Takur Ghar - the SEALs and Rangers on Roberts Ridge, Afghanistan 2002

By Leigh Neville

Osprey Raid sequence #39

In the early morning hours of March four, 2002, a reconnaissance staff people military SEALs from the Tier One Naval distinct war improvement team connected to Joint detailed Operations activity strength eleven tried to infiltrate onto an Afghan mountain top in aid of what used to be then the most important operation carried out through US forces in view that Vietnam, Operation Anaconda. The SEALs have been tasked with setting up covert statement posts to name in air moves on al Qaeda positions within the notorious Shah-i-Khot Valley on the subject of the Afghan-Pakistan border.

Anaconda was once designed to have interaction huge numbers of international al Qaeda combatants who had fled to the valley after the overthrow in their hosts, the Taliban executive and the later conflict of Tora Bora in December 2001 which pressured a few of the overseas opponents towards the border and into the Shah-i-Khot, a standard safe haven of mujahideen within the Eighties. Anaconda introduced jointly either traditional American forces and a wide selection of US and Coalition distinctive operations forces to seek down the al Qaeda remnants.

As the SEAL's particular operation Chinook, flown by means of the Nightstalkers of the a hundred and sixtieth specific Operations Aviation Regiment, tried to land at the top of the 11,000 foot Takur Ghar, hidden al Qaeda defenders sprang an ambush. The Chinook used to be struck by means of RPGs and small fingers hearth and banked away to flee. within the approach, a SEAL fell from the rear ramp and tumbled into the snow lower than. The crippled Chinook controlled to flee the ambush and land numerous kilometres away.

A moment Chinook was once dispatched which picked up the SEAL workforce and flew them again to the height of Takur Ghar in a determined look for the lacking SEAL. because the SEALs and their Air strength strive against Controller exited the helicopter they have been instantly engaged by way of the al Qaeda defenders. A ferocious firefight erupted leading to the loss of life of the wrestle Controller and SEALs being wounded. ultimately the outnumbered SEALs have been pressured to withdraw from the peak.

At Bagram, the duty strength eleven quickly response strength used to be introduced to try a rescue of the SEALs. The QRF was once produced from Nightstalker Chinooks wearing military Rangers and Air strength wrestle Controllers and Para Rescue Jumpers, experts in wrestle seek and Rescue. because of either command problems and communications difficulties, the only of the QRF Chinooks by no means obtained a caution approximately touchdown at the top. as an alternative, the Chinook landed at once onto the height and into the points of interest of al Qaeda.

The Chinook was once instantly struck via RPG, recoilless rifle and heavy laptop gun hearth killing or heavily wounding a number of Rangers and Nightstalkers. The QRF turned engaged in an epic seventeen hour firefight, eventually killing or using off all al Qaeda combatants from the height with a mix of significant small unit strategies and probability shut air moves from F-16s, F-15s, an AC-130 and an armed CIA RQ-1 Predator. Al Qaeda reinforcements have been stored at bay by way of an Australian targeted Air provider OP on a close-by mountain which known as in air moves at any time when reinforcements neared the trapped Rangers and SEALs.


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Rangers from the first Battalion, seventy fifth Rangers, supplied a force-protection outer cordon when Delta performed the clearance and seek. They didn’t locate Mullah Omar, yet they did run right into a huge variety of Taliban who replied speedy to the arriving of helicopters. A vicious firefight erupted until eventually an on-station AC-130 Spectre gunship supplied precision hearth aid to permit the operators and Rangers to damage touch and exfiltrate. The touchdown apparatus of 1 MH-47E used to be broken within the hasty extraction, resulting in predictable Taliban claims they had downed a helicopter. A plan to depart a stay-behind occasion of Delta operators in a covert commentary submit (OP) after the raid was once now not strangely scrapped. Media assurance considering the publicized Ranger wrestle drop on target Rhino when the JSOC operation at Gecko remained nearly unknown. A US army briefing slide exhibiting the Operation Anaconda zone of Operations. be aware projected enemy destinations within the reduce Shahikot and the anticipated “rat line” break out routes coated through statement posts from Task Force K-Bar and job strength sixty four. (US military) eleven © Osprey Publishing • www. ospreypublishing. com Takur Ghar – The SEALS and Rangers on Roberts Ridge, Afghanistan 2002 An Australian SASR reconnaissance patrol from job strength sixty four within the brutal climate that stricken all the recon groups from AFO, activity strength K-Bar, and activity strength sixty four. The Australians are readying a Perentie lengthy variety Patrol car, a 6×6 Land Rover established layout particular to the SASR. (Australian DOD) DECEMBER 2001 Many mujahideen get away from conflict of Tora Bora into Shahikot Valley Small numbers of operators had additionally been operating with the “pilot groups” of CIA unhappy and fifth precise Forces crew team of workers coordinating the conflict attempt with the Northern and jap Alliance (and constructing a plan for a Delta hostage rescue of numerous abducted non-governmental association staff, which was once finally now not required as they have been published below a take care of Northern Alliance forces). those parts have been joined in early December 2001 via a moment Delta squadron (A Squadron) that hunted “HVT-1” himself – Usama bin weighted down – within the mountains of Tora Bora. AFO‘s operators have been cut up among AFO South and AFO North, with a headquarters aspect established at Bagram inside activity strength Bowie yet reporting on to job strength eleven. job strength Bowie used to be led through Brigadier normal Gary Harrell, a hugely revered and skilled former commander of Delta, who labored for normal Tommy Franks, the relevant Command (CENTCOM) commander in control of Operation Enduring Freedom. Bowie was once designated as the in-theater intelligence “shop” with representatives from many executive organizations (known to the army as OGA, for different executive organization) and from either traditional and SOF devices. job strength eleven additionally had different DEVGRU SEALs (known as activity strength Blue) and Rangers from the first Battalion of the seventy fifth Rangers (known as job strength Red), supported by way of the aviators of the a hundred and sixtieth precise Operations Aviation Regiment (160th start, another way often called the Nightstalkers or activity strength Brown), deployed to Bagram as an attack aspect may still actionable intelligence be bought at the place of any of the excessive price objectives at the job strength “kill/capture” checklist.

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