On August, 6, 2011, 30 American Heroes including 22 US Navy Seals and 2 Army Rangers, lost their lives when they were placed on a slow-moving, Vietnam era Chinook CH47 Chopper and sent into the night on a mission from which they would never return. This tragedy represents the greatest collateral loss of Navy Seal life since the founding of the unit.
What happened that night? What went wrong? And was this avoidable?
A careful examination of the facts from that fateful evening reveal the abandonment of nearly every military protocol and safeguard ordinarily employed during similar missions. I will lay them out in three principle categories:
1.) Why Were Navy Seals Used?
As any member of the military can tell you, militarily speaking, Navy Seals are worth their weight in gold. What that means is, they are not used frivolously. Navy Seals are typically used for special operations and high-profile captures. Therefore, since this mission called for neither, why was the decision made to include Navy Seals? Who made this decision?
2.) Why the Chinook CH47?
Once upon a time, the Chinook Model CH47 was the Alpha Model of helicopters first introduced to the military in 1958. Unfortunately, the year is 2012. The CH47 even out dates the Navy Seals. It is a very slow-moving, slow-turning chopper that is great for use as a transport as long as it’s accompanied by fighter jets and various other protocols are observed. No matter how you slice it however, it is not a craft typically used to transport Navy Seals.
1.) How Many Seal Teams Were Used?
As I mentioned above, Navy Seals are extremely valuable and not ordinarily used with frivolity. A Navy Seal Team is a six man team. Not only are Navy Seals used conservatively, there are never more than one Seal Team on an aircraft at a time. Therefore, why were four Navy Seal Teams placed on the same old, slow-turning chopper on August 6, 2011?
2.) New Rules of Engagement
According to the testimony of Apache Fighter Pilots, thanks to the new battlefield rules of engagement ordered by President Obama, the two Apache’s which had accompanied the CH47 that evening and even watched the enemies loading and firing the missile, were unable to unload their cannons to stop the attack or even suppress the fire because supposedly their were “friendlies” in a nearby building.
1.) Same Flight Path
Tactically speaking, when it comes to military flight patterns, particularly those used of special forces such as the Navy Seals, pilots never fly the same flight path as an immediately previous aircraft. The reason is, if we sent all our aircrafts over the same exact flight path all day, the enemy could just lay in wait to shoot down the next one to fly over. Constantly changing flight paths serves to guard our locations and not tip the enemy off as to where or what direction the next target may arrive. So why was this Chinook sent on the identical flight path of the previous flight before it?
2.) No Diversionary Landing Zone
One of the tactics employed by Navy Seals to ensure safe landing and to confuse the enemy is the the use of diversionary landing zones. The purpose of diversionary landing zones is so the enemy does not know where a Seal Landing is actually occurring. So while the enemy is drawn to the faux landing zone, our brave heroes are landing safely, elsewhere. Why was there no diversionary landing zone used this time?
In conclusion, on August 6, 2011, our Commander in Chief, President Obama presided over the deaths of more Navy Seals than the entire history of the unit when our bravest and fiercest warriors were used in an uncommon fashion and in unusually high numbers as they were placed on an old, slow-moving chopper, headed over the identical flight path of the aircraft before it, without a diversionary landing zone and bound under new rules of engagement that tie the hands of our warriors on the front line.
Was this tragedy avoidable?
You be the judge.
May God Bless the families of these fallen American Heroes!