, a petty officer first class, turned on his radio. Dirt clogged his throat, leaving him unable to speak. He could hear a pilot: "If you're out there, show yourself."

It was June 2005. The United States (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/related-topics.html/United+States?tid=informline) had just suffered its worst loss of life in Afghanistan since the invasion in 2001. Taliban forces had attacked Luttrell's four-man team on a remote ridge shortly after 1 p.m. on June 28. By day's end, 19 Americans had died. Now U.S. aircraft scoured the hills for survivors.

There would be only one. Luttrell's ordeal -- described in exclusive interviews with him and 14 men who helped save him -- is among the more remarkable accounts to emerge from Afghanistan. It has been a dim and distant war, where after 5 1/2 years about 26,000 U.S. troops remain locked in conflict.

Out of that darkness comes this spark of a story. It is a tale of moral choices and of prejudices transcended. It is also a reminder of how challenging it is to be a smart soldier, and how hard it is to be a good man.

Luttrell had come to Afghanistan "to kill every SOB we could find." Now he lay bleeding and filthy at the bottom of a gulch, unable to stand. "I could see hunks of metal and rocks sticking out of my legs," he recalled.

He activated his emergency call beacon, which made a clicking sound. The pilots in the HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters overhead could hear him.

"Show yourself," one pilot urged. "We cannot stay much longer." Their fuel was dwindling as morning light seeped into the sky, making them targets for RPGs and small-arms fire. The helicopters turned back.

As the HH-60s flew to Bagram air base, 80 miles away, one pilot told himself, "That guy's going to die."

Luttrell never felt so alone. His legs, numb and *****, reminded him of another loss. He had kept a magazine photograph of a World Trade Center (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/related-topics.html/World+Trade+Center?tid=informline) victim in his pants pocket. Luttrell didn't know the man but carried the picture on missions. He killed in the man's unknown name.

Now Luttrell's camouflage pants had been blasted off, and with them, the victim's picture. Luttrell was feeling lightheaded. His muse for vengeance was gone.

Hunting a Taliban Leader

Luttrell's mission had begun routinely. As darkness fell on Monday, June 27, his Seal team fast-roped from a Chinook helicopter onto a grassy ridge near the Pakistan (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/related-topics.html/Pakistan?tid=informline) border. They were Navy Special Operations forces, among the most elite troops in the military: Lt. Michael P. Murphy (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/related-topics.html/Michael+P.+Murphy?tid=informline) and three petty officers -- Matthew G. Axelson, Danny P. Dietz and Luttrell. Their mission, code-named Operation Redwing, was to capture or kill Ahmad Shah, a Taliban leader. U.S. intelligence officials believed Shah was close to Osama bin Laden (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/related-topics.html/Osama+bin+Laden?tid=informline).

Luttrell, 32, is a twin. His brother was also a Seal. Each had half of a trident tattooed across his chest, so that standing together they completed the Seal symbol. They were big, visceral, horse-farm boys raised by a father Luttrell described admiringly as "a hard man."

"He made sure we knew the world is an unforgiving, relentless place," Luttrell said. "Anyone who thinks otherwise is totally naive."

Luttrell, who deployed to Afghanistan in April 2005 after six years in the Navy, including two years in Iraq (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/related-topics.html/Iraq?tid=informline), welcomed the moral clarity of Kunar province. He would fight in the mountains that cradled bin Laden's men. It was, he said, "payback time for the World Trade Center. My goal was to double the number of people they killed."

The four Seals zigzagged all night and through the morning until they reached a wooded slope. An Afghan man wearing a turban suddenly appeared, then a farmer and a teenage boy. Luttrell gave a PowerBar to the boy while the Seals debated whether the Afghans would live or die.

If the Seals killed the unarmed civilians, they would violate military rules of engagement; if they let them go, they risked alerting the Taliban. According to Luttrell, one Seal voted to kill them, one voted to spare them and one abstained. It was up to Luttrell.

Part of his calculus was practical. "I didn't want to go to jail." Ultimately, the core of his decision was moral. "A frogman has two personalities. The military guy in me wanted to kill them," he recalled. And yet: "They just seemed like -- people. I'm not a murderer."

Luttrell, by his account, voted to let the Afghans go. "Not a day goes by that I don't think about that decision," he said. "Not a second goes by."

At 1:20 p.m., about an hour after the Seals released the Afghans, dozens of Taliban members overwhelmed them. The civilians he had spared, Luttrell believed, had betrayed them. At the end of a two-hour firefight, only he remained alive. He has written about it in a book going on sale tomorrow, "Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of Seal Team 10."

Daniel Murphy, whose son Michael was killed, said he was comforted when "Mike's admiral said, 'Don't think these men went down easy. There were 35 Taliban strewn on the ground.' "

Before Murphy was shot, he radioed Bagram: "My guys are dying."

Help came thundering over the ridgeline in a Chinook carrying 16 rescuers. But at 4:05 p.m., as the helicopter approached, the Taliban fighters fired an RPG. No one survived.

"It was deathly quiet," Luttrell recalled. He crawled away, dragging his legs, leaving a bloody trail. The country song "American Soldier" looped through his mind. Round and round, in dizzying circles, whirled the words "I'll bear that cross with honor."

News of a Crash

In southwestern Afghanistan, at the Kandahar (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/related-topics.html/Kandahar?tid=informline) air field, Maj. Jeff Peterson, 39, sat in the briefing room with his feet up on the table, watching the puppet movie "Team America: World Police."

Peterson was a full-time Air Force reservist from Arizona (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/related-topics.html/Arizona?tid=informline), known as Spanky because he resembles the scamp from "The Little Rascals." He was passing a six-week stint with other reservists he called "old farts." In three days they would head home, leaving behind the smell of burning sewage and the sound of giant camel spiders crunching mouse bones.
Someone flipped on the television news. A Chinook had crashed up north.

Peterson flew an HH-60 for the 305th Rescue Squadron. Motto: "Anytime, anywhere." Their rescues had been minor. "An Afghani kid with a blown-up hand or a soldier with a blown-up knee," Peterson recalled in an interview at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/related-topics.html/Davis-Monthan+Air+Force+Base?tid=informline) in Tucson (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/related-topics.html/Tucson?tid=informline).

That was okay with him. Twelve men, including Peterson's best friend, had died during training in a midair collision in 1998. The accident, he said, "took the wind out of my life sails." He just wanted to serve and get back to his wife, Penny, and their four small boys.

Peterson is dimply, 5 feet 8, and describes himself with a smile as "an idiot. A full-on, certified idiot." He almost flunked out of flight school because he kept getting airsick. While the other pilots downed lasagna, he nibbled saltines. He had trouble in survival training because they had to slaughter rabbits: "I didn't want to kill the bunny."

Peterson dealt with stress by joking, singing "Mr. Rogers's Neighborhood" songs on missions: It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

Now, with the news of the Chinook crash, the tension in the Kandahar briefing room amped up as a call came over the radio. Bagram needed them. Peterson grabbed his helmet and a three-day pack. He asked himself, "What is this about?"


Encounter With a Villager

The Seal wondered whether he was dying -- if not from the bullet that had pierced his thigh, then surely of thirst. "I was licking sweat off my arms," Luttrell recalled. "I tried to drink my urine."

Crawling through the night, as Spanky Peterson's HH-60 flew overhead with other search helicopters, he made it to a pool of water. When he lifted his head, he saw an Afghan. He reached for his rifle.

"American!" the villager said, flashing two thumbs-up. "Okay! Okay!"

"You Taliban?" Luttrell asked.

"No Taliban!"

The villager's friends arrived, carrying AK-47s. They began to argue, apparently determining Luttrell's fate. "I kept saying to myself, 'Quit being a little *****. Stand up and be a man.' "

But he couldn't stand. Three men lifted 240 pounds of dead weight and carried Luttrell to the 15-hut village of Sabray. They took his rifle.

What happened next baffled him. Mohammed Gulab, 33, father of six, fed Luttrell warm goat's milk, washed his wounds and clothed him in what Luttrell called "man jammies."

"I didn't trust them," Luttrell said. "I was confused. They'd reassure me, but hell, it wasn't in English."

Hours after his arrival, Taliban fighters appeared and demanded that the villagers surrender the American. They threatened Gulab, Luttrell said, and tried to bribe him. "I was waiting for a good deal to come along and for Gulab to turn me over.

"I'd been in so many villages. I'd be like, 'Up against the wall, and shut the hell up!' So I'm like, why would these people be kind to me?" Luttrell said. "I probably killed one of their cousins. And now I'm shot up, and they're using all the village medical supplies to help me."

What Luttrell did not understand, he said, was that the people of Sabray were following their own rules of engagement -- tribal law. Once they had carried the invalid Seal into their huts, they were committed to defend him. The Taliban fighters seemed to respect that custom, even as they lurked in the hills nearby.

During the day, children would gather around Luttrell's cot. He touched their noses and said "nose"; the children taught him words in Pashtun. At prayer time, he kneeled as best he could, wincing from shrapnel wounds. A boy said in Arabic, "There is no god but Allah." Marcus repeated: "La ilaha illa Allah."

"Once you say that, you become a Muslim -- you're good to go," he said.

Luttrell offered his own unspoken prayer to Jesus: "Get me out of here."

On several occasions, he heard helicopters. In one of them was Peterson. Come on, dude, show yourself, Peterson would silently say, looking down into the trees. At dawn, as Peterson flew back from a search, he felt his stomach sink. We failed.

On July 1, with Taliban threats intensifying, Gulab's father, the village elder, decided to seek help at a Marine outpost five miles down in the valley. Luttrell wrote a note: "This man gave me shelter and food, and must be helped."

The old man tramped down the mountain.


Preparing a Rescue

At 1 a.m. on July 2, Staff Sgt. Chris Piercecchi, 32, an Air Force pararescue jumper, picked up Gulab's father at the Marine outpost. He flew with him to Bagram. "He was this wise, older person with a big, old beard," Piercecchi recalled. Gulab's father handed over Luttrell's note and described the Seal's trident tattoo.

U.S. commanders drew up rescue plans. "It was one of the largest combat search-and-rescue operations since Vietnam (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/related-topics.html/Vietnam?tid=informline)," said Lt. Col. Steve Butow, who directed the air component from a classified location in Southwest Asia (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/related-topics.html/Southwest+Asia?tid=informline).

Planners first considered sending a Chinook to get Luttrell, while Peterson's HH-60 would wait five miles away to evacuate casualties. But the smaller HH-60, the planners concluded, could navigate the turns approaching Sabray more easily than a lumbering Chinook.

"Sixties, you got the pickup," the mission commander said to the HH-60 pilots.

"I was like, 'Holy cow, dude, how am I not going to screw this up?' " Peterson recalled. His chest felt tight. He had never flown in combat. "You want to do your mission, but once you're out, you're like, damn, I'd rather be watching the American puppet movie."

At 10:05 p.m. -- five nights after Luttrell's four-man team had set out -- Peterson climbed aboard with his reservist crew: a college student, a doctor, a Border Patrol pilot, a former firefighter and a hard-of-hearing Vietnam vet.

First Lt. Dave Gonzales, 41, Peterson's copilot, recalled that he felt for his rosary beads. "If you guys are praying guys, make sure you're praying now," Gonzales said. Master Sgt. Josh Appel, 39, the doctor, had never asked for God's help before. His father was Jewish, and his mother was a German Christian: "I don't even know what god I was talking to."

They flew for 40 minutes toward the dead-black mountains. Voices from pilots -- A-10 attack jets and AC-130 gunships flying cover -- droned over five frequencies. Peterson's crew was quiet, breathing a greasy mix of JP-8 jet fuel fumes and hot rubber.

As they climbed from 1,500 to 7,000 feet, Peterson asked about the engines: "What's my power?" In thin air, extra weight can be deadly. He didn't want to dump fuel; they were flying over a village. But he could sense the engines straining through the vibrations in the pedals.

Peterson broke the safety wire on the fuel switch. "Sorry, guys," he said, looking down at the roofs. He felt bad for the people below, but he needed to lighten the aircraft if he wanted to survive. Five hundred pounds of fuel gushed out. "That's for Penny and the boys."

Five minutes before the helicopter reached Sabray, U.S. warplanes -- guided by a ground team that had hiked overland -- attacked the Taliban fighters ringing the houses. "They started shwacking the bad guys," Peterson recalled. The clouds lit up from the explosions. The radio warned, "Known enemy 100 meters south of your position." The back of Peterson's neck *****led.

At 11:38 p.m., they descended into the landing zone, a ledge on a terraced cliff. The rotors spun up a blinding funnel of dirt. The aircraft wobbled, drifting left toward a wall and then right toward a cliff.

Piercecchi lay down, bracing for a crash. Master Sgt. Mike Cusick, 57, the flight engineer who had been a gunner in Vietnam, screamed, "Stop left! Stop right!"

"I'm going to screw up," Peterson recalled thinking. He thought of his best friend's wife, how she howled when he told her that her husband, a pilot, had crashed. "Don't let this happen to Penny."

Then, suddenly, through the brown cloud, a bush appeared. An orientation point.

Luttrell was crouching with Gulab on the ground, watching them land. The static electricity from the rotors glowed green. "That was the most nervous I'd been," Luttrell said. "I was waiting for an RPG to blast the helicopter."

Gulab helped Luttrell limp through the rotor wash. Piercecchi and Appel jumped out and saw two men dressed in billowing Afghan robes.

Appel trained the laser dot of his M4 on Luttrell. "Bad guys or good guys?" Appel recalled wondering. "I hope I don't have to shoot them."

Someone shouted: "He's your precious cargo!"

Piercecchi performed an identity check, based on memorized data: "What's your dog's name?"

Luttrell: "Emma!"

Piercecchi: "Favorite superhero?"

"Spiderman!"

Piercecchi shook his hand. "Welcome home."

Luttrell and Gulab climbed into the helicopter. During the flight, Gulab "was latched onto my knee like a 3-year-old," Luttrell recalled. When they landed and were separated, Gulab seemed confused. He had refused money and Luttrell's offer of his watch.

"I put my arms around his neck," Luttrell recalled, "and said into his ear, 'I love you, brother.' " He never saw Gulab again.


The Lessons

Two years have passed. Peterson, back in Tucson, realizes he may not be "a big idiot" after all. "I feel like I could do anything," he said.

On a recent evening, he took his boys to a Cub Scout meeting. The theme: "Cub Scouts (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/related-topics.html/Boy+Scouts+of+America?tid=informline) in Shining Armor." The den leader said: "A knight of the Round Table was someone who was very noble, who stood up for the right things. Remember what it is to be a knight, okay?"

Peterson's boys nodded, wearing Burger King (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/related-topics.html/Burger+King+Corporation?tid=informline) crowns that Penny had spray-painted silver.

Peterson had never spoken to Luttrell, neither in the helicopter nor afterward. Last month, the Seal phoned him.

"Hey, buddy," he said. "This is Marcus Luttrell. Thank you for pulling me off that mountain."

Peterson whooped.

Such happy moments have been rare for Luttrell. After recuperating, he deployed to Iraq, returning home this spring. His injuries from Afghanistan still require a "narcotic regimen." He feels tormented by the death of his Seal friends, and he avoids sleeping because they appear in his dreams, shrieking for help.

Three weeks ago, while in New York (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/related-topics.html/New+York?tid=informline), Luttrell visited Ground Zero. On an overcast afternoon, he looked down into the pit. The World Trade Center is his touchstone as a warrior. He had linked Sept. 11 to the people of Afghanistan: "I didn't go over there with any respect for these people."

But the villagers of Sabray taught him something, he said.

"In the middle of everything evil, in an evil place, you can find goodness.
Goodness. I'd even call it godliness," he said.

As Luttrell talked, he walked the perimeter fence. His gait was hulking, if not menacing, his voice angry, engorged with pain. "They protected me like a child. They treated me like I was their eldest son."

Below Luttrell in the pit, earthmovers were digging; construction workers in orange vests directed a beeping truck. Luttrell kept talking. "They brought their cousins brandishing firearms . . . ." The cranes clanked. "And they brought their uncles, to make sure no Taliban would kill me . . . "

Luttrell kept talking over the banging and the hammering of a place that would rise again.

Graphic

Deadly Day in 2005

On June 28, 2005, four Navy Seals, pinned down in a firefight, radioed for help. A Chinook helicopter, carrying 16 service members, responded but was shot down. All members of the rescue team and three of four Seals on the ground died. Marcus Luttrell alone survived.


NAVY SEALS KILLED ON THE GROUND
Age
Hometown
Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew G. Axelson 29 Cupertino, Calif.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Danny P. Dietz 25 Littleton, Colo.
Lt. Michael P. Murphy 29 Patchogue, N.Y.


RESCUERS KILLED ON CHINOOK HELICOPTER

160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment
Staff Sgt. Shamus O. Goare 29 Danville, Ohio.
Chief Warrant Officer Corey J. Goodnature 35 Clarks Grove, Minn.
Sgt. Kip A. Jacoby 21 Pompano Beach, Fla.
Sgt. 1st Class Marcus V. Muralles 33 Shelbyville, Ind.
Master Sgt. James W. Ponder III 36 Franklin, Tenn.
Maj. Stephen C. Reich 34 Washington Depot, Conn.
Sgt. 1st Class Michael L. Russell 31 Stafford, Va.
Chief Warrant Officer Chris J. Scherkenbach 40 Jacksonville, Fla.

Navy Seals
Chief Petty Officer Jacques J. Fontan 36 New Orleans
Senior Chief Petty Officer Daniel R. Healy 36 Exeter, N.H.
Lt. Cmdr. Erik S. Kristensen 33 San Diego
Petty Officer 1st Class Jeffery A. Lucas 33 Corbett, Ore.
Lt. Michael M. McGreevy Jr. 30 Portville, N.Y.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric S. Patton 22 Boulder City, Nev.
Petty Officer 2nd Class James Suh 28 Deerfield Beach, Fla.
Petty Officer 1st Class Jeffrey S. Taylor 30 Midway, W.Va.
SOURCE: Department of Defense

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/10/AR2007061001492.html?hpid=artslot

K3rmit
06-11-2007, 08:39 AM
I just don't know what is good enough to say.....

R.I.P to the fallen, peace of mind and Gods strength to the survivor, and a thank you to the tribes people who took in a man, that had come from a foriegn land to wage a war, and cared for him. That takes big balls to do that.
Peace be upon all of them involved.

CPLHUNTER
06-11-2007, 09:33 AM
Everytime I read this story, my heart goes out to those brave men who died in the line of action.

May they rest in peace and their story of absolute bravery never be forgotten.

I'll be getting that book.

Mojo
06-11-2007, 09:35 AM
Inspiring somber read. My cousin was on the chopper behind the one that went down. I remember getting an email a few weeks before saying "Dont worry Cuz, I'm protected by SEALs." The chopper went down and I was a mess for 2 days until the KIA list came out. He emailed me a few weeks later telling me about how close they came to being downed as well. He also asked about his nephews ROTC advisor who had just been killed in Iraq. He was a customer at our shop and a friend, SGT. Deyson Cariaga. Needless to say it was a tough month in Hawaii....

RIP Brothers.. Mahalo for your sacrifice....

KB
06-11-2007, 09:45 AM
For a broader perspective on what happened...

http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?p=2156375#post2156375

Migman
06-11-2007, 09:52 AM
Whoa. That was a very well written and moving article. As usual, RIP to the fallen.

socom6
06-11-2007, 09:54 AM
Damn I knew it was already heart wrenching but finally reading what the survivor really hits me hard. Again RIP to the fallen and God speed to the survivor.

MetroN
06-11-2007, 10:27 AM
It's such a wast that so many fine men died. Rest in peace.

Argyll
06-11-2007, 10:29 AM
Outstanding story of personal survival........I'll get this book as soon as I get home.

Gman3ID
06-11-2007, 11:05 AM
So many aspects to the story, gut wrenching throughout. RIP to the fallen.

KB
06-11-2007, 11:07 AM
For those Stateside, PO1 Luttrell is on the Today Show tomorrow (12 June) morning.

As an FYI, he was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions during Operation Red Wings.

Laworkerbee
06-11-2007, 12:09 PM
Great story I will read this as well.

Mohammed Gulab is like a modern day Job, thank god for him.

dsw
06-11-2007, 12:21 PM
Here's an excerpt from Luttrell's book that will be out tomorrow:

http://www.hachettebookgroupusa.com/books/19/0316067598/chapter_excerpt24838.html

RAF
06-11-2007, 02:15 PM
Ive been waiting so long for this book to come out.

Jobu
06-11-2007, 02:16 PM
I hope those villagers were rewarded.

DongFangBuBai
06-11-2007, 02:19 PM
Heart wrenching indeed.

This underscores the huge mental and moral burden thrust upon the soldiers in these kinds of fights. Had he voted to kill the farmer and the teenager, they might've lived but had to endure a lifetime of the 'what if' guilt. However now, he will have to carry the burden of that decision. Makes me wonder what is the price of morality.

My heart goes out to the 19 families and respect to the Gulab family.

boy1000
06-11-2007, 02:28 PM
Gentlemen (American)

I pay my respect for the soldiers who pay the ultimate price. My thoughts go to the left behind.

Any American with knowlegde of the incident knows what have happened to the Afghan who saved him?

LillaMy
06-11-2007, 02:33 PM
Equally moving everytime I read about this and other stories like it!
The one thing that disturbs me the most is the fact that all these SEALs died in the air. Men like that deserves to die like the warriors they are!

R.I.P to the fallen!!

Some other reflections regarding the way they where compromized! There must be much smarter to extract a team and live to fight another day, rather than take a chance that "the villagers are maybee nice and likes us". THIS IS IN NO WAY critique against the men on the ground, but rather against the procedures and assets(or lack of) that should be in place when a team is compromized like this.

Of course SOF personnel can´t go around murdering civilians, not much "opresso liber" in that but they can put some soporific drugs in the civilians and slip away to an LZ or something like that...

PeterG
06-11-2007, 02:42 PM
Some other reflections regarding the way they where compromized! There must be much smarter to extract a team and live to fight another day, rather than take a chance that "the villagers are maybee nice and likes us". THIS IS IN NO WAY critique against the men on the ground, but rather against the procedures and assets(or lack of) that should be in place when a team is compromized like this.



There must be a lot of small units operating there, and lots of civvies to run into. In the movies there is always a satellite giving real-time info on everything around, and airsupport 30 secs away, but in real life.. RIP to the fallen, and best wishes to the survivor. Will buy the book.

Baboonass
06-11-2007, 02:47 PM
Some other reflections regarding the way they where compromized! There must be much smarter to extract a team and live to fight another day, rather than take a chance that "the villagers are maybee nice and likes us". THIS IS IN NO WAY critique against the men on the ground, but rather against the procedures and assets(or lack of) that should be in place when a team is compromized like this.

...

Anyone who has operated in this sector of A-Stan, or anywere in A-Stan for that matter will attest to the fact that 90% of the recons were comprimised by goat herders. Very few were reported so there is a decision of wheather to leave or not. You are going to take a huge gamble on whatever decision you make, sometimes it's going to pan out, other times, not so much.

The very nature of SOF work is you are not going to have a lot of assets avilible to you. You have to work on your own. You know full well that if things go bad, no one is going to immediatly come to help you. We all know the risks involved, that's why we get paid the big bucks.

Obviously, there is more to this story as what will be discussed in the open.

In any case, it's a very harrowing event and a story that rivals any Hollywood movie.

DongFangBuBai
06-11-2007, 02:51 PM
The one thing that disturbs me the most is the fact that all these SEALs died in the air. Men like that deserves to die like the warriors they are!

...

The SEALs died for one another, living by the code that they promised each other, that no one gets left behind.

boy1000
06-11-2007, 02:55 PM
Anyone who has operated in this sector of A-Stan, or anywere in A-Stan for that matter will attest to the fact that 90% of the recons were comprimised by goat herders. Very few were reported so there is a decision of wheather to leave or not. You are going to take a huge gamble on whatever decision you make, sometimes it's going to pan out, other times, not so much.

The very nature of SOF work is you are not going to have a lot of assets avilible to you. You have to work on your own. You know full well that if things go bad, no one is going to immediatly come to help you. We all know the risks involved, that's why we get paid the big bucks.

Obviously, there is more to this story as what will be discussed in the open.

In any case, it's a very harrowing event and a story that rivals any Hollywood movie.

Noted (123456)

LillaMy
06-11-2007, 03:01 PM
Anyone who has operated in this sector of A-Stan, or anywere in A-Stan for that matter will attest to the fact that 90% of the recons were comprimised by goat herders. Very few were reported so there is a decision of wheather to leave or not. You are going to take a huge gamble on whatever decision you make, sometimes it's going to pan out, other times, not so much.

The very nature of SOF work is you are not going to have a lot of assets avilible to you. You have to work on your own. You know full well that if things go bad, no one is going to immediatly come to help you. We all know the risks involved, that's why we get paid the big bucks.

Yeah! I realize that... I just get so damn frustrated.. p-)

Baboonass
06-11-2007, 03:09 PM
Yeah! I realize that... I just get so damn frustrated.. p-)

It's just the nature of warfare and special warfare.

We are so much better off than the commados of WW2, or Korea, Vietnam, etc..

It's never going to be ideal, it just is.

This isn't nearly as frustrating as NOT being able to take action when it should be done.

Far
06-11-2007, 03:21 PM
RIP to the fallen.

Here's tons of pics of the guys:

http://www.mattaxelson.com/album/afghanistan/index.html

WolverineBlue
06-11-2007, 03:36 PM
What a moving story. I can't wait to read Luttrell's book.

RIP to the fallen, and thank you to the honorable Afghani people who helped Luttrell. I can't imagine the emotions all parties were subjected to during this incident.

Lt. CDR Erik Kristensen spent a post-grad year ("13th grade") at my high school.

http://www.andover.edu/news/kristensen.htm

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k128/coach69/000823-4309A-005sm.jpg

Glax69
06-11-2007, 04:06 PM
I can't remember where i read it, but I saw that Gulab has not been allowed to come to the US, or offered any protection for that matter----I'll try to find the article...

foxtrot19
06-11-2007, 04:50 PM
Luttrell was in that Navy Seals training- BUD/S book by **** couch, VERY good read in my opinion.

D-gin
06-11-2007, 05:26 PM
Another great read, KB.



Cheers.

jeffe
06-11-2007, 05:42 PM
Even after the passing of several years, it is difficult to think about the loss of these very good men. Their sacrifice should not be forgotten.
I also plan on buying Luttrell's book.
I was fortunate enough to have served with Erik Kristensen's father, Ed, onboard USS Waddell(DDG-24). Erik was with us on a 1983 "Tiger Cruise". He was 11-12 years old at the time.

HooyahCQB
06-11-2007, 06:10 PM
Luttrell was in that Navy Seals training- BUD/S book by **** couch, VERY good read in my opinion.

I was wondering about that...sounded familar.

vinny_121_ND
06-11-2007, 08:00 PM
Gulab eventually was left behind and treated badly and interrogated by americans as a possible terrorist in the aftermath of the SEAL rescue.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12773520/site/newsweek/

apparently, the SEAL community was really pissed off with Bagram officials because it doesn't make sense to haul in someone who just risked their own life to protect him.

http://www.tpmcafe.com/node/29839

I'll pick up the book tomorrow. It should be an excellent read. Again, rip to the SEALs on that day. It was a sad day.

gaijinsamurai
06-11-2007, 08:37 PM
Excellent article, KB (as always!).
I remember this story, and how Gulab was treated like crap by Army interrogators (there was a thread on MP.net about this several months ago).

Red
06-12-2007, 11:55 AM
I pulled this from another site.

Baboonass
06-12-2007, 12:10 PM
I pulled this from another site.

Gee...thanks.


How about not stirring the pot with BS from "another site"?

Red
06-12-2007, 12:12 PM
Gee...thanks.


How about not stirring the pot with BS from "another site"?

Your welcome.

D-gin
06-12-2007, 12:13 PM
I pulled this from another site.

What was your motivation for posting those quotes???

Red
06-12-2007, 12:13 PM
What was your motivation for posting those quotes???

What do you think? We read on this forum don't we?

Baboonass
06-12-2007, 12:16 PM
What was your motivation for posting those quotes???


Being an asshat, why else?

Baboonass
06-12-2007, 12:17 PM
What do you think? We read on this forum don't we?

So what do you think *******?

I take it you agree with it otherwise, why post it?

Red
06-12-2007, 12:18 PM
Being an asshat, why else?

hmmm..ok! You know you didn't have to read it neither did you have to respond.

D-gin
06-12-2007, 12:19 PM
What do you think?


Being an asshat, why else?

That's what I was thinking, Red.

Red
06-12-2007, 12:19 PM
So what do you think *******?

I take it you agree with it otherwise, why post it?

Your assumption was flat out wrong. You could have just asked instead of being handy with the names and stuff.

Red
06-12-2007, 12:20 PM
That's what I was thinking, Red.

Ok! Good for you.

Baboonass
06-12-2007, 12:22 PM
Your assumption was flat out wrong. You could have just asked instead of being handy with the names and stuff.


You could have used your head before posting BS like that in the first place.


Think about it.

Red
06-12-2007, 12:24 PM
You could have used your head before posting BS like that in the first place.


Think about it.

Was not the right arena and that's why I took it off a while ago.

Baboonass
06-12-2007, 12:29 PM
Was not the right arena and that's why I took it off a while ago.

http://www.socnetcentral.com/vb/showthread.php?t=70111
In any case, read and post this in your "other website".

I'm certian the skulks there will pick apart this story as well.

WolverineBlue
06-12-2007, 12:32 PM
OK -- back on topic, please?

Red
06-12-2007, 12:32 PM
http://www.socnetcentral.com/vb/showthread.php?t=70111
In any case, read and post this in your "other website".

I'm certian the skulks there will pick apart this story as well.

You don't want to read the replies. trust me.

Red
06-12-2007, 12:32 PM
OK -- back on topic, please?

My bad on derailing this thread

Baboonass
06-12-2007, 12:35 PM
You don't want to read the replies. trust me.

No worries, I could seriously give a rats ass about the opinion of some dip**** sofa commando who's never had to stuggle to acheive anything larger than to get a bag of chips from the cupboard.

And no, I'm not refering to you.

Red
06-12-2007, 12:38 PM
No worries, I could seriously give a rats ass about the opinion of some dip**** sofa commando who's never had to stuggle to acheive anything larger than to get a bag of chips from the cupboard.

And no, I'm not refering to you.

I get your point.

Glax69
06-12-2007, 02:26 PM
Marcus Luttrell on The TOday show

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19173935/

RAF
06-12-2007, 02:33 PM
Thx Glax, I was wanting to see that interview, we dont get the Today show here, at least i dont think we do.

Laworkerbee
06-12-2007, 02:42 PM
Marcus Luttrell on The TOday show

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19173935/

thanks for posting that

11bravo soldier
06-12-2007, 02:58 PM
RIP to the fallen SEALs, airmen and soldiers who died on that day. Thank God this country still has some real men like Lutteral and others. Were not just a bunch of pansy metro******s, after all. You wouldn't know it these days.

Lt. James Anderson
06-12-2007, 03:03 PM
One thing that I don't understand is why they stayed in position after they were compromised ...

Glax69
06-12-2007, 03:11 PM
I apologize, I dont know how to load it larger...

R.I.P
Mike Murphy (far left)
Matt Axelson (far Right)

Lone Survivor Marcus Luttrell 2nd from right

oswald
06-12-2007, 03:37 PM
http://www.mattaxelson.com/album/afghanistan/chow%20hall.html

Whats the best way to post pic?

R.I.P
Mike Murphy (far left)
Matt Axelson (far Right)

Marcus Luttrell 2nd from right
Where is the picture? If it's on your computer, you should be able to go to advanced reply, scroll down to additional options, under Attach Files click manage attachments, then upload the pic from your comp. It will be attached to your reply as a clickable thumbnail.

Alex-L
06-12-2007, 03:51 PM
No words to say. Thank you for the post. RIP to the ones that gave it all

Baboonass
06-12-2007, 04:10 PM
One thing that I don't understand is why they stayed in position after they were compromised ...

I had asked the same question when I was debriefed on this op a year ago.


Anyone who has operated in this sector of A-Stan, or anywere in A-Stan for that matter will attest to the fact that 90% of the recons were comprimised by goat herders. Very few were reported so there is a decision of wheather to leave or not. You are going to take a huge gamble on whatever decision you make, sometimes it's going to pan out, other times, not so much.


Post #20

It was very common for SR possitions to be comprimised by goat herders and what-not. If every SR that was comprimised like this left, there would be no SR element.

The importance of the mission outweighed the risk of a possible comprimise. The personnel they let go seemed to be inoccuous. It wasn't the case, or so it seems.

There is considerably more to this story than what is in the news article, and most likely the book itself. Some info is still sensitive, as are some of the details of the events.


By the book, once your are spooked, you leave. A-Stan called for some augmentation to this rule.

Lt. James Anderson
06-12-2007, 04:24 PM
Thanks for your reply.

I was in Afghanistan too (infantry). On two occasions we got mortared and RPG'd minutes after we were spotted (the bad guys had the high ground and were aware that we were in the general area). It wasn't SR but regular area recon ... definitely not a good situation to be in ...

ibstolidude
06-12-2007, 07:14 PM
It was very common for SR possitions to be comprimised by goat herders and what-not. If every SR that was comprimised like this left, there would be no SR element.
Not to belittle or degrade the SR teams, through no fault of their own - early on it was treated rather comically how short an SR could be from...infil, compromise, to exfil......then repeat.
Judging by those reactions and the frequency of compromise I can imagine that the missions had to be adapted as you describe.

Chops
06-13-2007, 01:11 AM
Not to belittle or degrade the SR teams, through no fault of their own - early on it was treated rather comically how short an SR could be from...infil, compromise, to exfil......then repeat.
Judging by those reactions and the frequency of compromise I can imagine that the missions had to be adapted as you describe.

Except for the Australians... p-)

Oh and hello Stoli! Where you been hiding?

Hispeed1
06-13-2007, 01:38 AM
RIP to the fallen.

Desk Jockey
06-13-2007, 01:38 AM
Match or anyone else in the know.........

And I am no trying to get into one of those "who is bettter or more high speed" knucklehead questions and discussion posts.

However,

As far as my airchair commando readings can tell from such books as Naylor's "Not a good day to Die" and "Robert's Ridge" the SEAL unit that Neil Robert's belonged to was DEVGROUP but was termed as a "recce team", I think the book even mentioned the SEAL "Slab" as a recce team leader.

Certain CAG elements under LT. Col. Blaber (sp?) were aslo referred to as being recce units.

Do taskings such as SR get assigned to whatever unit, like SDVT-1 in this case that is deployed and mission capable at the time given the nature if having to react to emerging intelligence? I guess SR is a skill set that all platoons have.

So given that all Team platoons have this ability in their skill set. I guess my question is are certain elements within the Special Mission Units trained to a higher specialization of strategic recon, and thus better suited for certain taskings.

In no way am I trying to say that these incredibly capable operators where any less mission capable. I was just curious if certain taskings lead to skill sets that these recce teams would be more suited to take on if they were available.

Such as an ODA having a HALO or Scuba speciality subset.

Again, I just noticed in the above open sourced material the distinctions of the CAG and DEV recce teams.

Thanks and if this touches OPSEC apoloigies in advance because I certainly do not have the "need to know"

Chops
06-13-2007, 02:57 AM
Well phrased question- new guys should take note.

Without mentioning anything which even comes near impinging on security of TTPs- both SMUs you mention have this capability as a whole but have designated elements who have SR as their 'bread and butter'. If you look at the British model it is somewhat similar in squadron specialisations (and ODAs as you correctly cite). So, in summary, neither unit is necessarilly 'better' at SR- indeed the distinctions between the Army and Navy elements have become somewhat blurred as skillsets have been developed over the years.

Hope that makes sense. And yes I am being somewhat intentionally vague.

Desk Jockey
06-13-2007, 05:42 AM
Thanks Chops, for your answer, I know you can only say so much, "loose lips sink ships" and we are at war, I appreciate the reply.

Baboonass
06-13-2007, 08:32 AM
So given that all Team platoons have this ability in their skill set. I guess my question is are certain elements within the Special Mission Units trained to a higher specialization of strategic recon, and thus better suited for certain taskings.



Absolutly, but it simply isn't always an option.

The SEAL Teams are a jack-of-all-trades, and really not a "specialty" in any one particular element.

The teams have to be ready for any type of SOF activity, anywere in the world, at any time. It's just the nature of the possition. We train in as many different elements of SOF as possible.

Does this mean we are better at FID than SF? or better at CAS than AF PJ's? or better at airfield siezure than a Ranger Batt? Not a chance! We can do it, and do it well, but there are better, more specialized units out there for this type of activity.

As far as SR goes, it's just another trick in our big bag of tricks. We learned a lot from our Brit brotheren on the proper way to set up an SR hide.

The terminology in books like "not a good day to die" is set for a civilian audience, (the book was written by a former Brit civilian). The U.S. usually doesn't use the word "recce", but it's a description some people are more familier with.

Now, there are some things the teams do that few others have any proffeciency in. Obviously things to do with the water immediatly come into play, but some of our other mission activites are unique to the SOF spectrum, and we excede in this.



When the media decides to cover a story like this, or Robert's Ridge, then many will look at this as "oh, look how screwed up they are", Completely negating the other 3000 missions that went off successfully. It's the nature of our job, and the media, you'll just have to have faith that there have been many, many victories that you will probably never hear about.

On a side note, no mission ever goes as planed. What defines a unit is not the mistakes made or the miscalculations in the planning, but on their ability to adapt the the situation and complete the mission.

Baboonass
06-13-2007, 08:37 AM
Not to belittle or degrade the SR teams, through no fault of their own - early on it was treated rather comically how short an SR could be from...infil, compromise, to exfil......then repeat.
Judging by those reactions and the frequency of compromise I can imagine that the missions had to be adapted as you describe.


If you could imagine being a white guy, in white guy clothes, trying to infill and set up an SR hide in the middle of downtown Compton. You don't peak the lanuage, and you don't fit in. Anywere you hide, someone is probably going to walk into your possition at some point.

No one said it was going to be easy.

A-Stan SRs have been done without comprimise. I'd say most of them. A lot have been comprimised by sheep or goat herders without incident, some with bad results.

It's the nature of the buisness, there's a reason the selection is the way it is.

MetroN
06-13-2007, 09:42 AM
When the media decides to cover a story like this, or Robert's Ridge, then many will look at this as "oh, look how screwed up they are", Completely negating the other 3000 missions that went off successfully.

So, if some unit have been somewhere, and you dont hear anything in the media about them, you can be pretty sure that everything is going/went fine?

Baboonass
06-13-2007, 09:53 AM
So, if some unit have been somewhere, and you dont hear anything in the media about them, you can be pretty sure that everything is going/went fine?


No, but it means it wasn't "spectactular" enough to make news.


I.e., a team go out for an SR, they get comprimised, decide to pack it up, get extracted.

Whee, exciting stuff.

The media is going to capitalize on tragedy to sell ad space. It used to be the media outlets would highlight victories and heroism, this is rarely the case anymore.

Desk Jockey
06-13-2007, 10:51 AM
Thanks for the answer Match...........

Was it the media or the author's desire to sell their books or truly "the fog of war" that led me as a civilian to be surprised at what could be deemed as confusion in the events at Takur Ghar.

I think Naylor was a little biased against the Teams even mentioning their lack of proficency with Comms out of the water.

But certain things in Robert's Ridge reallly surprised me, I wonder if this was the author wanting to show a "confused" military or if the situations that operators like yourself find yourselves in really demand that level of improvisation.

For example,

The Devgroup "recce" units were reporting to a chain of command in Bahrain (I think) while their close air support AC-130's were answering to a chain of command in Uzbekistan. This led to the AC-130 aircraft commander receiving contradictory orders as to whether or not stay on station in daylight (a no go since the shootdown during DS/DS), and the SEAL ground element leader demanding they stay on station. I know the AC-130 stayed on station until fuel was an issue, going against orders.

When the SEAL LT. Commander ingressed into the area he had a "disagreement" with the Ranger QRF Captain about whether or not to reach the injured SEALs or the downed Chinook first.

The confusion of what LZ's to set down on, GPS coordinates, and misidentification of what units were where.

I could go on, but what I was left with was the impression that we have these units trained to the tip of near perfection, highly professional, and aggressive but still subject to mass confusion once the bullets fly.

Sorry for the long question but do these books for civilian consumption accurately show us in your words how no plan survives the initial contact with the enemy or is it a climate to sell books that the media wants to show our much vaunted Special Operating forces as being inept at times?

I understand that every day the "quiet professionals" do the deed and we never hear about it.

Are any authors making the effort, or do you guys rather just have the media leave you alone? Are you folks "slaves" to the public affairs establishment of your services?

Baboonass
06-13-2007, 11:06 AM
I think Naylor was a little biased against the Teams even mentioning their lack of proficency


Here's the inside scoop on Naylor and his book.

Naylor tried and tried to get permission to "embed" with an SOF unit. He was denied this and was only alowed to embed with a conventional unit. He was miffed at this and showed his contempt in his publication.

Naylor works for the Army Times, his contact with NSW is zero. All of his info was heresay and speculation by conventional Army about any percieved "lack of proficency".

He's a jerk off, causing contriversy and creating the "raw truth" to sell his book, nothing more.

Is there some facts and truth in his book? sure, but there is also a lot of BS and Op Ed imput that forgos this as a historicly accurate peice.

Desk Jockey
06-13-2007, 11:21 AM
Thanks for the scoop on that, sounds like an asshat with a vendetta,

I have said this before by I think it is really cool that a real deal like yourself, Chops, and others take the time to answer our questions.

With so much myth and conjecture out there is nice to have someone cut through the Bull shyte.

Red
06-13-2007, 11:38 AM
Here's the inside scoop on Naylor and his book.

Naylor tried and tried to get permission to "embed" with an SOF unit. He was denied this and was only alowed to embed with a conventional unit. He was miffed at this and showed his contempt in his publication.

Naylor works for the Army Times, his contact with NSW is zero. All of his info was heresay and speculation by conventional Army about any percieved "lack of proficency".

He's a jerk off, causing contriversy and creating the "raw truth" to sell his book, nothing more.

Is there some facts and truth in his book? sure, but there is also a lot of BS and Op Ed imput that forgos this as a historicly accurate peice.

good looking out

NewsMan
06-13-2007, 12:19 PM
Helluva book. Read it cover to back yesterday. The story of their running battle is incredible. Absolutely superhuman.

D-gin
06-13-2007, 03:47 PM
Thanks for that bit of info Chops, Match.

JJHH
06-13-2007, 03:53 PM
What happened to the one Seal who was missing? Did they recover his body? The Taliban claimed he was captured and beheaded right?

WolverineBlue
06-13-2007, 03:56 PM
Thanks for all of the input, Matchanu and Chops (and stoli). When we keep the thread on topic, we get a lot of neat information from the BTDT's.

Laworkerbee
06-13-2007, 04:16 PM
Thanks for all of the input, Matchanu and Chops (and stoli). When we keep the thread on topic, we get a lot of neat information from the BTDT's.

Amen to that

Baboonass
06-13-2007, 04:44 PM
What happened to the one Seal who was missing? Did they recover his body? The Taliban claimed he was captured and beheaded right?


Wow, talk about not seeing the forrest because of all the trees.

Chops
06-13-2007, 05:45 PM
Wow, talk about not seeing the forrest because of all the trees.

Hehe you got that one right :)

Red
06-13-2007, 09:03 PM
Just read the enire book free of charge thanks to Borders and I cannot imagine what does guys must have gone through. You feel for Marcus because you can tell he feels responsible for what went down. You can tell he loved his mates and it was such a heartbreak to read about their deaths especially where he writes that one of his mates was calling out to him for help but he was not able to do anything.

Desk Jockey
06-13-2007, 09:30 PM
Maybe I have had a few too many shots of Jim Beam and I am being Meldromatic, but, for some reason this thread and the willingness of the BTDT guys to speak with us, coupled with the book by Marcus, and hearing and reading stories of guys like Slab, Nate Self, all the way back to TF Ranger and countless other ops that we never hear about give me hope.

Not to discount the everyday "common coalition soldier" who does more in a morning than I do in a week makes me think that in the end if us civilian pukes stand behind them and have half a quarter of the backbone of the guys out there in fight we just might prevail in this fight against these terrorists pieces of excrement.

I am gonna get drunk and rest assured that despite the published mistakes, as Match said, the bad guys are getting visits from the good guys and paying the fuc_king piper, we just don't read about it, but justice if there is such a thing is being done.

JJHH
06-14-2007, 05:37 AM
Wow, talk about not seeing the forrest because of all the trees.

I'm not talking about the SEAL who wrote the book. If I understood it correctly, two bodies were found, the other one was recovered alive in a village and the fourth was missing..

Robbee
06-14-2007, 06:05 AM
I'm not talking about the SEAL who wrote the book. If I understood it correctly, two bodies were found, the other one was recovered alive in a village and the fourth was missing..

You are recalling news reports from the time of the incident.
Read up on the story and you'll have the information you are looking for.

Baboonass
06-14-2007, 08:24 AM
I'm not talking about the SEAL who wrote the book. If I understood it correctly, two bodies were found, the other one was recovered alive in a village and the fourth was missing..

None were missing, all accounted for.

Gman3ID
06-14-2007, 10:31 AM
I also read 3/4 of the book yesterday. It's a testament to the the high quality of sailors BUDS's produces. I can't imagine being in a firefight with the Taliban when the have the higher ground, outnumbered, and your losing your buddies. I also found it incredible that this guy absolutely refused to quit. Being alone in the Hind Kush with the enemy actively stalking you and finding a way out is incredible.

I guess I also share the frusration with the decision to end up in the same spot where they were compromised, The mission must always come first I know. But target di**head moved with a lot of men at one time.

I agree with Luttrell on kicking the media out and letting these guys tighten these terrorists up, let them do the work 99% of the population wont do, without the interference. The last thing I want is one of our operators second guessing themselves in a an op.

How do we ultimately succeed in this war knowing the bad guys play and use our own ROE against us. I am sure they send out "goat herders" everywhere when HVT's have tea time.

Was the target ever killed/captured? havent finished the book yet.

RAF
06-14-2007, 02:22 PM
Helluva book. Read it cover to back yesterday. The story of their running battle is incredible. Absolutely superhuman.

Yeh, just finished reading it, outstanding book, the actual contact and the loss of the 3 guys is a bit deep, was compelling to read but found a lump in my throat when he describes losing them, very moving, their actions on that mountain side that day should see all of them, not just one, receive the CMoH.

Under the word "Heroes" in the dictionary, the photographs of these men should be placed underneath, with the meaning..........

Baked Alaskan
06-14-2007, 03:10 PM
Rest in Peace to the fallen.

It seems to me communication limitations played a significant causal role determining the eventual outcome of the mission. If not being developed currently, I would think a Global Hawk type of UAV set up for communications, and stationed over the AO prior to the start of the mission needs to be engineered. From my understanding in the mountainous terrain it would be more beneficial to be able to transmit/recieve vertically. I know satellites are used extensively, but in this situation perhaps something more localized could have prevented this disastrous outcome.

Desk Jockey
06-14-2007, 03:35 PM
Rest in Peace to the fallen.

It seems to me communication limitations played a significant causal role determining the eventual outcome of the mission. If not being developed currently, I would think a Global Hawk type of UAV set up for communications, and stationed over the AO prior to the start of the mission needs to be engineered. From my understanding in the mountainous terrain it would be more beneficial to be able to transmit/recieve vertically. I know satellites are used extensively, but in this situation perhaps something more localized could have prevented this disastrous outcome.

From Robert's Ridge, and this book I too was kind of shocked at how our superior technology could not give us an edge. In both books situations with comms seems to be an issue. I guess from my chair behind a comfy desk I am finally understanding this "fog of war" that the guys doing the deed talk about. You definetly read my mind in a sense with that post.

In keeping with the theme of this thread hopefully some the real deals will enlighten us to the extent they can without compromising TTP's about how this all comes about.

HR24
06-14-2007, 04:15 PM
One of the better threads on this site in a while. Good questions and informative answers. It was no doubt a tragic event which also contained moments of pure perseverance(sp?). Amazing and humbling at the same time. Those fallen and those serving deserve more respect than we can give them.

Baboonass
06-14-2007, 04:21 PM
From Robert's Ridge, and this book I too was kind of shocked at how our superior technology could not give us an edge. In both books situations with comms seems to be an issue. I guess from my chair behind a comfy desk I am finally understanding this "fog of war" that the guys doing the deed talk about. You definetly read my mind in a sense with that post.

In keeping with the theme of this thread hopefully some the real deals will enlighten us to the extent they can without compromising TTP's about how this all comes about.


To note.

Comms were recieved, hence the QRF and the tragic downing of the helo killing the team.

Comms suck, no matter were you are, this is nothing new.

They are a hell of a lot better than they used to be, but it still has a long way to go.

Flying a UAV in an AO you are perfoming an SR is defeating the purpose. SR's are risky, if you are comprimised, you are probably going to die. You are very far from support and lightly armed. It's a long **** out if you can't make comms or your bird can't fly.

Being stealthy is really your only weapon.

Desk Jockey
06-14-2007, 08:22 PM
To note.

Comms were recieved, hence the QRF and the tragic downing of the helo killing the team.

Comms suck, no matter were you are, this is nothing new.

They are a hell of a lot better than they used to be, but it still has a long way to go.

Flying a UAV in an AO you are perfoming an SR is defeating the purpose. SR's are risky, if you are comprimised, you are probably going to die. You are very far from support and lightly armed. It's a long **** out if you can't make comms or your bird can't fly.

Being stealthy is really your only weapon.

Damn, I read your analogy of a white guy trying to hang in Compton and it got me thinking. My dad is from Ghana (an African) and mom is Irish, I get mistaken for all types of nationalities. When my language skills were sharp I could get a good discount at the Bazar, but never even with slang could fool a real native.

One thing I was told is that we Americans can change everything except our walk, that gives us away, despite how native we go.

So you ingress into an SR situation knowing that if you are compromised you are shooting your way out? And are probably gonna get WIA/KIA? Can I say balls that go clangp-)

Bit off topic but Match, Chops, Stoli, and other real deals have educated us in this thread more than millions of dollars of books and PAO's salaries.

Noob question, but does a Public Affairs officer with SOCOM, the Aussie DF, the Brits, etc. have to have a background in your unique skill sets, and how you go about operations?

I am sure they could task injured, retired, or otherwise non-operational operators as spokes people. Am I being naive? Because it seems like fighting city hall to cut through the bull shyte.

Baked Alaskan
06-14-2007, 11:29 PM
Not to be disrepectful on any terms, the element of discussion I was trying to focus on was that at least one Soldier/Sailor died while attempting to call for backup/extraction due to the inability of the squad to communicate due to terrain. The reason I mentioned the Global Hawk is that it can loiter for long periods of time, and flies at a fairly high altitude and might not be discovered. Even in the event of being seen, it would be covering a sizable amount of airspace, and due to that, not indicate the ground units location. Granted there are many limitations and varibles, and the more elements you add to it, the more it could work against you in terms of equipment failures, distance, and terrain. It bothered me that it all came down to such a desparate situation for one member of the team that a cell phone had to be utilized.

Chops
06-15-2007, 04:33 AM
Noob question, but does a Public Affairs officer with SOCOM, the Aussie DF, the Brits, etc. have to have a background in your unique skill sets, and how you go about operations?



We have a member here who will be able to answer this one with more insight than any other- hopefully he's around to post.

Short answer is no- PAOs etc are attached to a particular command, USSOCOM for instance, but haven't necessarily been through the Q course/earnt the tabs/been badged etc etc. I also know there are exceptions to this. Of course the real high speed guys don't need PAOs as they don't exist :)

Chops
06-15-2007, 04:41 AM
The reason I mentioned the Global Hawk is that it can loiter for long periods of time, and flies at a fairly high altitude and might not be discovered. Even in the event of being seen, it would be covering a sizable amount of airspace, and due to that, not indicate the ground units location

UAVs are great tools but they will generally tip off the BGs that something is up. It may not be discovered/seen/noticed but there is generally an awareness of these capabilities by the opposition. They are often tasked with tracking impending targets- either for direct or indirect resolutions. Whilst the BGs may not think recce element, the UAV will have their spidey senses a-tingling...:)

Baboonass
06-15-2007, 08:22 AM
The reason I mentioned the Global Hawk is that it can loiter for long periods of time,etc etc etc.

The bad guys aren't as primative as some would think, nor are they all native.

There is a lot of details on this that I simply cannot get into.

Simply breaking squelch on your radio could very well be your death sentance.


Technolgy is great, but has drawbacks. Sometimes the Flintstons apporch can yield better results.

Baboonass
06-15-2007, 08:24 AM
Damn, I read your analogy of a white guy trying to hang in Compton and it got me thinking. My dad is from Ghana (an African) and mom is Irish, I get mistaken for all types of nationalities. When my language skills were sharp I could get a good discount at the Bazar, but never even with slang could fool a real native.


Noob question, but does a Public Affairs officer with SOCOM, the Aussie DF, the Brits, etc. have to have a background in your unique skill sets, and how you go about operations?

I am sure they could task injured, retired, or otherwise non-operational operators as spokes people. Am I being naive? Because it seems like fighting city hall to cut through the bull shyte.


You may want to think about one of the alphabet agencies, depending on your age.

Being on the pointy end is great, but is useless without the intell to guide us in. It's an insturmental part of this.

California Joe
06-15-2007, 08:36 AM
Noob question, but does a Public Affairs officer with SOCOM, the Aussie DF, the Brits, etc. have to have a background in your unique skill sets, and how you go about operations?

I am sure they could task injured, retired, or otherwise non-operational operators as spokes people. Am I being naive? Because it seems like fighting city hall to cut through the bull shyte.

Unless he has since retired, I know the PAO for SOCOM, he's retired Army, Ft. Bragg type. It's a civilian GS position. He was my immediate supervisor at my last command before he took that job. It requires a TS/SCI/SAP clearance. I'm sure being former military helps in a lot of ways, interfacing with currently serving members etc...but is really not necessary. They're pretty straight forward about what does or does not get released to the press or the public. You need to know mundane things like protocol also for high ranking visitors...

dunkin
06-15-2007, 09:11 AM
Wow, good read, thanks for posting.

Desk Jockey
06-15-2007, 09:13 AM
Thanks Cali, ........

California Joe
06-15-2007, 10:16 AM
Basically, until it's declassified, the information that flows into and out of those type commands is all considered Secret and above. Mostly Top Secret and then it goes up from there on a need to know basis. Anyone with proper clearances will have access to all of the same stuff as the PAO etc. but there can be severe penalties for releasing or leaking anything without authority. Like Match said, most of the stuff doesn't ever get released.

Desk Jockey
06-15-2007, 11:41 AM
Basically, until it's declassified, the information that flows into and out of those type commands is all considered Secret and above. Mostly Top Secret and then it goes up from there on a need to know basis. Anyone with proper clearances will have access to all of the same stuff as the PAO etc. but there can be severe penalties for releasing or leaking anything without authority. Like Match said, most of the stuff doesn't ever get released.

CJ, say during the cold war there was a value in letting the USSR know that a single Trident SSBN could eliminate the world several times over.

Targeted leaking?

My point, is there a fine line between letting the bad guys know our capabilities, and protecting TTP's? I guess I am talking about a "fear factor."

But I guess AQ is not afriad of death so I am answering my own question, having the capabilities of the US/Coalition inventory after me would scare me if I was an terrorist recruit. But blacked eyed virgins are cancelled out by being visited by the men in black.

Chosen Man
06-18-2007, 06:14 AM
RIP to all the men lost. Spare a thought for the families too.

KB
06-21-2007, 02:53 PM
Surviving SEAL tells story of deadly mission



In the mountains of eastern Afghanistan, 4 SEALs made a tough choice. Only one lived to tell

By Sean D. Naylor - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Jun 21, 2007 11:56:23 EDT

With the midday sun beating down on them near the top of a mountain in eastern Afghanistan, four Navy SEALs faced an agonizing decision.

Their mission, to reconnoiter a village where a Taliban leader was thought to be holed up, had just been compromised by three goatherds who had almost tripped over the commandos. Now the SEALs were holding the goatherds — one a young teenager — at gunpoint and deciding whether to kill them or let them go.

The decision they would reach would cost three of the SEALs their lives and leave the fourth feeling “cursed” for having survived.

Marcus Luttrell, then a petty officer second class, was the lone survivor. This month, he left the Navy as a special warfare operator first class and, with co-author Patrick Robinson, published “Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10.”

The book is a rare look inside a SEAL operation, and covers in detail the fateful decision and the ferocious battle that followed. Instantly among the top 10 sellers on Amazon.com, its description of the decision has already stirred controversy.

Operation Redwing was aimed at capturing or killing Ahmad Shah, a Taliban leader in Kunar province whose attacks had been taking a heavy toll on Marines operating in eastern Afghanistan. The four SEALs — Lt. Michael Murphy, Sonar Technician (Surface) 2nd Class Matthew Axelson, Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Danny Dietz and Luttrell — were the leading edge of the operation, charged with locating Shah and his forces.

“We were to go in, lay up and monitor any movement,” Luttrell said in a June 14 interview.

After infiltrating by helicopter June 27, 2005, the SEALs’ orders were to get eyes on the village, stay in position for 24 to 72 hours and report any sight of Ahmad Shah or his forces. If they spotted him in the village, “then the main body was going to come in and take it down — that’s how we usually did business.”

But the four SEALs shared a deep unease about the mission.

The pre-mission intelligence was an area of particular concern to Luttrell.

“The intel reports were there were anywhere from 80 to 200 Taliban fighters,” he said. “That’s pretty obtuse. What have I got? Do I have 80 or do I have 200? I need to know. And then the terrain intel kept changing on us. We didn’t know whether we were going into rock beds or trees, or both.” Luttrell said he and his teammates voiced these concerns during the planning phase of the operation. “But it’s our job to do the mission, no matter what.”

After a night spent on a difficult movement up the mountainside to their hide site, the SEALs’ fears were realized June 28. Within two hours of letting the goatherds go, the special operators found themselves in a fight for their lives, all but surrounded and massively outnumbered by an estimated 140 Taliban fighters.

During this battle, which Luttrell describes in great detail in his book, the SEALs fought heroically against overwhelming odds as they tried to retreat down the mountainside to the flat ground, where they figured they could find cover in the village and hold out until help arrived.

They killed dozens of Taliban, but one by one, the SEALs fell, in each case — except for Luttrell — fighting on despite being shot several times. In both the book and the interview, Luttrell is determined to emphasize his comrades’ heroism:

**Dietz, the communications expert, stayed on the high ground with the radio, trying vainly to get out a call for help. “He stayed up there, as we fell back, trying to make comms, and he got shot two or three times,” Luttrell said. “He got the mike blown out of his hand.” Shot five times, Dietz was still firing when a sixth bullet caught him in the head. He died instantly in Luttrell’s arms. Dietz received the Navy Cross posthumously for his actions.
**Murphy was shot in the stomach early in the fight, but kept leading his men, before being shot again in the chest. Then he exposed himself to enemy fire in order to make a last-ditch satellite phone call back to the headquarters in Bagram, pleading for a quick reaction force to be sent. Luttrell describes Murphy being shot in the back as he made the call, slumping forward and then continuing the conversation — “Roger that, sir. Thank you.” — before returning to his position and firing at the Taliban. He is being considered for the Medal of Honor for his actions.
**Axelson, wounded first in the chest and then, mortally, in the head, fought on alone after becoming separated from Luttrell, expending two more magazines before succumbing to his wounds. He received the Navy Cross posthumously.

The battle went from bad to worse when the Taliban shot down the MH-47 Chinook helicopter carrying the quick reaction force, killing all 16 personnel on board — eight SEALs and eight aviators from the Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.

But Luttrell survived — knocked unconscious by a rocket-propelled grenade after Dietz and Murphy were killed and Axelson mortally wounded, he managed to stay hidden until he was given shelter by Pashtun tribesmen who risked their lives to save him from the Taliban. Several days later, a combined team of Army Rangers and Special Forces rescued him, and an Air Force helicopter flew him to safety.

Luttrell’s physical wounds, which included a broken wrist, a broken nose and three cracked vertebrae, healed faster than his mental wounds. In the book, he describes suffering nightmares every night in which he is haunted by Murphy’s dying screams.
‘Call it’

For the lone surviving SEAL of Operation Redwing, it all comes back to the decision he and his comrades made on the mountainside. According to his book’s account, the SEALs thought they had only two choices: kill the three goatherds, or let them go.

None of the four SEALs had much experience in this situation. They were three months into the deployment and were already veterans of missions that Luttrell said numbered in the double figures. “We had never been compromised before,” Luttrell said. “That was a reputation that we were proud of, that we had never been walked on. But we got walked on this time.”

For Murphy, Luttrell and Axelson, the Afghanistan deployment was their first taste of combat, Luttrell said, adding that he was not sure whether Dietz had done a previous tour to Afghanistan or Iraq. (Naval Special Warfare Command spokesman Lt. Steve Ruh said whether Dietz or any of the other SEALs had prior combat experience was “highly classified.”)

Although the possibility of being compromised had been discussed in preparations for the mission, there was no set plan for how to handle such an eventuality, Luttrell said. “It had to be an on-scene call, due to the severity of the compromise, the location of the compromise, how many people had walked on us,” he said.

As Luttrell relates in “Lone Survivor,” Murphy first tried to raise the SEAL tactical operations center at Bagram on the radio for guidance. He couldn’t connect. Then Murphy made an “on-scene call”: He put the decision to a vote. He would not impose his decision on the others.

Axelson voted to kill them, Luttrell said. “We’re on active duty behind enemy lines, sent here by our senior commanders,” the book quotes him as saying. “We have a right to do everything we can to save our own lives. The military decision is obvious. To turn them loose would be wrong.”

Murphy voted to let the Afghans go. Dietz abstained. “I don’t really give a s--- what we do,” Dietz said, according to Luttrell. “You want me to kill ’em, I’ll kill ’em. Just give me the word. I only work here.”

Then, Luttrell said, Murphy then warned his men that if they killed the goatherds, they would have to report the deaths, and the Taliban would publicize them, as well.

“[T]he U.S. liberal media will attack us without mercy,” Luttrell quotes Murphy as saying. “We will almost certainly be charged with murder.”

And then, according to the book, Lt. Murphy turned to Luttrell, the petty officer second class. “Marcus, I’ll go with you,” Murphy said. “Call it.”

A commissioned officer putting a life-or-death decision to a vote among his subordinates runs counter to most people’s notion of command responsibility. But Luttrell doesn’t see it that way. To him, this was a reflection of SEAL culture.

“Most people don’t understand how the SEAL teams are made up,” he said. “It’s not straight up, ‘You will do this my way.’ I guess it could be if you had some guy like that. But the teams are designed differently. That’s why the officers go through the same training as we do and we’re together the whole time.”

The SEAL mind-set, he said, was, “Two heads are better than one, three are better than two.

“So if you’re stuck in a situation like that, would you want to make the decision that killed all of us? That’s why we talked about it ... A good officer listens to his men.”

Ruh, the Naval Special Warfare Command spokesman, said it was true that the SEAL community “is a brotherhood” whose officers and enlisted personnel train together so closely that they often call each other by their first names, “but whether they’re officer or enlisted, the senior guy ultimately has the ultimate authority.”

Asked whether putting an important decision to a vote is normal or accepted practice in the SEAL community, Ruh replied:

“This is the first time I’ve ever heard of anything put to a vote like that. In my 14 years of Navy experience, I’ve never seen or heard of anything like that.”
‘I would have killed them’

By putting the issue to a vote, Murphy was not abdicating his command responsibility, Luttrell said. “Not at all. He had total control. He was in total command out there the whole time. He was a consummate professional.”

But Murphy’s father, Daniel Murphy, disputes Luttrell’s account. He maintains that his son would never have put such a decision to a vote. According to a report in Newsday, the Long Island, N.Y., newspaper and Murphy’s local paper, Murphy said Luttrell’s account dishonors the memory of his son and contradicts the version that Luttrell told the elder Murphy personally.
“He said that Michael was adamant that the civilians were going to be released, that he wasn’t going to kill innocent people,” the elder Murphy is quoted as saying in Newsday. “Michael wouldn’t put that up for committee. People who knew Michael know that he was decisive and that he makes decisions.”

Luttrell seemed pained by the disagreement.

“I can’t pretend to understand what Mr. Murphy’s going through with the loss of his son,” Luttrell said in an interview. “I’m sorry for his [son’s] death. Mikey was my best friend and I’m sorry that he feels that I’ve dishonored him in some way. If he thinks that I did, then I apologize for whatever I said. That’s not my intention. My intention is to honor his son in every way I can and I’m not going to stop doing that.”

But, by Luttrell’s own account, Murphy put the petty officer in the position of casting the deciding vote. Swayed by Murphy’s warning that killing the Afghans would lead to the SEALs being charged with murder, Luttrell voted to free the Afghans.

He now believes that decision sealed the fates of his three teammates.
“It was the stupidest, most southern-fried, lamebrained decision I ever made in my life,” he writes in the book. “I must have been out of my mind. I had actually cast a vote which I knew could sign our death warrant. I’d turned into a f---ing liberal, a half-assed, no-logic nitwit, all heart, no brain, and the judgment of a jackrabbit.”

But he remains conflicted. In the interview, Luttrell said, “If you put me back in the same situation, I’d probably do the same thing again, if I didn’t know the outcome. Knowing what I know now, knowing what we went through and what I go through every day, hell yeah: I would have killed them.”

Even at the time he made the decision, Luttrell said, he would have voted to kill the three goatherds if he was assured that he and his teammates would not get into trouble.
Second guesses

These are the wrong answers, said Air Force Lt. Col. David Bolgiano, the judge advocate general for Central Command’s Special Operations Command from 2002 to 2004 and the author of “Combat Self-Defense:

Saving America’s Warriors from Risk-averse Commanders and their Lawyers.”
“The killing of non-combatants under the circumstances described is never legally justified unless as an act of self-defense,” Bolgiano said. “Use of deadly force in self-defense is reasonable when responding to demonstrated hostile intent, or a hostile act, which presents an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury. While imminent does not mean immediate, it is quite a stretch to say that since the shepherds may tip off local Taliban as to the presence of the SOF [special operations forces], then it would be OK to kill them in self-defense.

“On the other hand, if the SOF had a reasonable belief that, in fact, these shepherds were acting as Taliban lookouts or sentries, then deadly force may be authorized. Once, however, any threat (combatant or non-combatant) becomes a prisoner, then one can’t simply execute them for convenience.”

Ruh, the Naval Special Warfare Command spokesman, said SEALs are not trained to kill unarmed civilians. “There is no instruction that would justify any of that,” he said.

Luttrell dismissed as impractical and dangerous another option, raised by an Army Special Forces officer: tying the goatherds up and leaving them behind.

But to Luttrell, this is all Monday-morning quarterbacking.

“There’s no right answer,” he said. “It’s what happened right then and there. You can’t plan this out. You can plan the best way you can, and then you deal with what you’ve got right there in the field. People can ... armchair quarterback us all day long, but the bottom line is, they weren’t out there.”

After recovering from his wounds, Luttrell was promoted to hospital corpsman first class, received the Navy Cross — pinned on by President Bush in the Oval Office — and deployed to Iraq in the fall of 2006. Getting back into the fight with his colleagues was critical to coping with the lingering mental trauma.

“I redeployed back overseas to get my head straight, to get back on the horse, and I’m doing well,” he said.

Now he’s out, having written the book, he said, to honor the men who fell fighting with him.

“The story’s not about me,” he said. “I’m the cursed one. I’m the one that made it out.”

vinny_121_ND
06-21-2007, 03:08 PM
good read. naylor is a good writer.

Alpha74
06-21-2007, 03:13 PM
Good find! Gotta get his book. Has anyone read it already?

Frying Scotsman
06-21-2007, 03:18 PM
I have just finished his book, after reading the original thread on these forums I just had to buy it.

Huge amount of respect for this man, and his fallen Team mates. I couldn't believe at the end of the book, the co-author mentions that Marcus Luttrell went back out to serve in Iraq with the SEAL's. After all he had been through, and still carrying his injuries, he went back out. To me it says a huge amount about this guy, and those guys in general.

edit - to the above poster: It's a great book, describing in good detail the initial training these guys go through, even before attending BUD/S. It's quite moving to read when he is describing his fallen Brothers, and what his family(and huge gathering of friends) are going through as the media are filling them all in on his "death". Highly recommended.

Laworkerbee
06-21-2007, 03:27 PM
Much more information in this thread

Sorry KB but it's a bit of a repost http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?t=113965

Gman3ID
06-21-2007, 05:12 PM
I finished the book yesterday, And I find it incredible, this guys' will to survive. He is a hero period.

Was the target (assuming Ahmed Shah) ever killed/captured?

digrar
06-21-2007, 09:34 PM
Much more information in this thread

Sorry KB but it's a bit of a repost http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?t=113965

Ha, a repost of his own thread. Merged.

mikec62001
06-22-2007, 04:39 PM
What is the rule in terms of coming across civilians whilist behind the lines like on so many occasions SF units have found themselves in.
On most occasions they have decided to let the civilians go which as it was mentioned has caused the unit to be compromised.

* Are "Rules of engagement" for SF units different to that of conventional forces?

* If civilians are killed would opeartors be up for murder?

* Are there safe gaurds in place to protect operators if they do have to kill civilians?

* If a SF unit has been given a task and civilians have compromised the operation is that mission held in greater regard to human life?

* After these previous experiences of SF units becoming compromised by civilians, would units now be more inclined to kill rather than let civilians go than risk being compromised which may result in losing the team?

Laworkerbee
06-22-2007, 04:42 PM
interesting questions Mike, I doubt however they will be answer though for obvious reasons.

zad
06-22-2007, 04:51 PM
What is the rule in terms of coming across civilians whilist behind the lines like on so many occasions SF units have found themselves in.
On most occasions they have decided to let the civilians go which as it was mentioned has caused the unit to be compromised.

* Are "Rules of engagement" for SF units different to that of conventional forces?

* If civilians are killed would opeartors be up for murder?

* Are there safe gaurds in place to protect operators if they do have to kill civilians?

* If a SF unit has been given a task and civilians have compromised the operation is that mission held in greater regard to human life?

* After these previous experiences of SF units becoming compromised by civilians, would units now be more inclined to kill rather than let civilians go than risk being compromised which may result in losing the team?

The deliberated killing of civilians in ANY situation is a war crime by definition, even the most hardcore SF units have principles:


On January 21, 1968, a 31-man detachment from the North Korean 124th Army Unit who had been secretly sent to South Korea to kill Park came close to succeeding. They had crossed the DMZ on January 17, and had spent two days infiltrating towards Seoul before being spotted by four South Korean civilians out cutting wood. After spending several hours trying to indoctrinate the civilians about the benefits of communism, the North Korean infiltrators let the civilians free with a stern warning not to notify the police. However, the South Korean civilians went to the police that very night and the local police chief promptly notified his chain of command, which reacted promptly in accord with Presidential Instruction.
The infiltrators entered Seoul in two- and three-man cells on January 20 and noticed the increased security measures that had been implemented throughout the city. Realizing their original plan had little chance of success, the team leader improvised a new plan. Changing into ROK Army uniforms of the local 26th Infantry Division, complete with the correct unit insignia, which they had brought with them, they formed up and prepared to march the last mile to the Blue House, posing as ROK Army soldiers returning from a counter guerrilla patrol. The unit marched toward the Blue House, passing several National Police and ROK Army units en route. Approximately 800 meters from the Blue House, a police contingent finally halted the unit and began to question the unit. The nervous North Koreans fumbled their replies, and when one suspicious policeman drew his pistol, a commando shot him. A melee then ensued in which two infiltrators died. The rest of the North Koreans scattered and began racing for the DMZ.

For the next several days, South Korean and American soldiers and police cooperated in a massive manhunt. Three infiltrators were pursued and killed in the Seoul area, while 25 others were eventually hunted down and killed in various firefights, with one infiltrator being captured. Only two of the thirty-one North Koreans could not be accounted for. During the course of this assassination attempt, South Korean casualties totaled sixty-eight killed and sixty-six wounded - mainly army and police but also about two dozen hapless civilians. Three Americans also died and three fell wounded in attempts to block the escaping infiltrators

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Park_Chung-hee

KillaKen427
06-22-2007, 05:00 PM
It was a don't ask dont' tell policy several years ago. Your commander never asked us post-op "Did you see/kill any civilians?" I do respect Lutrell and the service he is done but I have to disagree with him in that they would have been charged fo murder. The post-op reports are not very detailed in highly classified missions like this and something like that could easily have been covered up. I'm not saying they made the wrong decision, but I don't know if I agree with everything Lutrell claims. But I'll have to read the book before I say anything else about it.

[WDW]Megaraptor
06-22-2007, 05:11 PM
The SEALs died for one another, living by the code that they promised each other, that no one gets left behind.

In the entire history of the SEALs no SEAL has ever been captured or surrendered, and no SEAL has ever been left behind dead or alive.

Desk Jockey
06-22-2007, 05:25 PM
It was a don't ask dont' tell policy several years ago. Your commander never asked us post-op "Did you see/kill any civilians?" I do respect Lutrell and the service he is done but I have to disagree with him in that they would have been charged fo murder. The post-op reports are not very detailed in highly classified missions like this and something like that could easily have been covered up. I'm not saying they made the wrong decision, but I don't know if I agree with everything Lutrell claims. But I'll have to read the book before I say anything else about it.

This is a job for the mods or Match but with that avatar are you a Team guy, if so, thanks for commenting.........., if not well, judging or using the word "claims" with Mr. Lutrell's story on a open board?

Read the book, wouldn't you be in on a de-brief, even if informal?

Mods if I am out of line I deserve the proper ***** slap, just curious is all.

KillaKen427
06-22-2007, 05:42 PM
It was probably a poor choice of words. I meant no disrespect towards Lutrell or the other three men I was simply giving my opinion. I havn't been in the Navy for 6 and a half years so I really can't say what standard operating procedure is now. As a matter of fact I respect all three of them and wouldn't judge Lutrell since I havn't met him or at the very least read the book. I only used "claims" because since unfortunately since no one else can give their side of the story, Lutrell can't prove anything. Again I mean't no disrespect sorry if I offended you.

Desk Jockey
06-22-2007, 05:48 PM
It was probably a poor choice of words. I meant no disrespect towards Lutrell or the other three men I was simply giving my opinion. I havn't been in the Navy for 6 and a half years so I really can't say what standard operating procedure is now. As a matter of fact I respect all three of them and wouldn't judge Lutrell since I havn't met him or at the very least read the book. I only used "claims" because since unfortunately since no one else can give their side of the story, Lutrell can't prove anything. Again I mean't no disrespect sorry if I offended you.

Again, this is Matchanu territory but you have a Trident avatar and were issuing a critique of a SEAL, you were not offending me, but, there may be other people you are offending, they are called SEALs.

This is an assumption on my part, Match can and will speak for himself. I carry no weight on this board, so no apology need be rendered, like you I am a guest and this is Hood's house and it has landlords.

My question is to your capacity in the Navy, not the duration, SEAL?

I will step back into my lane.

Take Care,

JJHH
06-22-2007, 05:55 PM
Megaraptor;2585039']In the entire history of the SEALs no SEAL has ever been captured or surrendered, and no SEAL has ever been left behind dead or alive.

That true? What about the SOG-seals?

KillaKen427
06-22-2007, 05:57 PM
This is exactly what I wanted to avoid on these boards but **** it. I spent 12 years in the navy doing things which would put me into a position a give an informed opinion on this subject. But again I didnt mean to offended anyone.

[WDW]Megaraptor
06-22-2007, 07:55 PM
That true? What about the SOG-seals?

Vietnam? Yes that stat includes them.

jeffe
06-22-2007, 08:07 PM
Megaraptor;2585039']In the entire history of the SEALs no SEAL has ever been captured or surrendered, and no SEAL has ever been left behind dead or alive.
If Sean Naylor's account("Not a Good Day to Die") is to be believed, than Neil Roberts was executed after being captured. I'm not trying to start a flame war and I don't know what really happened. Possibly someone else here has factual insight on this.

Desk Jockey
06-22-2007, 08:40 PM
If Sean Naylor's account("Not a Good Day to Die") is to be believed, than Neil Roberts was executed after being captured. I'm not trying to start a flame war and I don't know what really happened. Possibly someone else here has factual insight on this.

Naylor's credibility was discussed earlier in the thread dude, but, this comment was made in regards and in response to a question about the use of SOF-SMU and indeed SEAL units and their use in strategic recon overall.

Having said that and speaking as an outsider who only read the book you are referring to and to another, "Robert's Ridge" there does indeed seem to be confusion as to the how SEAL Roberts died, rather the time of his death on Takur Ghar.

Like you, I cannot offer any factual insight on this, and so far in this thread those who can have not. If someone does see fit to, than so be it. If not (and I am not even remotely inferring you are stating otherwise) it does not in any way impact on the man's bravery.

For me, in Robert's Ridge, the background on SEAL Roberts necessary to write the book where his unfortunate unitended egress from the MH-47 helicopter set off the chain of events gives me confidence that however and specifically whenever the man died, he did not go down easy.

Rather, shouldn't we focus not on the SEALs record of never having had a man captured or surrender, but on the fact that at Takur Ghar and in the downing of the Special Ops birds with SEALs aboard in Operation Redwing SEAL/SOF brothers where ready to and did die so that no man ever be left behind. This, is my humble opinion is the true testament to these warriors incredible fortitude.

[WDW]Megaraptor
06-22-2007, 08:43 PM
If Sean Naylor's account("Not a Good Day to Die") is to be believed, than Neil Roberts was executed after being captured. I'm not trying to start a flame war and I don't know what really happened. Possibly someone else here has factual insight on this.

I haven't read "Not a Good Day to Die" but the book Roberts Ridge (http://www.amazon.com/Roberts-Ridge-Sacrifice-Mountain-Afghanistan/dp/0553586807/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/105-4588018-1026008?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1182559247&sr=8-1) about the same incident says that, according to UAV footage this is what happened:

Roberts fell out of the chopper.
He ran towards the AQ bunkers, firing as he advanced.
He got hit and slumped down under a tree.
An AQ fighter walked out of the bunker and put a round through his head.
The author says that either Roberts was shot while wounded or he was already dead and the AQ fighter shot him with an "insurance round." There's no way to tell, but either way he wasn't captured while alive.

KillaKen427
06-22-2007, 08:53 PM
By captured they mean taken prisoner by the enemy for an extended amount of time. An AQ fighter walking up and shooting Roberts doesn't mean he was captured, it means he was KIA. RIP brother

Desk Jockey
06-22-2007, 09:26 PM
This is exactly what I wanted to avoid on these boards but **** it. I spent 12 years in the navy doing things which would put me into a position a give an informed opinion on this subject. But again I didnt mean to offended anyone.

Why the edit about the Dolphins, SWO badge, aviation rating, etc. that you were not?

God I do not want to de-rail this this thread but where you a SEAL? Can I ask that and be done with it, and issue you the proper apology if I am being an asshat, trust me, it is an apology I would love to give.

The other SEAL on here aside from being a real deal takes time to answer our questions if respectful and relevant and if he can barring opsec issues and tell us we are buffoons if necessary, and it is a cool damn thing.

Furthermore, between the mods and dudes on this site who do what I read about from the comfort of my living room willing to answer our properly framed and thought out questions is what makes me visit this site as often as I can.

Do we have another real deal who is willing to give us perspective, because, it is, an appreciated use of your time man.

Respectfully,

Chops
06-23-2007, 03:08 AM
Nicely put DJ. KillaKen- if you are/were NSW then the avatar is good to go. If not can you replace it with something else please- those kind of things are not looked kindly on around here.

Matchanu is the prior service NSW guy DeskJockey refers to. Perhaps PM him if you are in the extended community?

KillaKen427
06-23-2007, 06:44 PM
I went into the NSW program after graduation from USNA in 88'. Left the navy in March 2001 (great timing according to my wife, horrible luck if you ask me.) I guess I can answer any not too specific questions you have but Im really not a rah rah type of guy when it comes to discussing it. Looking back i probably shouldn't have put that as my avatar as i would have liked to remain anonymous but it seems to not be that big of a deal.

wolf9848
06-23-2007, 07:31 PM
I just finished reading this book, its amazing what this man had to go through, and how he managed to survive. I agree with him on his view of the ROE. Never served in Afghanistan, but maybe they should training Military personnel on Afghan customs such as seeking shelter/ protection from locals if found in a similar situation such as Mr Lutrell was able to.

schwarz
06-23-2007, 07:35 PM
I finished yesterday and I have to say I got really choked up reading parts of it. Those men are heroes.


I agree with him about the ROE. You have to read the book to get the point but he slams the liberal media and people in DC.

KillaKen427
06-23-2007, 07:41 PM
I'm anxious to get my hands on a copy. I have looked in two bookstores around town and both didn't have it in the store. Its looking like im going to have to order it.

Desk Jockey
06-23-2007, 08:14 PM
KK 427 as a SEAL Officer for 12 years you have my apology,

Regards

KillaKen427
06-24-2007, 12:46 AM
I appreciate it and I'll answer any general questions people have but I'm not not here to boast, brag or tell some "good ole war stories." Definately not my style. Everybody on here seems pretty reasonable so far and thanks for welcoming me to the site.

Huntr
06-28-2007, 02:04 PM
Awesome book IMHO, and, today is the 2 year anniversary of the battle..

RIP brave warriors

Desk Jockey
06-28-2007, 02:09 PM
edit........................................

CreepingDeath
05-30-2009, 10:05 AM
Luttrell and Gulab climbed into the helicopter. During the flight, Gulab "was latched onto my knee like a 3-year-old," Luttrell recalled. When they landed and were separated, Gulab seemed confused. He had refused money and Luttrell's offer of his watch.

"I put my arms around his neck," Luttrell recalled, "and said into his ear, 'I love you, brother.' " He never saw Gulab again.


This has touched me the most and brought tears