More than 20 Navy Seals died in the helicopter crash that killed 31 in Afghanistan yesterday. Six weeks into his deployment, Lee experienced his worst day as a helicopter pilot to that point. Copyright 2023 Center for the National Interest All Rights Reserved, the 2011 raid that killed Osama Bin Laden. There was no conspiracy. The military's public contradictions raise more questions than answers. Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Vaughn was one of the SEAL Team 6 operators who died in the crash. Originally published August 6, 2011 at 10:50 am Updated August 6, 2011 at 3:16 pm. The navigator on the AC-130 gunship said there was simply too much gun and engine noise to think that the Chinook could make an undetected entrance. DevGru is an emblem of U.S. military power, known worldwide. The night before he left to go to Fort Hood, where he would board a plane to Afghanistan, the biggest event of the 10-year war occurred: Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan during a raid by Navy SEALs. After the crash, the forces that were involved in the firefight "broke contact" with the enemy so they could go provide perimeter security for the crash site, the official said. All rights reserved. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver. In all 38 troops died after the helicopter was shot down by what a review determined to be a Taliban RPG over Wardak Province, Afghanistan, on Aug. 6, 2011. The crash took the lives of 17 SEALs and five special warfare development group operators, making it the worst one-day loss in the history of U.S. naval special operations. The Chinook headed to a different landing zone than the first assault team -- one in the narrowest part of the Tangi Valley. There's always the chance that Iran, which has them, or Pakistan, which conceivably could have bought some on the black market, supplied them to the Taliban. They believe SEAL Team 6 had a target on its back and that persons inside the Afghan National Security Forces may have tipped off the Taliban that night in Tangi Valley. It was the largest single loss of life for Seal Team 6, also known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, (DEVGRU) in the unit's history. There are no survivors. "Chance will always play a role in war," stated Justin "Buddy" Lee, the commander of Extortion Company, who had flown with Dave Carter the night before Extortion 17's demise on a similar raid, and who had co-piloted a number of missions with Bryan Nichols. As he did, he felt the craft leveling off. The families of some of the 17 SEAL Team 6 commandos who were killed in an ambush in Afghanistan during a helicopter flight to help Army Rangers pinned down by Taliban gunmen accused the. The military's public c On a moonless night, an Army helicopter carrying 17 members of the elite Navy SEAL Team 6, the unit that killed Osama Bin Laden, is shot down in Afghanistan. The force included seven Afghan soldiers and an Afghan interpreter. Call Sign Extortion 17: The Shoot-Down of SEAL Team Six is a 2015 non-fiction expose, written by best-selling author and former U.S. Navy JAG Officer Don Brown, about the 2011 Chinook shootdown in Afghanistan of a United States Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter. I would say that on the three-minute call is when Gun 2 started looking at the LZ, giving an LZ brief op. Joe Pappalardo is a contributing writer at Popular Mechanics and author of the new book, Spaceport Earth: The Reinvention of Spaceflight. Were handing rifles to 20-year-olds and asking them to shoot people. The World is a public radio program that crosses borders and time zones to bring home the stories that matter. A chief warrant officer 5, a member of the Colorado National Guard, Carter had over 4,500 flying hours, including more than 1,000 hours during combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. military claimed that the Chinook was blown to pieces by a shoulder-fired missile, in which everyone on board was burned beyond recognition. A silhouette of a flight engineer manning an M240 machine gun on the ramp of a CH-47D Chinook in eastern Afghanistan. The mission continues, uninterrupted.3:39 p.m. Osama bin Laden is located on the third floor of the compound and is shot in the head, above the left eye.Sometime during the operation, three other men (including one of bin Ladens sons) and a woman in the compound are also killed.3:53 p.m. President Obama receives preliminary word that bin Laden is identified and dead.3:55 p.m. SEAL team members move bin Ladens body to the first floor of the compound and place it in a body bag.3:39 p.m.-4:10 p.m. The team locates and retrieves multiple items from the compound for intelligence investigation.4:05 p.m. The first helicopter exits the compound.4:08 p.m. The team destroys the chopper that crashed.4:10 p.m. A backup helicopter scoops up remaining team members and leaves the area.5:53 p.m. The choppers with SEAL team members return to Afghanistan.7:01 p.m. President Obama receives further intelligence information that the body killed in the raid is likely that of bin Laden.11:35 p.m. President Obama addresses the nation about the raid.12:59 a.m. Osama bin Ladens body is buried at sea within 24 hours to comply with Islamic law. Neither did the risk he and his pilots faced every night. Men he knew. As for himself, he speaks out about Extortion 17 because he wants to remember the men on that mission. The Benghazi attack in 2012 plays a part in some other versions of the tale. So, to do an infil on the X or Y, you know, having that element of surprise in the beginning of an operation is good, but by the time weve been there for three hours, and the partys up, bringing in another aircraft like that, you know, may not be the most tactically sound decision.. Some of those Seals were members of Seal Team 6 that took part in the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, the AP reported today; although they were not actual participants in the Pakistan raid, according to the New York Times. The Joint Combat Assessment Team report identified, through detailed metallurgical analysis, the type of projectile that blew Extortion 17 out of the sky: an antipersonnel unguided ballistic rocket propelled grenade. There was a lot of experience in that cockpit, the flight engineers and the door gunners. Get everything off your social media. Additional forces were then sent to secure the crash site. One of the engines flew off, and the other caught fire. They have to slow down to land or allow troops to rappel to the ground. Quotes displayed in real-time or delayed by at least 15 minutes. "President Karzai expressed his deep condolences because of this incident and expressed his sympathy to Barack Obama.". Special forces are very selective on who they partner with, but any collaboration with Afghans opens up U.S. In interviewing Buddy for background research for my book, The Final Mission of Extortion 17, which chronicles the people, events, and circumstances of the downing of Extortion 17, I realized that this tragedy illustrates Buddy's words more convincingly perhaps than any other incident. SEAL Team Six was assigned three pre-invasion missions: two clandestine political missions relating to regime change on the island, and reconnaissance from the sea of the new airfield under construction on the island's southwest coast. Some of those Seals were members of Seal Team 6 that took part in the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, the AP reported today; although they were not actual participants in the Pakistan raid, according to the New York Times. U.S. Central Commands official investigation concluded that a rocket-launched grenade from a Taliban fighter standing near the landing zone clipped a rotary wing, sending the Ch-47 Chinook into a violent downward spin. The attack on August 6 was the most devastating day in SEAL Team Six history, as well as the single largest loss of life for U.S. forces since the war in Afghanistan began in October. We also mourn the Afghans who died alongside our troops in pursuit of a more peaceful and hopeful future for their country. Trump, who is running for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, announced a slate of futuristic new policies in a campaign video Friday. Afghan President Karzai's office released a statement on the incident. Coincidence or not, any Chinook shoot-down is a coup for the Taliban. It requires the highest level of skills from the pilots because they are some of the most dangerous operations.. The terrorist leader was not only a major player within al-Qaeda but also a figurehead that attracted supporters and recruits from around the world. Several Afghans were on board and were killed, but trust is in short supply in Afghanistan. Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, BroadStreet Review and Splice Today. But Chinooks are at their most vulnerable while hovering in place during raids like the one this team is thought to have been conducting. By the time the third sped away from its launcher, however, no target remained. He knew the pilots and crew members aboard Extortion 17. Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The last worst one-day U.S. casuality record in Afghanistan was on June 28, 2005 when 16 U.S. soldiers were killed in Kunar province after a helicopter was shot down by Taliban insurgents. They were part of his command. These materials provided much-needed intelligence about bin Ladens role within al-Qaeda and the organizations inner-workings. The pilots ranked among the most proficient in this type of flying and the Department of Defense. Fallen Angel: Call Sign - Extortion 17: Directed by Karl Horstmann, Stephen Spivey. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. That assault team captured Tahirs compound and some of his men. Still, the one the president retweeted earlier this week may have been the weirdest yet. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, Get the latest breaking news from North Texas and beyond. I find it quite disturbing that the government is not willing to give us the answers we deserve. "Their deaths are a reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices made by the men and women of our military and their families, including all who have served in Afghanistan," Obama said in a statement. In that incident, 16 Navy SEALs and Army special operations troops were killed when their craft was shot down while on a mission to rescue four SEALs under attack by the Taliban. It was an auspicious day for the two enemy fighters. Up to 30 Dead in Afghanistan Following Failed Prison Heist, Total Iraq and Afghanistan Pricetag: Over $4 Trillion. We were told at that time we were the first unit to make it through a rotation without having anyone killed.. And it even led Robert ONeill, the Trump-supporting Navy Seal who claims to have fired the shot that killed Bin Laden, to tweet that the conspiracy theories both about the Bin Laden double and about the Seals from the raid having been killed arent true. While some of those who lost their lives that day were members of Seal Team 6, it was not the same platoon that had carried out the Bin Laden raid, and none of those killed in the crash had been a part of that event. The hearing as it took place was meant to honor the heroes of Extortion 17 instead of to answer our questions, Mr. ", While not commenting directly on the allegations, he called those who were lost "warriors" who represented "the diversity and talent of America and its military.". Extortion 17: Directed by Franois Garcia. It was the worst day for fatalities in the history of naval special warfare. They are also pretty tough; the only comparable loss to this one was a Chinook shot down in 2005. On April 29, 2011, President Barack Obama authorized a small special operations team, known as SEAL Team Six, to carry out a raid on the compound. Strange also blamed top military brass for sending the troops into a situation they were allegedly ill-equipped and unprepared to handle. Planners had created an absolutely sound mission. A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabiullah Mujahid, confirmed that insurgents had been gathering at the compound, adding that eight of them had been killed in the fighting. The team boarded Extortion 17 with Dave Carter and Bryan Nichols at the controls. A Defense Department special operations official told a House subcommittee last year that there is no indication the mission was compromised by the Afghans. Darack did extensive research of what happened next. The Chinook was descending on a noisy battlefield where Apache helicopters and a C-130 gunship had been buzzing overhead for three hours, alerting Taliban fighters. One by one, fathers and mothers of the victims of the crash spoke about what they see as gaping holes or inconsistencies in the review of what U.S. Special Operations considers its most deadly incident. I didnt want to die., He remembered the words of his old flight instructor: Never stop flying the aircraft.. But why? Its lawyers have told the judge that the process of locating relevant documents and removing classified information takes time. But this might just take the cake. It alleges thatthe 2011 raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, which took place when Biden was vice president, did not actually kill the al-Qaeda leader, but rather a body double, and that Iran had been part of the conspiracy as well. The landing zone was small, and the commanders didnt want to split up the strike force. In 2006, he was called into Afghanistan, where he turned 25. The former vice president has become the Democratic front-runner with primary victories across the country. You've successfully subscribed to this newsletter! They fail to mention it was Saudis who orchestrated 9/11, yet he elected to go after Iraq and Afghanistan. Whether enemy fire brought down the Chinook or a tree strike would never be known for sure. There were guys in a tower. Charles Strange, whose son Michael, 25, died in the attack said Obama personally promised him a thorough investigation of what happened but has failed to deliver. Landing in deserts or mountainsides, the helicopter rotors kick up clouds of sand and dust, causing brownouts that can blind a pilot. Navy SEALs. The Chinook had no Apache escort, as did the Ranger team that enjoyed the element of surprise when it touched down hours earlier. Due to the sheer magnitude of loss of life, combined with recent news of SEAL Team Six's successful raid on Osama bin Laden's compound, global media outlets lionized the tragedy. Navy SEAL Team Six, the heroic unit that killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan in May 2011, is in grave danger due to the reckless actions of the Obama administration. A Marine speaks into a radio and troops unload a CH-47D Chinook in Afghanistan's Kunar Province. The US Navy's elite SEAL Team 6 reportedly recovered two bodies and a flight recorder from the site where a US Air Force E-11A aircraft crashed in Afghanistan on Monday. August 6, 2011 / 6:08 PM / CBS Boston KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- A military helicopter was shot down in eastern Afghanistan, killing 31 U.S. special operation troops, most of them from the. Fallen Angel.. During an attempted reinforcement effort during Operation Red Wings on June 28, 2005, high on the slopes of a mountain called Sawtalo Sar in eastern Afghanistan's Kunar Province, a lucky shot took down an Army Special Operations Chinook, call sign "Turbine 33." .css-v1xtj3{display:block;font-family:FreightSansW01,Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif;font-weight:100;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:0;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}@media (any-hover: hover){.css-v1xtj3:hover{color:link-hover;}}@media(max-width: 48rem){.css-v1xtj3{font-size:1.1387rem;line-height:1.2;margin-bottom:1rem;margin-top:0.625rem;}}@media(min-width: 40.625rem){.css-v1xtj3{line-height:1.2;}}@media(min-width: 48rem){.css-v1xtj3{font-size:1.18581rem;line-height:1.2;margin-bottom:0.5rem;margin-top:0rem;}}@media(min-width: 64rem){.css-v1xtj3{font-size:1.23488rem;line-height:1.2;margin-top:0.9375rem;}}Russian Cargo Plane Explodes During Pressure Test, Air Force's IRON Wireless Network Protects Nukes, Watch Opposition Group Land Drone on Russian Jet, Pentagon's Mysterious Aircraft Won't Need a Runway, The Secret War to Take out Iran's F-14 Fighters, Meet the E-7 Wedgetail, the Air Forces New Plane, Report: Pilot Error Ruined a $112 Million F-35 Jet, Air Force Grounds Jets: Their Tails May Fall Off, The Messy Battle to Build the F-35's Next Engine, Russia Dredges Up Ancient BTR-50 Vehicles. A volley of three rockets total sped toward the general direction of the approaching Chinook, all launched within a few seconds of each other. The ensuing crash killed all 16 on board, eight Army special operations aviators, and eight Navy SEALs. How SEAL Team 6 . Hamburger added. But why? The Pentagons witness stuck to a theme that no mistakes were made that night, though the investigative file contained testimony from a number of witnesses saying the mission was riddled with missteps. Misinformation regarding the skills of the pilots and crew, and nonsensical conspiracy theoriesoften politically motivatedfollowed, much of which unfortunately continues to this day. By what name was Fallen Angel: Call Sign - Extortion 17 (2021) officially released in Canada in English? Its planners and pilots must use whatever intelligence is available (which is usually pretty thin information, and comes from earlier attacks) to plan the flight route. Extortion 17's pilots and crew ranked among the very best military helicopter pilots in the world (Carter had amassed more than 4,000 hours of cockpit time), and the helicopter, a CH-47D, the fastest and one of the most powerful and nimble in the U.S. military, had been maintained to the highest standards. It was a good crew, it really was. Lee and his friend Bryan Nichols flew their Chinook into battle several timesthe first night, dropping off troops at a landing zone (LZ) almost 10,000 feet above sea level. On a moonless night, an Army helicopter carrying 17 members of the elite Navy SEAL Team 6, the unit that killed Osama Bin Laden, is shot down in Afghanistan. The second RPG round had connected with one of Extortion 17's aft rotor blades, severing more than 10 feet of it when it exploded. The entire operation, which lasted only 40 minutes from start to finish, was the culmination of years of calculated planning and training.

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