Time for one of the old professor’s infamous history lessons…..
40 years ago today a disastrous rescue attempt was launched to save the hostages in Iran…..and it went terribly wrong…..
A U.S. effort to rescue American hostages in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran ended in failure on April 24, 1980. The Army Special Forces unit tasked with the mission was to rescue 53 hostages being detained by Iran.
The secret mission was complicated, involving the movement of the ground force element – known as Delta Force – landing in three MC-130 fixed-wing aircraft at a location called Desert One. The rendezvous location was located southeast of Tehran. At this first location the ground force would link up with eight RH-53D Sea Stallion helicopters flown by Marine pilots that took off from a Navy carrier (Nimitz) in the Arabian Sea. Once the choppers refueled the ground force (Delta) would board the helicopters and fly to new locations closer to Tehran.
During the second night the rescue party would then enter Iran’s capital city, storm the embassy compound, free the hostages, and then move them to a nearby soccer stadium. From there the hostages would be transported to a seized airstrip outside Tehran where fixed-wing aircraft would evacuate them out of the country.
Two small teams had previously entered Iran to conduct a recon of the rendezvous site in the desert, the hide sites used for the second night, the embassy, and other locations. These teams also set up a network for the transport of men, equipment, and hostages in and around the city.
The primary assault force was Delta. A unit of the 75th Ranger Regiment would provide security at Desert One. An Army Special Forces team from Det A (Berlin) – specially trained in mountain operations – would assault the foreign ministry where three diplomats were being held. There was also a small Air Force combat control team to coordinate movements on the desert landing strip.
That would be how many view the troops that serve in our special forces in the different branches….
But recently there have been many reports of these “special” soldiers acting like frat rats and criminals and murderers….so bad that the new commander has commissioned a review of the whole system….even getting promoted while accused of a crime…..that alone should force some sort of review. In case you missed my post…..https://lobotero.com/2020/01/30/as-a-reward-for-taking-a-life/
There are a number of high profile incidents that have captured the attention of the U.S. public, the media, and Congress. A quick summary of these incidents include:
an Army Special Forces Major accused of murdering an unarmed Taliban bomb-maker in Afghanistan
two Army Special Forces NCOs convicted of smuggling cocaine from Colombia into the United States
a Navy SEAL and two Marine Raiders accused of murder / manslaughter of an Army Green Beret in Mali
a Navy SEAL accused of war crimes while deployed with his SEAL platoon in Iraq
Navy SEAL platoon having a drunk fest in Iraq on the 4th of July and getting sent home
Army Special Forces NCOs stealing money from operational funds
numerous incidents of sexual assault, sexual mis-conduct, and drug use
The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has released a 69-page report entitled United States Special Operations Command Comprehensive Review. USSOCOM was directed by Congress to conduct a review of its culture and report back to it with its findings.
The USSOCOM report, dated 23 January 2020, is the result of a review by USSOCOM “. . . that gathered insights and observations from across the force, at all levels, . . .”
This report had little “good news” for the operational portion of the review.
The report recommends 16 actions to address the findings by the review. A strong implementation plan is recommended and the adoption of the will to execute it. The report says that if “. . . implemented correctly, the comprehensive review will make USSOCOM better as a more credible, capable and precise force.”
These soldiers are not supermen nor can they walk on water…..they need to be held to the same rules as the rest of us…….and the re-introduction of discipline.
I was pleased that there was payment for stupidity and crimes…..but that joy is now in the past…….for there has been yet another turn in this story…..
The U.S. Navy promoted Chief Petty Officer Tony DeDolph four months after he admitted to choking a Green Beret to death.
DeDolph—who will be back in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing—was formally charged in November 2018 with felony murder, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, burglary, hazing, and involuntary manslaughter in the strangulation death of Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar, a Special Forces soldier assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group.
Melgar was nearing the end of his deployment when he was killed in the West African nation of Mali in June 2017. He was part of an intelligence operation in Mali supporting counterterrorism efforts against al Qaeda’s local affiliate, known as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
Now we know why the new commander of the SEALs is trying to clean up this mess of crime and corruption….aand of curse the president will want to look important but should keep his orange nose out of the process.
More news about the UCMJ and military retirees……
In the latest turn of a dramatic and winding court saga, a naval appeals court has released a split decision finding that a Navy retiree was properly court-martialed and convicted for a crime committed after he had left active duty.
The en banc decision was published Jan. 24 by the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals, with four judges agreeing with the final decision and three others dissenting. The matter concerns retired Chief Petty Officer Stephen Begani, who pleaded guilty to attempted sexual assault and attempted sexual abuse of a child in December 2017, after corresponding and making plans with a Naval Criminal Investigative Service undercover agent pretending to be a 15-year-old girl.
They are “the Best of the Best of the Best”…this is how we talk about our elite special ops troopers.
Visit exotic lands meet interesting people and kill them…..a great enlistment slogan…..
The beginning of our special ops was copied by the SAS in WW2……these were elite troops that did a marvelous job during war…..so when I read an article about the special ops troopers in the UK I was surprised….
Faced with a recruitment crisis, the United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) have been forced to put up advertisements to attract fresh blood into their elite ranks.
Posted in the British Army magazine Soldier, the advertisement is specifically geared toward the Special Forces Communicator (SFC) career field.
The advertisement states that “The Special Forces Communicator is [sic] selected for their technical acumen, tactical abilities and physical robustness to deliver and enable Special Forces information whenever needed.”
The career field was activated in April and falls under the Royal Signals (R Signals), which is one of the British Army’s combat support branches. Upon completion of a physically and intellectually arduous six-month selection and training pipeline, SFC operators are assigned to the 18 (UKSF) Signals Regiment. The Special Forces Communicator’s Course is comprised of six phases:
After 5 years of trying to rid the world of the leader of the ISIS Caliphate the US has overseen his destruction…..
President Trump grabbed the world’s attention Sunday with major news: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was dead. Now details are emerging about the US military raid against the Islamic State leader. Turns out one of Baghdadi’s wives and a courier were arrested this summer and revealed his location in a part of Syria where rival al-Qaeda groups hold sway, US officials tell the New York Times. An elite Army unit devised and rehearsed the raid, which involved eight American helicopters flying from Iraq to an area north of Idlib city in western Syria, drawing gunfire on the 70-minute trip. Commandos then blew out a wall of Baghdadi’s compound and killed several people in a gun battle. For more:
‘Whimpering and crying’: Trump said Baghdadi killed himself and three children using a suicide vest, “whimpering and crying and screaming all the way.” All true? “Well I don’t—I don’t have those details,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on This Week, per ABC News. “The president probably had the opportunity to talk to the commanders on the ground but, clearly, the guy was a coward and a murderer.”
Russia first: Nancy Pelosi praised military and officials behind the raid, per USA Today, but said “the House must be briefed on this raid, which the Russians but not top congressional leadership were notified of in advance.” Trump said he didn’t tell Pelosi because “I wanted to make sure this kept secret.”
The Kurds: The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces called the raid a “joint operation” between Americans and Kurds, per the Washington Post. Kurds provided more intel than anyone, a US official tells the Times, even after Trump ordered US troops to leave Syria and let the Kurds battle Turkish forces alone.
Witnesses: A family in Syria apparently witnessed the night raid. “They said foreign soldiers with machine guns stormed in and took [people] away,” a Syrian journalist tells the Independent. “People they had never seen before. … When they left, after taking prisoners and killing the rest, a plane came and struck the house to completely destroy it.”
Trump’s team: The White House has released images of Trump and his national-security team stoically watching the raid, per USA Today. One Twitter user contrasted it with President Obama’s staff observing the Osama bin Laden raid.
Who was Baghdadi? A jihadist whose Islamic State captured Iraqi and Syrian territory, establishing a “caliphate” that was lost in 2019 fighting against US-led forces. Baghdadi also inspired terror attacks worldwide, per the Wall Street Journal.
Not over: More attacks on terrorists in Syria may follow, a US defense official tells CNN. Indeed, Newsweek reports that US strikes killed Islamic State spokesperson Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir in Aleppo province on Sunday.
The announcement of the death by Trump turned into a 40 minute of him, Trump, being victimized and getting no credit for his amazing (in his mind) presidency and his person.
It is not immediately apparent who Baghdadi’s successor would be, as little is known publicly about the inner workings of ISIS. His death clearly means a leadership reshuffle, however, and for such groups in the past, that has often meant worsening insurgencies as new leaders try to put their stamp on the organization.
Indeed, with ISIS barely existing in Iraq or Syria anymore, it is possible that ISIS leadership might come from a different region. ISIS has active affiliates across Asia and Africa and becoming the new hub for the group might give those groups a major shot in the arm.
Ultimately, some are seeing ISIS as potentially reinvigorated by Baghdadi’s death, and even if that doesn’t happen, the individual affiliates are likely to keep plugging away no matter who is in charge.
My question now is….who will get the $25 million reward for the location and death of Baghdadi?
I believe that is enough said about the SOB….He is dead and the world is a better place.
As I stated in the above post….a good start but why not begin with the SEAL Team Six?
There are lots of opinions as to how to fix this problem……
“How can something like this happen in 2017?” asked the military judge Col. Glen Hines. He continued, “The question needs to be answered. If we don’t get to the bottom of it, this is going to happen again.” With this prediction, Hines suggests that the Melgar murder, shocking though it might be, was no aberration, but a symptom of a culture decayed from within. He’s probably right. How else to explain the recent spate of serious incidents in the special operations community, which run the gamut from war crimes and spousal murder to child rape and drug trafficking? Perhaps Hines was looking too at the rank and status of the individuals involved in Melgar’s murder, all of whom were highly respected leaders in elite units, including two members of the storied SEAL Team Six. These men weren’t outliers, but rather the type who attract emulation by peers and subordinates: “Kevin was a hero of mine,” commented one Marine special operator I know, before adding, “or was.” When such men commit an act that appears to outsiders to be off the scale, it suggests that similar behavior has up to this point been condoned, even lauded, by the culture to which they belong. And as Hines indicates, unless something is done to fix that culture, Melgar’s murder is likely to be just another waypoint in a descending pattern of illicit conduct in America’s special operations community.
I say forget the Space Force…..combine all these troops from all the services into one force and call it something like…the Irregulars Fighting Force (just off the top of my head)….that would eliminate any cross service rivalry and make cooperation more accessible.
Appears the new commander of the SEALs has made good on his promise to “clean house”……
The top admiral in charge of Naval Special Warfare has fired the entire leadership team of SEAL Team 7 over a “breakdown of good order and discipline,” a Navy official told Task & Purpose on Friday.
Cmdr. Edward Mason, the commanding officer of ST7; Lt. Cmdr. Luke Im, the executive officer; and Command Master Chief Hugh Spangler were all relieved of their leadership posts on Friday, said Capt. Tamara Lawrence, a spokeswoman for Naval Special Warfare Command.
The relief was carried out by Rear Adm. Collin Green, the commanding officer of NSW. Lawrence said their relief was “due to a loss of confidence that resulted from leadership failures that caused a breakdown of good order and discipline within two subordinate units while deployed to combat zones.”