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Thread: DEVGRU SEAL killed in raid in Yemen, Osprey lost

  1. #11
    Till Valhalla
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    RIP. Sad day indeed.

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    Site Supporter JM Campbell's Avatar
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    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie
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    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
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    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
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    In Flanders fields.

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    Site Supporter SeriousStudent's Avatar
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    As ReverendMeat said: Fair winds and following seas.

    My thoughts and prayers are with the fallen warrior, and his brothers. I wish the injured a full recovery, and a speedy return to duty.

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    Site Supporter Rex G's Avatar
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    Rest in peace.

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    BIDET MUAD'DIB LittleLebowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duces Tecum View Post
    No disrespect to the dead or wounded, but it would be nice to know how successful the SEAL raid was against the Al Qaeda leaders.
    Almost certainly need to know.

  9. #19
    Member JHC's Avatar
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    Long War Journal's info on the raid:
    "I realized all the mindset talk was useless without action and that with action, all the mindset talk was unnecessary." - Mike Pannone

  10. #20
    Site Supporter Giving Back's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duces Tecum View Post
    No disrespect to the dead or wounded, but it would be nice to know how successful the SEAL raid was against the Al Qaeda leaders.

    ***In keeping with policies, and to stay in Tom's good graces, before I publish my reply, I need to disclose that I am associated with the organization that is in the topic of this discussion. That association is not a secret to anyone here. But I will not get drawn into any further discussion regarding the organization, the detailed nature of my association, the tactics, equipment, or SOPs. I will also not acknowledge any question, comment, or statement made regarding the man (Chief Ryan Owens, the deceased), the mission, or the organization that is not currently published in current reporting of this event by genuine news sources*** (Examples: ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CNN, MSNBC, AP, Reuters, Al-Jazeera, Guardian, NYT, WSJ, WAPO......and I'm really not going to waste my time arguing the "genuine-ness" of the agencies listed)

    Duces Tecum: I do no take your question to be disrespectful, or even insensitive. Let's get real, I don't lose much sleep over the 6,775 people who I don't know who die every day in the U.S. That said, my response may seem to contradict my above statement. And I'm sure most will agree that it does. But this is also personal to me. Ryan Owens was my brother, and my Teammate. We came up through the wars at the same time, with his team time starting but one operational cycle behind mine.

    My answer is not direct, and doesn't address solely that question. But I get around to it eventually. But I'd like to add some perspective to people who read about, and comment about it, or talk to a guy at SHOT Show about, from someone who has lived it for 22+ years.

    If you want to keep reading, you've been warned.

    "How successful was the SEAL raid against the AQ Leaders?"

    Any time you bring one of the nation's premier warriors home in a bag, that word "successful" doesn't comes to mind. Nor is it the second, third, fourth, or even fifth concern. (Unlike some people who have to pipe in with smart ass, or dumb ass remarks about "best warriors" and who among SOF are "The Best Warriors".... All of our SOF are "The Best Warriors", regardless of branch of service, sub-unit, or specialties. I have the highest respect for ALL our SOF folks and don't play bullshit Junior High drama loved so much by B Teamers and REMF's. I've worked with, trained with, and fought alongside representatives of each and every one.......they are all A-Gamers)

    "How successful was the SEAL raid against the AQ Leaders?"

    A good man died. Thousands of miles from home. In a shit hole breeding ground for people who exist solely to kill Americans, and anyone else who doesn't think or believe as they do, and to transform the world to the next Islamic Caliphate Paradise. Hundreds of American's lives are forever changed today. From the family of the fallen warrior, to the families of the men coming home missing pieces, and the others with parts held on and in with duct tape. They will never be the same again. None of them. Children will grow up without a father. A wife will raise her children without her husband. Other wives and children, and mothers, and fathers, and brothers, and sisters, and friends, and teammates will spend the rest of their lives caring for their permanently disfigured and disabled family members and teammates. Other men will raise their fallen teammate's children. Take them to see the new Star Wars movie. Play Santa Clause. Teach a young boy how to hit a curve ball. How to treat a woman properly and with respect. He will give some (or a few) young man "the talk" on the night of an orphaned girl's first date. Walk the same beautiful young woman down the aisle and give her away as if she was his own just a few years later. He'll name his own son after his fallen comrades. And every man who came back frrom that mission will relive that night, along with hundreds of other nights, for the rest of their lives wondering if they had just done this, are instead did that, would Ryan, or Mikey, or Heath, or Nate, or, or, or, or might still be here today? Each of them will torture themselves with this daily, until their dying day.

    The friends of the man killed will drive around the block of his house for hours and hours after finally getting back from deployment, weeks or even months later, because he still.....after all that time......cannot find the strength or the courage to face her. The girl he left behind. The one you promised would bring him home safe and sound. To hear his kids call out your name and come running for hugs from their "Uncle" JoJo, or Sticky, or Wampum. Or running and hiding because they still dont understand, even four months later, and if Daddy isn't here anymore, they don't want you here anymore. Because the way you two looked and the way you two dressed and the way you two walked; damn near made you for twins, and she thought she had finally woke from her nightmare, and that you were her husband when she saw you when the door opened. And then reality hits again. Like a wrecking ball. Just like the day the chaplain and Casualty Assistance Calls Officer knocked on the door. Or walked into her office at work. And the wounds are ripped open. Like she found out it just happened all over again.

    Worlds came crashing down this weekend. It wasn't the first time. It won't be the last. It's not just SEALs. It's all SOF.

    It's been going on non-stop since Sept. 11th, 2001, when the first SEALs and other Special Operations Forces looked up from packing their bags in their living rooms to see the tears streamng down their wives' faces as they raced home from work, knowing the scene they were about to walk in. She'd have rather opened the door to find another woman naked and kneeling in from of her man with his pants around his ankles. She would have known how to handle that. But her heart pounded out if it's chest because she was afraid. More afraid than she had ever been in her life. And no one could help her overcome that fear. Even his childish grin and reassurances did not help. Comments about how he is "Too good looking to die in XYZ". The kids too young to understand why Daddy had to leave. "Don't you love us anymore?" a three year old blubbers out in between sobs at the airport. And still he gets on that fucking plane.

    Fearful of the unknown, as a young wife and mother, she wasn't old enough to remember Vietnam. Some of the parents of the warriors and their wives were, but it still left a bad taste in their mouths, if they had any connection to it at all? Many did not. But they too, were afraid as their sons and brothers went off to war. Would their warrior ever return? If he returned, would he be safe, and unharmed? If he returned safe and unharmed, would he be the same man he was before he left? If he wasn't any of these things, if he was wounded, or disraught, or least the "Something bigger than himself" he gave his heart and soul to, even more than he gave to his wife, would be there for him. Even if the worst happened, he would at least be able to get the best medical care, and uninhibited access to mental health professionals, counseling, vocational training, and everything would be okay. No matter what. The little lies they told themselves is how the families dealt with those uneasy days in mid-September.

    .................................................. ..............................

    But now this is 2017. It is no longer fear of the unknown. Everyone knows the very grim realities now. We've seen what they come home to. Everyone who has to live it each and every day of their lives knows. But because it's 2017, and our previous President of the United States ended the wars the war-mongering Alt-Right Wall Street fanatics had so lusted for and jumped into so eagerly. Iraq deployments were long a thing of the past. Afghanistan has drawn down to only advise and assist missions. Somalia? Oh, advise and assist. Whew! Yemen? Where in the hell is Yemen? But that's a Yemeni Civil War, we're certainly not having to worry about our husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, having to go into hostile action there. Libya? Are you serious? Well, at least the President isn't sending in troops on the ground. I mean, that's what the White House Press Secretary, and even the (then) President himself told the entire world "NO U.S. BOOTS ON THE GROUND IN LIBYA!".

    The men, and the ladies and families of the Special Operations community know that any given day could be the last. Even when it's just parachute jump training. He's done it 872 times before and is an genuine expert. Even when it is elementary, entry level, simple scenario training using blanks and simunition. Just going to do some after hours training at the pool. Just hitting the kayak for a leisurely paddle across the nice calm bay. And more than any of the rest, the men and women of USSOCOM have not stopped. They have not slowed down. In fact, as the war ended in Iraq, the "conflicts and operations other than war" vaulted through the roof. The pace of training and deployments has not only never let up, it has quadrupled. And then those wars that were over, because it was politically convienient for them to end, or "transition to 'advise & assist' missions with our local nation's military", suddenly weren't over.

    And even though the pace of training and operations had quadrupled, the budget for everything was cut by 2/3. So now, undermanned, over-taxed, under-funded, and spread so thin there is not a single "Complete, 100%" manned and equipped unit in USSOCOM, we tax them again. Bump up those numbers in Afghanistan, the Generals who were fired were right. Back to Iraq, the Generals who were fired were right. Somalia and Yemen are governless, lawless; the exact conditions which allowed AQ and Bin Laden's cronies and wannabe's to grow, coordinate, train, equip, plan, and execute major terror attacks throughout the world. We saw this coming, and prepared. Except the forces we are supposed to have are still in Afghanistan. Back in Iraq. Now we're gonna have to put guys on the ground to help overthrow Qaddafi. Can't send in the 101st Airborne. Neither Congress, the American people, or the court of world opinion will allow that. Anywhere. Not Yemen. Not Iraq. Not Afghanistan. Not Libya. Not The Philipines. Not Columbia. Not Cameroon. Not Nigeria. Not Chad. Not Northern or Southern Sudan.

    "HEY SOF!! YOU'RE UP!!".

    USSOF hasn't taken the brunt of the casualties. Statistically, they are only marginally (fractions of percentages) higher than other combat arms casualties. The difference is men & women who make up SOF. The bulk of conventional forces is comprised of one term enlistees. The backbone is from NCOs and O-3/O-4s who may have extended for one more contract. The leadership is from the minority of careerists. The bulk of our SOF is mid-grade and senior NCOs. The backbone of our SOF is mid-grade and senior NCOs. The leadership is carefully groomed, selected, and proven officers...........and Senior NCOs.

    What makes it so taxing isn't just what I babbled about above. It's not the "day in, day out" of that perpetual cycle that grinds at everything; it's that for most SOF guys, it has not ever stopped. Not for sixteen years. First Armored Division packed up and went home. 82d Airborne, packed up and went home. Yes, ~1700 have deployed as trainers and advisors to Iraq...... (the 82nd Airborne Division is over 14k soldiers strong). Less than 10% of their force deployed to Iraq. And the 82nd is just one of MANY Divisions available to the U.S. and the U.S. Army. When 9/11/01 took place, there ~2,000 Navy SEALs. There are now ~2,400. Total. Army Special Forces, Army Rangers have larger numbers, but it doesn't change the pace they have to keep....... the world is a BIG place. And with the distractions of ISIS/ISIL, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Arab Spring, and the "we must help the refugees" world leaders, the enemies to freedom and democracy have dissolved. They have migrated. They have split up. No longer is there a concentration to target in major geographic regions. They have not been contained. They are not being contained. They will not be contained. They will be popping up all over the world, time, and time, and time again.

    Eight years of the abysmal foreign policy that created this mess will not be fixed in another eight years. The demand for the services of our military has long and far surpassed it's resources to sustain. SOF has taken that the hardest. Special Forces, Rangers, SEALs, PJs, CCTs. It takes years to create one. Any one of them. Countless money to train them. Even more years to become a truly proficient, effecient, and effective battlefield tool. Senior Level NCOs in SOF are what gives the units the abiiltis they have. To lose even one is severely damaging to organization. His replacement isn't waiting in the wings; he is still in High School.

    .................................................. .................................................. .......

    But how successful was the mission?

    By what metrics would you propose we use to measure the level of success for this night's direct action raid? Many of the very generic metrics are used by commander's to gauge a level of success on a very broad scale, but some experience with the content, and some context is required to really gain any tangible measurement for success. Still, I offer them for our consideration:

    Did they kill a bunch of terrorist assholes? Yes. Is that "success"?
    Did they find and kill female enemy combatants on target? Yes. Is that "success"?
    Were there children of the enemy on target? Yes.
    Were children killed? Yes. Is that "success"?
    Were non-combatants killed? Yes. Is that "success"?
    Did they gather any intelligence that can be exploited and used in the futre? Yes. Is that "success"?
    Did they capture and bring out a bunch high value prisoners to exploit further intellignce? No. There were prisoners extraced from the target. Is that "success"?
    Did they bring all friendlies back? Yes. Is that "success"?
    Did they take casualties? Yes. Is that "success"?
    Did they have friendlies KIA? Yes. Is that "success"?

    What metric should we (as lay people to the intracacies to the modern Islamic Extremist terror models) use to gauge how successful this operation was?

    Did an Islamic Extremist come into my home, my neighborhoood, my town, my state, my region, or my country and kill a bunch of men, women, and children regardless of nationality, religious faith, sexual orientation, political opinions, or because my son drew a picture of Allah with a cock and balls growing out of his forehead?


    Then I'd say their mission was very successful.

    Thank you Ryan.

    Till Valhalla my Brother.

    Teams N Shit.

    You can get much more of what you want with a kind word and a gun, than with a kind word alone.

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