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1993 Battle of Mogadishu: A SEAL’s-Eye View


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Focus On: Somalia


1993 Battle of Mogadishu: A SEAL’s-Eye View


By: Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen TemplinDate:October4 , 2011


As we pulled back into the compound, everyone was jocking up for something big. Helicopters spun up, Humvees pulled into position, and everyone topped off their magazines. Although the sun shone brightly through clear blue skies, I knew the troops weren’t heading out on a picnic. “What’s going on?”

Commander Olson approached us before we stepped out of our “cutvee”—a cut Humvee without a top, doors, or windows, officially called the M-998 cargo/troop carrier. It had no special armor. Tech reps from the States had arrived less than a week earlier and put a Kevlar ballistic blanket underneath the vehicle to protect against land mines or other fragmentation. I sat in the driver’s seat with Casanova riding shotgun. Behind me was Little Big Man, Sourpuss beside him. To the rear of them we had two benches running parallel to the vehicle where two army guys sat—I think they were Rangers, but they could’ve been Delta operators. In addition, a Ranger manned the .50 caliber machine gun.

Commander Olson briefed us in just a few minutes. “You’ll be part of a blocking force. Delta will rope in and assault the building. You guys will grab the prisoners. Then get out of there.” Usually such a brief would last an hour to an hour and a half. Delta, the Rangers, and others got that briefing, but we missed it. Although the mission was important enough for us to be briefed on, it had popped up suddenly while we were out in town setting up repeaters for the CIA. Commander Olson slapped me on the shoulder. “Shouldn’t take long. Good luck. See you when you get back.”

Each of four light AH-6J Little Birds carried four snipers, two on either side of a helo. The Little Birds also carried rockets underneath—where we would be going wasn’t going to be good. The two AH- 6Js, armed with 7.62 mm miniguns and 2.75-inch rockets, would guard the front of the target building from the air while two hovered to the rear. Delta’s C Squadron would fast-rope from two MH-6 Little Birds and assault the building.

Eight Black Hawks would follow, two carrying Delta assaulters and their ground command. Four of the Black Hawks would insert the Rangers. One would hover above with Scissors-32x32.png


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