Onward

2011-07-28-152910-2-1000aOperation Flintlock

06 August 2011
Zhari District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan

A tragic loss of dozens of Americans and Afghan partners has occurred.  Apparently their helicopter was shot down during a raid.  The investigation is underway.

This sad day will not deter or slow US forces.  No doubt that tonight other helicopter assaults are underway.    The image above was made last weekend just minutes before we infiltrated using CH-47 helicopters – similar to the helicopter that was just lost – into the middle of a Taliban stronghold.  During the next two days there were 27 firefights.  4-4CAV lost one Soldier KIA and two others wounded.  The enemy faired far worse.

These missions are dangerous.  This is the profession of arms and this is war.  Everyone here knows the risks.  The Soldiers here and I would do another such mission tonight.  It’s time to pay our respects and move forward to prosecute the enemy.

Comments   

 
# Charles 2011-08-06 19:19
Why on earth were 40 elite troops in 1 helicopter? If I was Obama that would be my first question.

Troops of this quality are precious - on the face of it, it seems crazy to risk so many in one helo.
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# Michael Yon 2011-08-06 19:32
Charles,

Next time we should consider sending 40 helicopters with one troop each.

This is war. We take our chances.

Michael
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# Lorene 2011-08-06 19:33
A sad day indeed. RIP Warriors, my prayers are with the families and friends. Stay safe Michael.
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# Larry 2011-08-06 19:44
My heart goes out to all the troops who put their lives on the line every day and night. You will not be forgotten and prayers and comfort to the families and extended families of these brave men.
Thank you Michael for continuing to give your time and energy.
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# Steve Whealon 2011-08-06 19:47
Amen, Michael...Charl ie Mike...hoooaahh
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# Tony 2011-08-06 19:47
Why 40 SPECOPS in one helo?
Because this was one MF mission!
Unfortunately, as it's SPECOPS, we will never know what that mission was.
RIP to those brave soldiers, and prayers for those left behind.
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# joe 2011-08-06 19:59
To those friends and families who lost loved ones reading this I would like to extend my condolences. May you find healing and peace. Your life will never be the same but it will get better.
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# hc Bright 2011-08-06 20:13
that this were only a joke, it's entirely possible,
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# Chase 2011-08-06 20:18
Quoting Michael Yon:
Charles,

Next time we should consider sending 40 helicopters with one troop each.

This is war. We take our chances.

Michael


Mr. Yon you're the man, but that was a ridiculous thing to say; no one is suggesting a soldier per chopper.
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# Ian 2011-08-06 20:40
Simple logistics. The CH-47s are built to carry a lot of troops and they are limited in number at any one time/location.
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# Rick 2011-08-06 20:41
[quote name="Charles"] Why on earth were 40 elite troops in 1 helicopter? If I was Obama that would be my first question.

With all due respect, Obama doesn't give a damn.
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# Matt 2011-08-06 20:45
Right on Michael! More birds in the air means more attraction to the situation! Spec OP guys operate in small formations! Like Michael said everyone knows the risks that are possible when they join our military to fight for freedom!
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# Jesse 2011-08-06 21:37
@Charles - Every Soldier, Sailor, Marine and Airman out there in harms way is precious. It would not have mattered if they were 25 ordinary grunts, it would still be a tragedy of the highest order. I'm sure you didn't mean your statement the way it came across.

Semper Fi Seal Team 6. You died doing your job. Its all anyone can ask for.
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# Pocohontas 2011-08-06 21:48
Quoting Chase:
Quoting Michael Yon:
Charles,

Next time we should consider sending 40 helicopters with one troop each.

This is war. We take our chances.

Michael


Mr. Yon you're the man, but that was a ridiculous thing to say; no one is suggesting a soldier per chopper.


Guy was being ridiculous in his comment. Maybe the post just made Mike go "PUH-LEASE" kinda like it did me. MY first reaction was "how ridiculous! What they're supposed to only have 4 or 5 guys per chopper? Get real!" Mike wasn't being ridiculous - ask a ridiculous question & get a ridiculous comment. Go off the wall w/ some lame brain comment and ya mite get one in return. Jes sayin.
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# Craig 2011-08-06 21:55
I was trained in the post Vietnam Army and as I remember CH-47's were withdrawn from combat opns for Judy that reason losses were too high, it was a big target, it was extremely loud. It's only advantage was it could operate at higher altitudes and of course had a large payload. I did a tour in Afghanistan and did a lot of traveling in Chnooks. Even then it seemed risky.
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# Craig 2011-08-06 21:57
Quoting Craig:
I was trained in the post Vietnam Army and as I remember CH-47's were withdrawn from combat opns for Judy that reason losses were too high, it was a big target, it was extremely loud. It's only advantage was it could operate at higher altitudes and of course had a large payload. I did a tour in Afghanistan and did a lot of traveling in Chnooks. Even then it seemed risky.

Just not Judy. Sorry
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# Gene 2011-08-06 22:05
Does anyone really think this 'war' is worth the costs? There is nothing that looks remotely like an acceptable outcome, just a stalling tactic for political reasons. Bring them home, rain down death from above if our security is threatened from anywhere in the AfPak region. Bring them home.
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# Michael Yon 2011-08-06 22:12
My webmaster has had longstanding instructions to delete comments with gratuitous profanity. There is also a longstanding instruction to delete random advertisements and completely unrelated posts. (For instance, special interest groups often try to hijack threads to talk about abortion, whaling, and so forth. There is a time and place for such discussions.)
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# Shawn Alladio 2011-08-06 22:25
Thank you for sharing this image. It's a powerful display of movement. I appreciate what these men (and women) are doing, thier dedication, willingness to conduct a job that most of us will not, doing it for our children, our nation. Thanks for going the distance and capturing the energy of truth.
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# Sandra 2011-08-06 22:51
Great Photo that lets us see it like it was. The military budget it seems in the latest fiasco in Washington will be cut so of course men are more expendable then machinery. But you are right this was a mission that had to be done in the best possible way for the situation. It is easy to be an arm chair quarterback in calling the shots but reality is different. God Bless those soldiers and their families. They belonged to us all and we all grive for the lost of those precious lives.
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# VNAF 2011-08-06 23:16
Why in heavens name would they release the information that they were members of Seal Team 6? Now they are chanting that they have gotten revenge for the killing of Osama...
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# Redwine 2011-08-06 23:42
What sad and terrible loss.

Is it normal to have notoriously untrustworthy Afghan forces on the same heli with so many of our elite troops?

Somehow, I feel down in my gut, that there was a leak or security breach.
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# James F. McClellan 2011-08-06 23:48
Mike,

Thanks for the photo and dispatch. Please tell the troops that we appreciate them and are praying for them and trying to elect leaders worthy of them.

And Mike ... Stay Safe!

James F. McClellan
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# Manuela 2011-08-07 00:34
Deepest and sincere condolences to family and friends
Rest in pace ;-)
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# Manuela 2011-08-07 00:37
The stupid smile was a typo sorry
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# bob burr 2011-08-07 00:38
When I heard that a Ch 47 was down I thought of you... relieved to see you are well.
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# usmc dad 2011-08-07 00:54
Quoting Charles:
Why on earth were 40 elite troops in 1 helicopter? If I was Obama that would be my first question...


Obama?? You know how many of our troops assume he MADE SURE seal team 6 couldn't tell tales??? This nation isn't long for the maps people, 2012 is do-or-die time.
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# Alex 2011-08-07 01:47
Any evidence of MANPADs (Anza MK3) being used? This was a night operation. Assuming these are seasoned pilots, the chances of downing a moving CH47 at altitude seem remote. Definitely suspicious...
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# Adam Neira 2011-08-07 02:07
Prayers for the US Forces personnel lost in this terrible attack.
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# Carol 2011-08-07 02:21
Thank you, Michael. I just wish this
could teach those running the war certain lessons about our enemy, once and for all.
One too frequently feels our troops are not getting the support and backing they must have.why, I wonder, are we afraid of the goal and the word, "Victory"?
Bless all of their families and the others serving for us so we can be free.
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# mike 2011-08-07 02:24
Alex,

Oftentimes they position themselves to take a short-range, easy shot during infil or exfil as this is when they are vulnerable. Being this was a QRF mission, they likely assumed more acft were coming. (not sharing any secrets that the enemy doesn't know quite well)
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# EdofVenice 2011-08-07 02:40
Way to jump to conclusions without any facts. Give the Afghan commandos the benefit of the doubt. If they're willing to hang with SEALs then they are some hard, dedicated men.
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# Alex 2011-08-07 03:12
@mike Thanks for the info.

Alex
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# Pat 2011-08-07 03:38
Too many critical assets to put in one bird. Tactically, should have been split up in other helo - course don't know the circumstances. Certainly never should have mentioned Seal Team 6 for OPSEC. Too bad not having a C-130 Spectre for fire support/supress ion. Heart goes out to families and my Navy brothers lost.
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# sergeantshintabet 2011-08-07 03:48
I'm not getting any of this. a full raid package bundled on a Chinook hovering around as IRF? Who was "in contact"? I've served in Iraq and Africa, perhaps someone can help me with Afi SOP. We use DEVGRU squads as IRF for regular joes in contact there? I want to know what was happening and what the Pakis knew. Ridiculous coiincidences are getting harder and harder to stomach. My initial reaction is ANGER at the SEALS command echelon. (for whatever its worth). Our nation HEMMHORAGES at the SINGULAR loss. These incomparable patriots will be mourned forever. If there is complicity found somewhere in their untimely demise - the noose will be too charitable.
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# Michael Yon 2011-08-07 05:17
The combat veterans on this string, along with other veterans of serious endeavors whether in business, law, science, medicine, or whatever -- must realize the great peril in backseat driving and second guessing other professionals based on tenous first-reports from the media. END.
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# Charles 2011-08-07 08:08
You're probably right that he doesn't care much. Certainly our politicians here in the UK seem to do little or nothing to minimise British casualties.

I guess I was saying what I would do if I was in his shoes.
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# Charles 2011-08-07 08:21
Michael

I am still very dubious that it was necessary to have nearly 40 elite troops on one helo. The Bin Laden operation did not use 1 Chinook to carry that many troops - so why was it necessary here?

There have been many incidents here in the UK of the government and defence bureaucrats risking the lives of British troops for no good reason. In Iraq we came very close to losing 50 members of the SAS (which may be 10% of the entire SAS) when a C-130 was shot down. The C-130 was lost because it had not been fitted with self-sealing fuel tanks in order to save $100,000. That kind of risk simply does not make sense. To risk 10% of your most elite troops to save $100,000 is just stupid.

Of course war involves taking chances, but the question is are they sensible chances and was it the operational commanders choosing to take them? Or are the chances being forced on them by bureaucrats?
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# Charles 2011-08-07 08:29
Pocohontas

Perhaps you could explain to us all why exactly it is 'lame brain' to question why 40 elite troops were on 1 helicopter.

Is it unreasonable to argue that perhaps no more than 10 or 15 elite troops should ever be on 1 helo?

I take the view that the government has the duty to shift heaven and earth to minimise the casualties of its military.

It should be the first priority of government from the President downwards to ensure that all that can be done is done. Everyone in government and the country has a right and duty to ask these questions.

Here in the UK we see lazy government bureaucrats in our 'Ministry of Defence' pampering themselves with all sorts of benefits and bonuses and leaving troops to die for no good reason. For years the UK government was sending troops out in Iraq and Afghanistan in small SUV-type vehicles which were death traps. There was no good reason for it.
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# Charles 2011-08-07 08:49
I think that's pretty weak especially when elite troops are involved.

It should be the number 1 priority of government and military leaders to ensure that the military is given all it reasonably can be to minimise casualties.
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# Charles 2011-08-07 08:50
Would it really have compromised the operation to have 3 Chinooks instead of 1?
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# Charles 2011-08-07 09:07
On a human level the life of every serviceman or woman is equally precious.

But from a purely military point of view it makes perfect sense to give a higher level of resources to special forces formations. On average the missions carried out by special forces will be more dangerous and technically demanding than those carried out by other troops. In addition the resources put into selecting and training elite troops are greater than other troops so it makes sense to protect them even more highly. Finally the war in Afghanistan appears highly dependent on special forces and therefore their loss is even more serious than that of non-special forces.
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# Violette 2011-08-07 09:16
Well this IS "la vie en rose" !
31 gems "creme de la creme" cut down along with "the budget" ...
We will never know what the mission was: BUT it's all aver the news that's 31 SEALS lost at once and Karzai toots it the FIRST ...
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# Charles 2011-08-07 09:19
The war is 100% worth it and more.

A key motivating factor for Bin Laden was the perception that the West was weak. Each time we got hit in the past - the Beirut marine barracks and Somalia for example - Bin Laden saw that we withdrew.

He believed that all you had to do was to keep hitting the West and we would keep withdrawing and eventually submit to his demands.

The Western reaction to 9/11 represented the end of our retreat. The war in Afghanistan has been critical in dismantling much of Al-Qaeda and in killing Bin Laden. The war has in fact been far more successful than many predicted in 2001.

Don't think for one second that a withdrawl would be cost free. Your enemies remember withdrawls and defeats and will come after you.
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# Barry Sheridan 2011-08-07 10:57
My heart goes out to the families of all of those lost in this incident. It is a considerable burden to know that a loved son or husband will never again come home, pain no balm can reduce.

Alas all any of us who must go on can do is remember. RIP, the world is poorer for your loss.
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# Fyisaki 2011-08-07 11:49
I believe Obama's bosses are intent on attriting America.
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# Phil 2011-08-07 12:30
Quoting Charles:
Pocohontas

Perhaps you could explain to us all why exactly it is 'lame brain' to question why 40 elite troops were on 1 helicopter.

Is it unreasonable to argue that perhaps no more than 10 or 15 elite troops should ever be on 1 helo?

I take the view that the government has the duty to shift heaven and earth to minimise the casualties of its military.
.


Have you ever been on an operation like that? Fewer helos means less noise less movement quicker deploy times etc. Don't question our militarys operatives, we have the best in the world. Thats what happens when good people go downrange, sometimes its the bad guys that get all the luck, thats all. We can't win all the time, they just got really lucky with one rocket. Could have happened a lot more, maybe this WILL make them break up the teams smaller, who knows? Just don't put conspiracy where none belongs, 41 guys happens to be a platoon, bro.
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# mike 2011-08-07 14:23
To our friends guessing why so many on one bird, Michael got it right; we can't second guess what they're doing. After all, we recognize that the SEALS and 160th AVN are the best of the best. Plus, there's the advantage of a Chinook being able to drop an entire platoon on one lift, in one spot; that's a combat multiplier obviously needed in this situation.
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# Cook 2011-08-07 15:11
The photo above, from a different Air Assault mission than the tragic one under discussion, was taken by Michael Yon as he was departing on that mission, only a few days ago. As a reporter, he is walking the walk.
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# UKDON 2011-08-07 15:35
We are killing the finest and best of us in another war that we are not allowed to win. If the powers that be, do everything they can to weaken our defense and refuse to allow them rules of engagement that will ensure success on the battlefield then bring them home! When will the people wake up in this country and restore the pride and greatness? Where has common sense gone?
What a tragic loss of these wonderful, selfless people. God Bless all our great men and women in the service.
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# Charles 2011-08-07 15:49
Phil

Who says I am questioning your military? What I am questioning is why so many troops on 1 helicopter. Was it a purely operational decision or did it result from inadequate support?

Here in the UK, time and again the government has cost the lives of soldiers for no good reason except bureaucratic laziness and indifference. And no one is ever held to account.
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# Irebukeu 2011-08-07 18:06
it seems the largest fatalities in afghanistan always have to do with helicopters and hot Lz's. MY understanding is that this helo was coming in to bring reinforcements to an operation already underway for an hour.
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# Jason Mess 2011-08-07 20:00
They could tried to send more and had mech. issues with another one of the helicopter. If they were part of a QRF and heard they had teams pinned down and outnumbered they only had one helo to send they might have wanted to overwhelm the Taliban. Maybe they were comming back after getting the other team out and had only one helo to get there with. This most likely was not the only mission that needed helo's that night.
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# Radio Jihad Network 2011-08-07 20:12
It is a well know fact that the hunter killer teams effectiveness, loss of American life, and enemy kills went way up when indigenous personnel were not "mandated" to participate with our troops while on missions.

Political Correctness and naive ROE's is foundation for putting our soldiers at unnecessary risk while conducting missions.
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# Ben 2011-08-07 20:17
It is reported by troops in-country that this SPECOPS team was flying in a National Guard helo instead of an available SPECOPS bird (Boeing's site on SPECOPS upgraded Chinookshttp://www.boeing.com/rotorcraft/military/mh47e/index.htm)

Michael, do you have info? Can you find out? There is concern that these men might have been taken down by "friendly fire" because they had knowledge of the Bin Laden raid to protect Obama's ass. If so, the usual outlets and even the military will NOT report what happened.
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# Terie 2011-08-07 21:23
Actually, I think Charles was suggesting that the seal team be split up among other helicopters and troops to avoid killing that many at one time!!
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# Ben 2011-08-07 21:26
Quoting Ben:
There is concern that these men might have been taken down by "friendly fire" because they had knowledge of the Bin Laden raid to protect Obama's ass. If so, the usual outlets and even the military will NOT report what happened.


One mistake, here: NOT "friendly fire" but fire from tipped-off Taliban. This is not my theory and it may be incompetent, but it is interesting. See what you think.
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# Seleneknight 2011-08-07 21:45
I will leave the tactics of war to my military. I just want to take a moment to think of the families whos lives were drastically and tragically changed yesterday.
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# Seleneknight 2011-08-07 21:47
Amen
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# Fargo44 2011-08-07 22:00
My heart felt sympathies to loved ones left behind. My military experience was US Army 1970-72 a whole different battlefield than these desolate mountains. I claim no special knowledge of tactics in the Afghanistan theater. But I notice that this story is evolving. My gut tells me the explanations do not ring authentic. It would not surprise me to find that this was another scalp collecting mission for the benefit of a certain "gutsy" politician in the White House. Would Mullah Mohammad Omar's head have been the real mission here -- not rescuing embattled Army Rangers?
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# jbad04 2011-08-07 23:35
The type of mission tasks the number and type of soldiers and resources that are used. With SF people there is a lot input from the unit commanders on what is needed and decided upon.

The sad fact is that the Chinook, or any other helicopter, is vulnerable in the terrain and operational parameters of Afghanistan to this type of attack. The soldiers themselves know this and accept the risk. The Taliban know it and try to exploit it. This time the Taliban won. We will go on, they would want us to.

God rest their souls and comfort their family and friends.
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# Name 2011-08-08 05:44
Well done!
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# Charles 2011-08-08 09:29
jbad04

Clearly if you fly a Chinook time and again through mountains into firefights sooner or later you are going to lose some either through crashes or enemy fire.

The objective therefore must be to minimise the costs of losing a helicopter. The obvious answer is to limit the number of troops on each helo except in truly exceptional circumstances.

Now I am reading that a National Guard helo was used in this mission when more than 1 Spec Ops helo was available. So, why 40 troops on 1 helo and why not a Spec Ops helo?

This should be investigated.
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# Charles 2011-08-08 09:31
It seems very very odd to me to put such a high proportion of Seal Team 6 on 1 helo. It might be justified if the target was truly exceptional - eg Bin Laden - but not for anything less it seems to me.
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# Charles 2011-08-08 09:32
I agree.
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# Charles 2011-08-08 09:39
Ben

I have also read that a National Guard helo was used when 1 or more Spec Ops helos were available. If true this should be investigated.

However I do not think it credible at all that Obama or anyone in the US government/mili tary was involved in any way in the deliberate destruction of this helo.

Just think - how exactly would Obama get this done, even if he wanted it done? Who does he ask to do it? How do they keep it secret? How exactly would it benefit Obama? What is this information he is trying to keep secret? I'm no fan of Obama, but it just makes no sense.
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# FO 2011-08-08 15:37
God bless those Sailors, Airmen. Soldiers and ANA Soldiers and their families. Mr. Yon thanks for what you do and walking the walk not just running your mouth like other talking heads. Wardak is a bad place and I have had a close call there. Stop arm chair QBing the ground commander made the call and got the first A/C available in the air to help the guys in a jam. MH-47 or CH-47 it doesn't matter because they are both big and slow, but they both get you where you need to go in the mountains. Once again thanks brother for what you do telling the truth.
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# Matthew Leitch 2011-08-08 15:46
As a helicopter crew cheif with extensive experience landing in Iraq/Afganistan LZ's, When a tandem rotor helio lands, it dusts out the LZ for hundreds of meters, causing a blinding dust storm that makes futher landings in the LZ considerably more difficult, many helio's have crashed just 10 feet from the ground cuasing a mechanically downed aircraft that is now fouling the zone, so no other A/C can get in. The fewer Aircraft, the closer the troops are together when entering the battle ground, and the quicker the insert can be completed. Hopefully that answers this question compeletely, and we can get back to rembering the lost, and not bashing politicians, and Elite millitary leadership decisions.
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# rukidding73 2011-08-08 17:25
Quoting VNAF:
Why in heavens name would they release the information that they were members of Seal Team 6? Now they are chanting that they have gotten revenge for the killing of Osama...

I AGREE, too!
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# Pocohontas 2011-08-08 19:17
You may think it dubious but you aren't in charge. I'm sure the boots on the ground had a good reason for the way they decided things on an operational level. Like maybe on such chopper can totally foul the LZ for over a large distance making it harder for other choppers to land or maybe 1 target vs. 10. Easy for someone not to there to complain and arm chair quarterback.

To the other person no I've not been on this kind of mission but I probably have 100s of friends and family who have. So tell me have you masterminded an op like this one?
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# brooksmd 2011-08-08 19:25
Quoting Michael Yon:
The combat veterans on this string, along with other veterans of serious endeavors whether in business, law, science, medicine, or whatever -- must realize the great peril in backseat driving and second guessing other professionals based on tenous first-reports from the media. END.


Thank you Michael. I'm getting sick and tired of these armchair qb's and their conspiracy theories. Unless you're there involved in the mission you have no idea what was going on. Leave it at that. May God Bless these brave men and their families.
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# Janice Stroud 2011-08-08 19:44
regarding the choice of transport and # of crew on board: call me ignorant, which my son will tell me I am. And I was a teenybopper during Vietnam, so my knowledge is limited, however... besides cost factor why not use the black hawks for inserting teams in a hot zone ? The chinook does get quantity there fast, but for the most part the admirals and the generals and the secy of defense gets transported around Afghanistan NOT in a chinook... so use the chinooks for cargo and landing at bases, and use the smaller craft for our soldiers. And this is not Obama bashing...I'm a bleeding heart liberal who has one serving..but regardless of the monday morning quarterbacking my prayers and thoughts are with the families at this time and my gratitude for the sacrifice of their loved ones.
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# Ben 2011-08-08 19:45
Charles - Thanks for the specific thought questions. They do help ferret out the possibilities, or lack thereof. A popular blogger in the US was promoting this conspiracy theory. Once taken, those theories are steps that may lead nowhere with no time for thinking.
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# Scothunter1 2011-08-08 20:48
Well said my Friend! our thoghts & Prayers to their Families.
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# Black Knight 2011-08-08 20:54
So I get this call with a team in trouble. I call for an update on resources and find out that I have two birds on station. One is ready to deploy and the second needs 15 minutes worth of work. A platoon is standing by and ready to go. Would you be happier if I tell someone in a HZ they have to wait so I can split up their rescue? If it were you would you want to wait or you want help NOW??
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# Bob T Guy 2011-08-09 00:47
A Chinook... That's a big bird. Other options might have been employed if there were some available, but I don't see anybody giving up readiness figures for support squadrons. Any way you slice it, that many guys going into a hot LZ on a Chinook is pretty risky. Our military has been busy counting beans and downsizing for decades. History is at work here. Putting your eggs in one basket is the operational philosophy of the BRAC program. This is a tragic example of too many resources in a consolidated space.
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# Bob T Guy 2011-08-09 00:56
Well, when it WAS BL they didn't use Chinooks. The argument that a single Chinook is better than multiple smaller craft for stealth reasons is just stupid. What ever the reasons for using a Chinook, it is unfair of us to armchair quarterback the op. On the other hand, the leadership in today's US military is busy administrating PC bullshit crammed down their throats by the CIC. His priorities are strictly political. So goes our military.

RIP you valiant warriors. In spite of anything that the politicos throw at you, you are beacons of freedom and integrity to anyone who sees you throughout the whole wide world.
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# LTC Joseph Meissner 2011-08-09 18:20
Thank you, Michael, for your "on the ground" information, your views, and your work.

We will send in a contribution. We hope others will also.

We mourn everyone of these including our Allies and the interpreter who perished in the Chinook. We also should never "put down" anyone who would ask hard questions about why, when, and where. That is how we learn and do better next time.

So onward!

From Joseph Patrick Meissner (LTC-RET)
Editor of Daily PSYOP FRONTPOST Letter and of POA Journal of "Perspectives"
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# Matthew Leitch 2011-08-09 19:54
Charles, the Bin laden mission did infact employ 2 chinooks to carry two times that many troops, According to the reports the mission consisted of 79 troops and 4 helicopters, to H-60's, I assume carrying less than 10 men each, and guess what? a QRF force in two, guess what? 47's. 59 seals in two 47's is approximately 30 a peice. It sounds like the SOP for Quick Reaction Forces is a large force, in a Helicopter with unmatched time on Station capabilities.
An H-60 has a mission endurance of 2.3 hours,
H-47 has a mission endurance of 5
The reported bin laden operation was the assult, it went well so the QRF troops were not needed, you are continuing to display your lack of knowledge the more you try to espouse your conspiriacy theories so just stop. carrying
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# ST Dog 2011-08-10 18:13
Quoting Charles:
It should be the first priority of government from the President downwards to ensure that all that can be done is done.


That is just plain wrong. That sort of thinking is a large part of the problem.

The goal is not to do "everything" but instead take all reasonable precautions.

Doing everything possible means no missions. Doing too much means 3 or 4 birds in the air increasing the likely hood of a mechanical failure (look up the MTBF calculation for a system), human error, more targets for the enemy to shoot at and more chances of a lucky shot.

That same thinking gives a land vehicle that is slow and not manuverable (and an easy target) instead of a quick and nimble one. It weighs soldiers down with 10s of pounds of safety gear that reduces their mobility and ability to evade and engage.
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# Barb 2011-08-12 03:10
First, thank you for serving your country. My only son, 21yrs old is graduating from Parris Island in September and his dedication and motivation amaze me. He wrote today that he was chosen to carry a flag behind the Captain because he had the highest RCO shooting score. Is military life something that you are born with? Because I don't get why my son so believes in serving a government that honestly scares me. Can you help me understand why losing one soldier in Afghanistan is worth it? They say historically the Afhganies have fought for a thousand years so can you help me understand why American soldiers have to be maimed or killed?? I would just like someone like yourself who has been there explain why we are losing loved ones over there when eventually we are supposed to leave that country? Thanks.
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# SGTSolo 2011-08-12 21:39
Hi Michael, I am a former Army Ranger who has been a part of both campaigns OEF and OIF. We would often "accidently" forget our embedded reporters in the chow halls because of the negative spin and attention we would get for conducting missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. I wish we had someone like you out there with us. I understand the dangers you face while only wielding your Cannon and not a handy M4.. Thank you for doing what you are doing. America needs see and hear what is really going on out there. Also, people should remember that our Troops are protecting our Freedom and way of life, including the freedom of speech for everyone, rather we like what is being said or not.

God Speed, Mike. “Sau Sponte”
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# Wes Cooler 2011-08-21 15:04
Great journalism. Best I've seen.

Re Chinooks: I hope I NEVER hear that ANY President even cares what kind of helo is used on a mission. That's not his job or his concern and every time a President has thought it was it has bee trouble. Other than a very few exceptions (UBL takedown being one) the details of any mission are way below the President's pay grade. That's why we have Captains and Colonels.
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