View Full Version : ABC-TV Spotlights the People of U.S. Armed Forces
From the D.o.D. website:
ABC-TV Spotlights the People of U.S. Armed Forces
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2003 -- The men and women who make up America's military will be featured on an ABC-TV production entitled "Profiles from the Front Line" beginning Feb. 27.
The series will run at 8 p.m. EST Thursdays through April 6.
The Defense Department gave the producers of the show access to operations in Afghanistan and around the world. The show is part of ABC's entertainment division. ABC News did not participate.
"Profiles" is cast as a "reality" show, but it's not a "Survivor: Afghanistan." There are no contrived situations, contests or actors.
"These are real people, doing real missions in a real war," said Vicente Ogilvie, deputy special assistant for entertainment media in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs.
The show also places a spotlight on America's "shadow warriors" -- special operations forces.
Defense officials said they cannot remember the last time any group was given such access to the world of special operations. Special operations forces are called "shadow warriors" for a reason: They try not to garner attention. They feel working in the shadows helps them accomplish their missions.
While the coalition bombing of Afghanistan helped the Northern Alliance at the beginning of the conflict in the country in October 2001, only when special operations forces arrived on the ground did the tide turn against the Taliban.
"The fight to topple the Taliban was waged on the ground by less than 500 Special Forces personnel," Marshall Billingslea, principal deputy assistant defense secretary for special operations and low-intensity conflict, said Oct. 16, 2002. "They mounted an unconventional warfare effort tied closely to indigenous forces and linked with the United States Air Force in a way that provided for a rapid and crushing defeat of the Taliban's conventional forces."
Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who did the movies "Black Hawk Down" and "Pearl Harbor," and the television show "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," is the executive producer of the profile series. His group sent teams of producers and cameramen to the front lines of the war on terrorism.
The series started filming in April 2002 and wrapped in October. At one point 16, three-man crews were working around the world. In addition to covering members of the 3rd and 19th Special Forces groups in Afghanistan, the teams also videotaped members of the 82nd Airborne Division as they deployed to Central Asia.
They also caught sailors of the cruiser USS Hue City during maritime intercept operations in the Arabian Sea, submariners of the USS Salt Lake City, carrier operations aboard the USS John F. Kennedy, medics at various hospitals, and food service specialists.
Ogilvie said service members tell their own stories. While the producers put some images to music, no scripts or narrations were used in the series.
"This program highlights the dedication, professionalism and patriotism of the men and women of the armed forces," he said.
Some critics have hammered the show because it highlights patriotism, Ogilvie noted, but they're out of line in his opinion. "There is nothing fake about the patriotism of the American military," he said. "The program shows patriotism because these men and women are patriots."
The Defense Department provided transportation to the film crews and technical advice to the producers. Defense officials worked with the crews to protect operational security.
While some parts of the show may make senior leaders wince, they're slices of the real military, department officials said.
The first show that came up is the following... sounds like it'll be great.
Title: Profiles From the Front Line
Description: The personal stories of men and women serving in central Asia; includes actual footage of U.S. Special Operations forces in action.
2/27/2003 8:00PM ABC
02-26-2003, 07:32 PM
I really don't like the sound of that show. I mean I'm sure alot of people will enjoy seeign what SOF does, but thats dangerous to the operators. First off, it shows the world who the operators. That puts them in danger while conducting operations or while on their own. And second, it shows the world the technologies and techniques our SOF units are using. Both of which endanger operators and may hurt their ability to complete missions. I know they won't be giving the media to the black SOF units, but its still a worry. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
well, most of these guys are unrecognizable with long beards, hats, and sunglasses. Also, as the photo essay a little while ago that was posted here showed, the current SF guys in Afghanistan are reservists, not the first in SF guys that were in that other interview. Then again that front line show video interviewed them all already. So none of this is new I guess. I'm trying to get a tape or something of that one.
if nothing else, do you think the SF guys would endanger themselves by being on this show? i doubt it, so i'm going to trust to their judgement on it.
well, the only thing that they seem to be strict about not doing, is giving out their real names, which they haven't done unless that SF soldier has since retired from active duty.
02-27-2003, 02:53 PM
I was there when they were filming the EOD segment and they were careful not to shoot any classified TTPs. They were conscious of this throughout and all material has been releases with DoD approval.
02-27-2003, 04:55 PM
Glad to hear that they are taking proper precautions with that sort of material.
Well, if any reporters got out of line, the EOD guys are good at making things disappear. :)
02-27-2003, 07:11 PM
As long as no techniques are described or individuals identified, I personally have no problem with it. SOCOM aren't stupid. They will only allow filming if they have veto anyway.
Well, after watching the show with the 5-10 minutes of special forces stuff, I'd have to say that those 5-10 minutes are worth more than all the still photos on this site. It pretty much showed that they're just regular guys. They should have had the bad boys music going in the background with the "COPS: in Afghanistan" logo in the lower right. When they were looking for the Taliban guy, and he told the interpreter to tell the other guy he was lying, it was right out of any of those shows. Here's a photoshop I did from a while back.
02-27-2003, 10:21 PM
Yea I watched it, the SF was definetly the cool part.
SF guy: ''Tell the boy to go away or I will use this.'' *Points to weapon*
02-28-2003, 11:31 AM
Hood, thanks SO much for posting the alert about this show. I got home just in time to see it. I would've kicked myself if I'd missed it. I don't watch much TV anymore, mainly because I'm disgusted by the crap that passes for entertainment these days. But this was really great. The SF stuff was way cool, but I have to give the 'Spirit Award' to that Senior Chief on the JFK - what a character!
haha "This is mah house!" The show was slightly cheezy with all the Jerry Bruckheimer music going in the background, but ultimately the content was great. I was going through old department of defense news reports when I suddenly saw this in the recent dod news. I'm rather surprised that they didn't advertise it more. I guess my big question is, are they going to show any combat? It's cool to see soldiers and how they operate, but it's like talking to firemen without ever seeing a fire.
02-28-2003, 12:05 PM
I dunno about you guys, but I get the feeling that the Special Forces guy with the big beard... Mark, he might have been one of the fighters in the Mog... but then again, they weren't Delta, were they? I dunno, but I just got that weird feeling.
On another note...
I'm ashamed of some of these Americans that burn flags and all that... we’ve got a special forces guy from Australia in the U.S., and he holds more respect for America, than some of the people born here... and his native country is Australia! Go figure.... :fork: to those who live in, and diss America!
02-28-2003, 01:46 PM
Great show, one complaint. no SEALs :D Unless the guys boarding the ships were. But I dont think they were. The Special forces guys were awesome though.
"We can do this one of two ways. 1. You come with us peacefully or 2. We'll have to take you."
02-28-2003, 01:56 PM
I was able to use my computer to save some pictures from the show if anyone wants them. I can email them to ya or just give them to hood to put up. Either way, let me know.
sure, just email 'em in and we can post them here. if someone tells us to take them down then we will.
Ok, he sent in the stills from the show, so here they are. Thanks.
03-01-2003, 08:11 PM
Haha.....I love the velcro sleeves
03-03-2003, 11:57 AM
I thought this show was pretty interesting, with some of the parts being a little corny. I was wondering if anyone else noticed the special operator a the beginning of the special forces part that was carried a desert camo painted M4 Benelli shotgun. The scene shows him taking a dip of chew and giving one to an AMF soldier. I thought that was pretty interesting as I have never seen anyone besides Marines use one. Overall great show, though.
03-03-2003, 01:03 PM
not shotguns in general, but the Benelli
Just bumping this up since it's on again tonight.
03-06-2003, 10:11 AM
About this time last year, CNN ran a report about a US special operations raid on an alleged AQ occupied village. The SOF guys bagged a couple of bad guys, but what I remember most about the video was the SOF guys walking the flex cuffed prisoners to a vehicle they were dresed in the standard civilian/military mix and most had M4s, but one was carrying a Benelli. It was not a special or anything, just a CNN camera crew in the right place at the right time, but I distincly remember the operator in his jeans and black fleece with thigh rigs, sun glasses, and Benelli.
03-06-2003, 10:54 AM
Some units carry a shotgun (Benelli or otherwise) for breaching. Shotguns are excellent for "removing" door hinges.
03-06-2003, 09:01 PM
After a delay because of Bush' speech, PFTFL is now showing.
03-06-2003, 10:31 PM
I got about 20 pictures from tonight's episode, I'll send them to Hood to put up as soon as i get a chance.
03-06-2003, 11:26 PM
It said it was beginning FEB27th? I only saw todays episode. What was the FEB27th show about? Looking forward to the next episodes featuring the following:
A mission to locate and disarm rockets aimed at Camp Harriman in Orgun, Afghanistan;
An attempt to apprehend hijackers of fuel trucks
Refueling fighter jets in mid-air
Soldiers destabilize a terrorist compound outside of Khost, Afghanistan
Pilots provide air support to ground troops in search of Al Qaeda fugitives
You guys know of any other "military" shows on TV featuring infantry/SF forces besides JAG? BTW theres also an upcomming Travolta movie that has something to do with a squad of Rangers: http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/basic/synopsis.html
well, the pictures above are from that first episode in february. talked with the same 3rd SF group, fuel tanker guy, talked to 82nd airborne guys, and with the deck chief on a carrier.. I really liked both the SF and 82nd airborne guys in the first ep..
03-07-2003, 07:35 AM
''Basic'' looks very stupid
03-07-2003, 10:57 AM
I somewhat agree about the basic. I would like to see exactly what the rangers do and wear(They dont seem to be wearing BDU jackets!?!? Who the heck was their military consultant, also using the old Huey).. I think Travolta's performance would be exellent
One of the things that was mentioned during the filming of black hawk down was that the only way to use blackhawks in the movie was to get the cooperation of the military. Obviously using huey's would kill the feel of the movie, so they went all out with that. This movie by the huey thing, and also the what's in the trailer, most likely didn't get that kind of cooperation. The other thing that didn't make too much sense is, would they really be inserting into the jungle in the rain via helo, while wearing their berets?
03-08-2003, 09:06 AM
Hope everyone enjoys the pictures.
I'm just starting to wonder if they're going to show any war for this 'war' show. In 2 hours worth, no one has fired a weapon of any kind. Although I really like the segments so far, I think it's sending the wrong message about what a war is really like.
03-08-2003, 09:37 PM
I think thats why its called "Profiles" Its not ment to show every aspect of the war, just a little insight into the daily lives of the men and women over there. And i think the segment with the Forward Sugical Unit offered a very real and very humbling side of the war. Just my thoughts.
I understand that, but it gets reduced to a cheezy propaganda piece if the daily life of a soldier doesn't include ever firing your weapon.
03-08-2003, 10:10 PM
Honestly, most soldier don't end up firing a weapon at the enemy. What you're seeing there is the un-sexy reality of what goes on over there. Yeah, the shooters (11b's) do some cool stuff, but alot of the other stuff is pretty mundane.
We saw tons of battles on the news.. just look at all the cities that we and the northern alliance had to bomb and eventually take over. that was hardly mundane, but so far none of that is being mentioned in the 2 shows, other than someone was killed from it. They talk about the battles as if they occur in some far away place that they're not going to show.
Here's the weekly reminder that it's on again... Tonights episode is: Members of the 3rd Special Forces Group discover rockets aimed at the U.S. airbase in Orgun, Afghanistan, and pursue a risky search for those who attempted to fire the explosive devices at the base's ammunition dump. Meanwhile, members of the 19th Special Forces Group hunt down the hijackers of fuel trucks headed for Chapman Airfield in Khost.
03-16-2003, 04:17 PM
Does anyone have pictures of the latest episode? I thought this was the best episode, so far. I'm really interested in seeing more pieces on the 19th SFG. The guy with the Benelli M4 was in that segment. Major Randy is also in a couple of pictures on this site, in the Special Forces Afghanistan section. He's in the 19th. Hood, I was wondering if you have looked into purchasing tapes of the episodes from ABC. Just curious. Can't wait for next Thursday.
03-16-2003, 05:14 PM
Would anyone know for sure if the SF operator with the slight accent is from Australia or New Zealand? Just wondering if he's someone on loan from Australian SAS.
03-16-2003, 05:30 PM
papabear, the operator is, in fact, from Australia. In the first episode, he said he moved to the United States with his family a few years ago and joined the Special Forces.
03-16-2003, 11:35 PM
Thanks for the info! I must have missed his introduction because someone was engaging me in conversation at the time.
03-21-2003, 03:46 PM
Not to be petty, but do you think they'll rerun last night's episode of 'Profiles'? It was pre-empted by this damned American Oil War rofl
03-21-2003, 03:54 PM
I hope they do run the episode again! From the previews, it looked like they finally got some action! It showed a guy who had been shot, and they were trying to save him. Weather he got shot by the Special Forces or not, I don't know.
I hope they stop running this stupid 24 hour news coverage! It'll be a media war, just like Vietnam! I agree, we need to know what's happening, but long after they've done what they've needed to do. Can Saddam watch TV, and learn what we're doing and hurt us badly by watching the news?
Anyway... enough typing...
Have a good 'un!
As far as I know, they didn't run the episode at all, because I was watching ABC for most of the night and never saw it all the way up through midnight. It wasn't aired anywhere right? I hope they pick it up again next week. It's a great series.
03-21-2003, 07:04 PM
"Can Saddam watch TV, and learn what we're doing and hurt us badly by watching the news"
Dept of Defense isnt stupid, they allowed the "embedded" media in the units for a reason, and if you watch the news theyre not allowed to talk about their locations etc.
03-21-2003, 08:10 PM
Did anyone get the pictures from the last episode? I totally forgot about watching it.
Well, it's official, ABC won't air any more episodes of this series... pretty sad. I've sent numerous emails about wanting it back, or at least for them to release it on tape or dvd, and none have been answered.
ABC Dumps 2 Unscripted Series
Friday, March 28, 2003
Los Angeles Times
HOLLYWOOD — Poor ratings have killed off two of ABC’s highly publicized unscripted series. “Are You Hot? The Search for America’s Sexiest People,” which has been off the air the last two weeks because of war coverage, will show both its semifinals and finals April 5. The network has also yanked “Profiles From the Front Line,” the real-life military series from producer Jerry Bruckheimer that chronicled U.S. soldiers fighting in Afghanistan last year. That show’s last broadcast was March 11.
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