Friday, July 01, 2005
16 Men - The Last Full Measure
Sixteen Special Forces Operators are making their final journey home today.
The 160th SOAR (A) "Night Stalkers" --Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) lost 8 members and the SEALs lost a squad of 8. They were killed in Afghanistan Tuesday this week when their MH-47 helo was hit by an RPG.
These brave men were on a mission to rescue comrades who have not been heard from since Tuesday. It is probable they are the other half of the SEAL platoon that came to the rescue. Potentially, an entire platoon has been lost. The search for the original squad is continuing today.
The Night Stalkers are the most skilled helo operators in the world and specialize in night operations. The unit was formed shortly after the Desert One, Iran mission failure. Members of the various Special Operations Forces are the best we have - as warriors and as men. This week's loss is a major emotional blow to the professional family of warriors and a devastating blow to the private families of the men lost, but one from which the best will rise and drive on.
Navy SEALs (Sea, Air, Land) are among the best and most rigorously trained units in the US arsenal. The training washout rate is extremely high; only the cream of the best of the best are accepted. The force was formed in 1943 from volunteers of the SeaBees (Naval Construction battalions). They were formed into small, special units known as Navy Combat Demolition Units (NCDUs).
The number of Special Forces members is very low. There activities are secret and do not make headlines until something goes horribly wrong. This tightly knit group has lost family this week. America has lost more than we will or can ever know.
This Independence Day, let us all remember the brave men and women of our Armed Forces that allow our BBQ at the beach, in the mountains, or in the backyard with friends and family possible. The beautiful fireworks we will see are representations of the hostile and deadly fire these brave souls face on our behalf.
To America's warriors - thank you all for your service.
The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.