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Archive for the ‘SOF’ Category

Proper Wear of the Green Beret, circa Late-1960s

Monday, May 20th, 2019

It’s SOFIC week in Tampa. I wonder how many are still wearing their berets old school-style.

FN To Unveil Prototype 6.5 Caliber MK48 MOD 2 Machine Gun At 2019 SOFIC

Monday, May 20th, 2019

(McLean, VA – May 20, 2019) FN America, LLC, maker of a majority of small arms for the U.S. military, is excited to announce that the company will unveil the prototype for the newest variant of the MK 48 machine gun chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor at the 2019 Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC). The development of this machine gun, which joins FN’s other 6.5 offerings, was undertaken as part of FN’s response to USSOCOM’s qualification of the caliber last year.

The prototype FN MK 48 Mod 2 6.5CM features the latest upgrades for FN’s series of light and medium machine guns, including an adjustable stock for length of pull and cheek height; improved, locking charging handle; improved, double-notched sear; improved handguard with 3-, 6- and 9-o’clock positions with improved bipod; and, more robust feed tray latch, ensuring the feed tray cover locks into place during reloads. Once development is complete, existing MK 48 Mod 1 models can be configured at the armorer level to the Mod 2 variant or newest caliber with the addition of the upgrade kit and barrel conversion.

The FN MK 48 Mod 0, adopted as a USSOCOM program of record in 2003, was developed from FN Herstal’s 7.62x51mm FN MINIMI® at the request for a compact and easily-maneuverable machine gun in a heavier caliber. The improvements to the MK 48 were also incorporated into the M249 series and is in service with USSOCOM as the MK 46 5.56x45mm machine gun. In addition, FN also holds current USSOCOM contracts for the MK 17 7.62-caliber carbine and MK 20 SSR precision rifle.

To see the newest MK 48 Mod 2 6.5CM and FN’s other legendary military firearms, please visit booth 804 at the 2019 SOFIC Conference in Tampa, Florida, or visit fnamerica.com.

So Long Special Operations Weather, Hello Special Reconnaissance

Saturday, May 18th, 2019

AIR FORCE TRANSITIONS ENLISTED SPECIALTY, GROWS SPECIAL TACTICS CAPABILITIES

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. – Enlisted Airmen have been analyzing weather since the very beginning of American military flight in 1917. Decades of hard-earned experience led to Special Operations Weather Team Airmen being designated with their own Air Force Specialty Code in 2008.

By combining the core skills of Special Operation Forces with their meteorology skills, SOWTs have been a critical asset to the War on Terror. Alongside Special Tactics teammates from forward deployed locations, SOWTs would gather, assess, and interpret environmental data in order to forecast weather impacts to operations. In a location like Afghanistan, this was vital to successful air-ground operations.

However, in an era of great power competition, the need to look critically at the entire U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command formation drove Headquarters Air Force and AFSOC to broaden the skillset of Special Tactics teams. On April 30, 2019, SOWT became Special Reconnaissance expanding the capacity and lethality of Air Force Special Tactics.

“Air Commandos need to operate effectively across the spectrum of conflict, from the low-end to the high-end and everywhere in between,” said Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, AFSOC commander.  “It’s what the nation expects from us and this transition demonstrates our commitment to the National Defense Strategy.”

SOWT Airmen have been an integral piece of Special Tactics with unique training to conduct multi-domain reconnaissance and surveillance across the spectrum of conflict and crisis. As Special Reconnaissance, or SR, they will continue to maintain their application of lethal and non-lethal air-to-ground integration of airpower.

“The evolution of Air Force Special Tactics on today’s battlefield has called for SOWT to transition their singular focus to a more holistic approach– the highly demanded special reconnaissance,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jeff Guilmain, the command chief of the 24th Special Operations Wing.

Special Reconnaissance, or SR, Airmen add a new capability to Special Tactics teams to prepare the environment and aid in air, space, cyberspace, and information superiority for the successful execution of Joint Force objectives.

“[Special Reconnaissance] will truncate [special operations] weather training with a shift in focus from long-term regional forecasting to short-term, small-scale, team-specific environmental reconnaissance with an emphasis on special recon as a whole.” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Thomas Howser, a career assistant functional manager for Special Reconnaissance.

The training pipeline for SR won’t be much different from that of SOWT’s.

Trainees will still undergo:

·         Selection Course

·         Initial Skills Course

·         U.S. Army Airborne School

·         U.S. Air Force Basic Survival School

·         U.S. Air Force Water Survival School

·         U.S. Air Force Underwater Egress Training

·         Special Operations Weather Course

·         Advanced Skills Training

·         Special Tactics Training

Combat dive and military free-fall qualifications, as well as recon-specific training, are being added to the pipeline.

Existing SOWTs will attend a Special Reconnaissance transition course that will sign off SR-specific training.

“This move will modernize the force and bridge a gap across all domains,” Howser said. “It will allow joint-interoperability across all the services with regards to Special Reconnaissance.”

The Special Reconnaissance designation is not only creating Air Force history, but honoring a giant in special operations weather history.

“SR” is the operator-initials of U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. William “Bill” Schroeder, a career special operations weather officer and former commander of the 342nd Training Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

Schroeder was fatally wounded during a struggle with a gunman after he instinctively placed himself between the armed individual and the squadron’s first sergeant, saving the lives of many, on April 8, 2016.

The new designation is just one way future Special Reconnaissance Airmen will remember their roots and the true meaning of service before self.

Story by Senior Airman Rachel Yates, 24th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

Photo by Staff Sergeant Sandra Welch

Ops-Core AMP Communication Headset Selected By USSOCOM To Modernize SOF Communications

Friday, May 17th, 2019

New technology in configurable headset delivers 3D Hear-Through and advanced hearing protection for combat operations.

May 16, 2019

Carbondale, PA, May 16, 2019. Gentex Corporation, a global leader in personal protection and situational awareness solutions for defense forces, emergency responders, and industrial personnel was selected by the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) for its Ops-Core® Adaptive Mission Platform (AMP™) Communication Headset as part of the Communication Accessory Suite Land (CASL) program. The AMP headset features 3D Hear-Through Technology, which restores and enhances the operator’s “natural hearing” of the outside environment for improved situational awareness in high noise environments, while also providing robust hearing protection with a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 22db. 

The Ops-Core AMP Communication Headset pushes the boundaries of operator configurability with a modular design that can be changed quickly from headband to helmet-rail mounted use and includes removable connectorized downleads with options for single, dual, or no downlead configurations. Additionally, the immersion rated, noise-canceling boom microphone can be swapped to the user’s preference of earcup, without the use of tools, or removed entirely. 

“Listening to end users and responding to their evolving needs has fueled Ops-Core’s heritage of innovation, which is evident again in the configurable AMP Headset,” said Peter Harbeck, SOF Business Development Manager, Gentex Corporation. “Our business development and product management team, comprised mainly of former and current end users, are dedicated to upholding the mission of Ops-Core—getting elite forces the products they need to keep them safe and enhance their mission effectiveness.”

Additional features of the Ops-Core AMP Communication Headset include optional wire-free, battery-free, Near Field Magnetic Induction (NFMI) Earplugs, which increase the systems NRR to 34dB, while maintaining clear-communication audio and ambient hear through.

“We’re proud to continue to support the military in combating the issues of operating in high noise environments with our latest communications and hearing protection technology,” added Tom Short, Vice President Ground Systems, Gentex Corporation.  “Based on decades of experience with military communications and hearing protection, Gentex also provides the Active Noise Reduction (ANR) headset for the F-35 program.”

The Ops-Core AMP Communication Headset will be on display in the Operator Pavilion during SOFIC 2019, May 20-23 in Tampa, Florida.

Part of Gentex Corporation’s portfolio for defense, emergency response, and security forces, the focus and dedication of the company’s Ops-Core brand remains the same –protecting elite forces.  The modular, scalable, open-architecture design of Ops-Core products allow for seamless integration and true system level performance. 

www.ops-core.com

Gentex Awarded Contract for USSOCOM Next Generation SOF Helmets

Friday, May 17th, 2019

Ops-Core helmet system delivers true system-level performance and innovation

May 16, 2019

Carbondale, PA, May 16, 2019. Gentex Corporation, a global leader in personal protection and situational awareness solutions for defense forces, emergency responders, and industrial personnel, announced today that its Ops-Core® FAST helmet system was chosen by the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to fulfill their contract for Special Operations Forces Personal Equipment Advanced Requirements (SPEAR) Family of Tactical Headborne Systems (FTHS) — Ballistic and Non-Ballistic Helmets. 

Gentex Corporation has supplied helmets and accessories driven by user input from special operations forces for SOCOM since the introduction of the Para Master High Altitude Low Opening (PM HALO) helmet in 2005 and the acquisition of Ops-Core Inc. in 2011. As the incumbent in the highly competitive bid process, Gentex Corporation received the award through full and open competition. The company utilized the latest design and technological innovations of its Ops-Core FAST SF helmet to deliver a high performing FTHS system that features improved comfort, increased stability, reduced personal signature, greater system integration and a significant weight reduction over currently fielded Ops-Core FAST helmets.

“We’re honored to have been chosen again to deliver the next generation of helmet systems for SOCOM Operators,” said Tom Short, vice president Ground Systems, Gentex Corporation. “Working directly with current operators to understand their needs, plus continued investments in cutting-edge technologies has enabled us to deliver the most advanced, innovative solutions to USSOCOM and other global defense, emergency response, and security forces.” 

The new SPEAR FTHS helmet system comes in ballistic and non-ballistic versions, each compatible with all current USSOCOM headborne accessories. Separate from FTHS, new modular Ops-Core accessories include an NVG compatible Step-In Visor, a range of mandibles (including ballistic, non-ballistic, and force-on-force), and a scalable two-piece ballistic applique for the non-ballistic helmet which provides the same level of ballistic protection as the FTHS ballistic helmet. The commercially available ballistic version of the helmet system, the Ops-Core FAST SF Super High Cut Helmet System, will be on display in the company’s booth at SOF Select in the Operator Pavilion during SOFIC 2019, May 20 – 23 in Tampa, Florida.

Part of Gentex Corporation’s portfolio for defense, emergency response, and security forces, the focus and dedication of the company’s Ops-Core brand remains the same –protecting elite forces.  The modular, scalable, open-architecture design of Ops-Core products allows for seamless integration and true system level performance.

www.ops-core.com

Nikola Reckless

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

SOFWERX partnered with Nikola, Planck, Profense and AimLock to create the Nikola Reckless. This technology is a weaponized, remotely piloted vehicle for exploration of man-machine teaming.

The Reckless goes from 0-60 MPH in four seconds flat thanks to its four independant electric motors which directly drive each wheel. This also means it will still get you or your payload there, even if one motor is damaged. Additionally, it has a low thermal signature thanks to its refrigerant cooling system.

USSOCOM Inducts Four Historic Figures into the Commando Hall of Honor

Sunday, April 28th, 2019

Virginia Hall, Army Col. Charles Munske, Army Lt. Col. Leif Bangsboll and Command Master Chief (SEAL) Richard Rogers, were inducted into U.S. Special Operations Command’s Commando Hall of Honor for their remarkable contributions to special operations in a ceremony held at the headquarters on MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, April 18, 2019. Although their actions were from another era, they embody the first Special Operations Forces truth “Humans are more important than hardware.” The four inductees are an eclectic group of special operations pioneers who shared a dedication and a commitment to defending our country.

Hall, an amputee and first female operative sent into France during World War II spying in Lyon, the Nazi-allied Vichy government of France. Munske, a career Civil Affairs officer credited for rebuilding Japanese infrastructure after the devastation of World War II and was in the forefront rebuilding both Pyongyang and Seoul during the Korean conflict. Bangsboll, a Danish turned American Office of Strategic Services operator who parachuted behind enemy lines into Denmark helping defeat the Germans during World II earning the Distinguished Service Cross and who would also go on to serve with valor in Korea. Rogers, a SEAL would serve from platoon point man to senior enlisted leader USSOCOM from 2000 to 2003.

The limping lady

Hall, the daughter of a wealthy family from Baltimore, wanted to become a Foreign Service Officer before the outbreak of World War II, but was turned down by the State Department despite being fluent in French, German, and Italian. Women could be clerks but not officers. Besides, she was missing her left leg below the knee, the result of a hunting accident in Turkey years earlier, which to the State Department further disqualified her.

Undeterred, Hall went overseas and joined the British Special Operations Executive. There, she became the SOE’s first female operative sent into France. For two years she spied in Lyon, part of the Nazi-allied Vichy government of France under the guise of a New York Post reporter. After the United States entered the war, she was forced to escape to Spain by foot across the Pyrenees Mountains in the middle of winter.

Hall eventually made it back to London, where the SOE trained her as a wireless radio operator. While there, she learned of the newly formed Office of Strategic Services. She quickly joined, and, at her request, the OSS sent her back into occupied France, an incredibly dangerous mission given that she was already well-known to the Germans as a supposed newspaper reporter.

Though only in her thirties with a tall, athletic build, she disguised herself as an elderly peasant, dying her soft-brown hair a graying black, shuffling her feet to hide her limp, and wearing full skirts and bulky sweaters to add weight to her frame. Her forged French identity papers said she was Marcelle Montagne, daughter of a commercial agent named Clement Montagne of Vichy. Her code name was Diane.

Infiltrating France in March 1944, she initially acted as an observer and radio operator in the Haute-Loire, a mountainous region of central France. While undercover she coordinated parachute drops of arms and supplies for Resistance groups and reported German troop movements to London as well as organized escape routes for downed Allied airmen and escaped prisoners of war. By staying on the move she was able to avoid the Germans, who were trying to track her from her radio transmissions.

Her chief pursuer was no less than Gestapo Chief Nikolaus “Klaus” Barbie, infamously known as “The Butcher of Lyon.” The one thing they knew about her was that she limped, and therefore she became known to the Gestapo as “The Limping Lady.”

In mid-August 1944, Hall was reinforced by the arrival of a three-man Jedburgh team. Together they armed and trained three battalions of French resistance fighters for sabotage missions against the retreating Germans. In her final report to headquarters. Hall stated that her team had destroyed four bridges, derailed freight trains, severed a key rail line in multiple places, and downed telephone lines. They were also credited with killing some 150 Germans and capturing 500 more.

For her work with the SOE Hall was presented the Order of the British Empire by King George VI. The French government gave her the Croix de Guerre avec Palme. After the war, she was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross-the only one awarded to a woman during World War II. It was pinned on by OSS head Army Maj. Gen. William J. “Wild Bill” Donovan himself.

She went to work for the National Committee for a Free Europe, a Central Intelligence Agency front organization associated with Radio Free Europe. She used her covert action expertise in a wide range of agency activities, chiefly in support of resistance groups in Iron Curtain countries, until she retired in 1966.

Virginia Hall died on July 8, 1982, aged 76. In 2017, the CIA named a training facility after her: “The Virginia Hall Expeditionary Center.”

The Mayor of Pyongyang

Munske’s lengthy Civil Affairs military career began on Dec. 14, 1914 when he enlisted in the 13th Coast Defense Command, New York National Guard. His first exposure to Civil Affairs/Military Government activities was as a sergeant and interpreter for the postwar Engineer Operations Division of War Damages in Allied Countries section of the American Commission to negotiate peace in Paris.

Munske received a commission on June 7, 1920 as a second lieutenant in the New York National Guard serving until 1940, when he joined the active Army. After being stuck in the U.S. as a Coast Artillery officer in 1944 Munske made a career change to get overseas. He volunteered to attend the School of Military Government at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He next attended Harvard’s Civil Affairs Training School from before going to the Civil Affairs Staging Area at The Presidio, California.

In November 1945, he was sent to Japan to serve as the Assistant Chief of Staff G-5 (Military Government) of the 98th Infantry Division, headquartered in Osaka. Much of his time was spent administering civil matters, including jump-starting Japanese local industry. To do this effectively, he learned the language and culture, and attended many meetings and social events in order to make inroads with the local civilian population. His assistance to more than six million inhabitants of the Osaka Fu, Mie, Wakayama and Nara prefectures, would earn him a Legion of Merit and the Army Commendation Ribbon.

In October 1950 and Munske was assigned to the Pyongyang Civil Assistance Team of the United Nations Public Health and Welfare Detachment. He accompanied the victorious UN forces north to Pyongyang, which fell to UN forces on Oct. 19, 1950. He became known as the “Mayor of Pyongyang” when he and his fourteen-man military/civilian team achieved dramatic success when they found resources to reestablish infrastructure, resumed trash collection, established a fire brigade, made sure city workers were paid, immunized 3,500 people against typhus and another 4,000 against smallpox, reestablished the police force and law and order, organized a rudimentary health care system and set up insecticidal dusting stations to prevent and control the spread of lice and flea-borne infectious diseases. They also repaired two power plants, fixed the streetcar and telephone system and began reconstructing the key railroad bridge across the Taedong River. However, all of this hard work was for naught.

By late October 1950, the UN forces had pushed the North Korean Army across the Yalu River, the northern border with China. It was then that massive infiltrations of volunteer Communist Chinese forces attacked behind UN lines. This human onslaught quickly overwhelmed the strung out UN forces forcing them to retreat across enemy occupied territory. By the beginning of December, Communist forces were at the gates of Pyongyang. Munske had no choice but to order the destruction of what his team had recently rebuilt and join the retreat.

His next assignment was as Executive Officer of the Kyongsang-Namdo (Pusan) Provincial Civil Assistance Team where he helped administer the sizeable refugee population in and around Pusan. After UN forces again pushed the Communists north, Munske headed the Kyonggi­ Do Province (Seoul) Civil Assistance Team. He was instrumental in rebuilding the major metropolitan areas of Seoul, Inchon, and Suwon, all of which had suffered greatly having been twice occupied by the Communists.

The last phase of Munske’s CA career was as Inspector General of the New York Military District, with concurrent duties as Legal Assistance Officer and Senior Advisor for Military Government units. He inspected reserve Military Government units and Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) programs.

Munske retired Feb. 28, 1958 with 20 years of active service while serving nearly 43 years in the military. The 95th Civil Affairs Brigade has named their headquarters building after him.

He passed away on Nov. 14, 1985 at the age of 88, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

OSS operator to Green Beret plank holder

Born in Denmark in 1918, Leif Bangsboll was the son of Danish Navy Rear Admiral Frederick Christian Bangsboll who commanded the Danish submarine fleet. In 1935, he volunteered for the Royal Danish Naval Air Force and trained as an observer prior to joining the merchant marine. In September 1940, he joined the Norwegian Air Force (in exile) in Canada, where he trained as a flight sergeant. Knowing that he would not see action he volunteered for the U.S. Army, joining as a Private First Class on March 22, 1943.

Fluent in Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish, and able to speak French, German and Greenlandic, the Office of Strategic Services recruited him in September 1943. At first, the OSS employed him as an instructor at RTU-11, otherwise known as the Farm, a school for teaching the methods of secret intelligence work. He was then sent to the Danish operations section of the OSS Special Operations branch. Because he was unable to get a U.S. Army commission at the time by agreement with the OSS the British Army gave him a commission as a first lieutenant. He eventually got his U.S. commission on Nov. 6, 1944.

On the night of Oct. 5, 1944 Bangsboll parachuted into occupied Denmark near Allborg, and was “the only American officer serving as an agent” in that country. Until the end of the war, he lived as a civilian- subject to execution as a spy if caught- and helped arm, train, and lead the Danish resistance while reporting on conditions in the country. He also engaged in several sabotage missions, including blowing rail and communications lines seriously delaying German troop movements. While in Copenhagen in May 1945, Bangsboll led a resistance force that captured German artillery pieces and machineguns leading to the surrender of the entire garrison. For his extremely dangerous assignment in a country with a robust enemy counter-intelligence network. Bangsboll received the Distinguished Service Cross and a number of Danish awards. After the war in Europe ended. He then briefly served in Germany with the OSS successor, the Strategic Services Unit.

After returning to the U.S., Bangsboll attended Intelligence Officer’s training at Camp Holabird, Maryland, and served in airborne units at Fort Bragg, NC. Before deploying to pre-war South Korea. There, he served as a Public Safety Officer in the 59th Military Government Headquarters and Headquarters Company. He then became an intelligence and reconnaissance platoon leader in the 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment.

When this unit was sent to Korea as the Regimental Combat Team Bangsboll again went to war. For an action on Nov. 16, 1950 he received the Silver Star for leading a small force behind enemy lines near Pyongwon-ni, North Korea. His platoon overwhelmed a North Korean garrison and discovered the location and contents of a food storage warehouse. Later ordered to destroy the warehouse, Bangsboll once again led his numerically inferior force in killing the enemy defenders, demolishing the warehouse with its estimated 100 to 150 tons of dried food all with no friendly casualties.

When he returned from Korea Bangsboll briefly served with the Central Intelligence Agency before coming to the Psychological Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, with further assignment to the newly-established I0th Special Forces Group (Airborne). Bangsboll taught guerrilla warfare and clandestine operations and helped develop the initial program of instruction. As an instructor, he excelled. He also attended the Psychological Warfare course at Georgetown University thus being qualified in both of the Army’s special operations fields.

Bangsboll retired from the U.S. Army April 30, 1963 and passed away Nov. 20, 2001.

Lifetime of service to naval special warfare

Retired Command Master Chief Petty Officer Richard Rogers, (SEAL), spent 31 years of active duty in elite special operations forces taking countless assignments from platoon point man ultimately becoming the senior enlisted leader for USSOCOM from August 2000 to August 2003.

Rogers also has an extensive resume of military experience within the Naval Special Warfare community. He joined the Navy in July 1972 and completed Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in May 1973. Moving through the ranks he started as SEAL platoon point man and communicator at SEAL Team ONE; as an instructor at BUD/S; as a platoon cartographer/intelligence specialist, the intelligence department head, the ordnance department head, the command career counselor, and a platoon chief petty officer at SEAL Team FIVE; and as a boat crew leader at SEAL Team SIX. Rogers also served as an Operations Chief Petty Officer, Assistance Current Operations Officer at Naval Special Warfare Development Group. He studied Spanish at the Defense Language Institute. Additionally, he served as the Command Master Chief at Naval Special Warfare Unit EIGHT in Panama; Naval Special Warfare Group ONE in Coronado, California; and Special Operations Command, Europe in Stuttgart, Germany.

An expert in a variety in special operations skills, Rogers was qualified as an open and closed circuit scuba diver, open and closed circuit diving supervisor, static line and free-fall parachutist, static line and free-fall jumpmaster, small arms range safety officer, close quarter combat range safety officer, and helicopter castmaster. He trained and mentored recruits aspiring to become SEALs and Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewman, trained indigenous forces throughout southwest Asia.

A seasoned combat veteran he held leadership positions in combat Operations Just Cause in Panama and Allied Force in Bosnia, and he became the first Theater Special Operations Command-Europe senior enlisted leader.

As the senior enlisted leader of USSOCOM he ushered in a new era for SOF, when the command transitioned from peacetime engagement to the War on Terrorism.

Rogers retired from the Navy in 2003 and continues to work to improve the training and professional development of naval special warfare personnel as a civilian at the Center for SEAL and Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewman. He became the driving force in the development of the new SEAL and SWCC ratings for enlisted personnel. Rogers also successfully negotiated additional senior enlisted billets from the Navy to ensure proper force structure for the community.

In May 2006, he assumed the N3 (Operations directorate) position at the Center for SEAL and SWCC, a learning center to manage the new SEAL and SWCC ratings, where he continues to improve the training and professional development of naval special warfare personnel.

In total, Rogers has dedicated 47 years to naval special warfare and special operations. Mentoring the special warfare community for nearly half a century, his contributions will have a lasting impact for future generations of naval special operators.

Story by Michael Bottoms, USSOCOM

Remembering Operation Eagle Claw

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019

Today marks the anniversary of Operation Eagle Claw. In the early morning hours of 25 April, 1980 President Carter announced to a stunned world that the United States had undertaken an ambitious raid into Iran to liberate 52 American hostages held illegally at our Embassy compound in Tehran. The assault force can be seen here, loading C141s.

Unfortunately, Operation Eagle Claw was unsuccessful and we lost eight American servicemen in a horrible aircraft ground collision.

20120424-214950.jpg

However, their deaths were not in vain. The hostages were eventually repatriated and the accident was the watershed event that created, over the next several decades, the world’s preeminent Special Operations capability; USSOCOM and its components. We wouldn’t be where are today without the determination of that fledgling task force. Join me in remembering those that had the guts to try.