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Post Info TOPIC: Operation Red Wing


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Operation Red Wing

Operation Red Wing was a failed counter-insurgent mission in Kunar province, Afghanistan, involving four members of the U.S. Navy SEALs, which took place June 28, 2005.

Three of the SEALs were killed during the initial operation, as were sixteen American Special Operations Forces soldiers whose helicopter was shot down while flying to
provide support to the team. It was the largest loss of life for American forces since the invasion began.

The firefight
The map given to the Navy SEALs detailing their mission.

The SEAL team, led by Lt. Michael P. Murphy and consisting of petty officers Matthew Axelson, Danny Dietz and Marcus Luttrell, was on a mission to kill or capture Ahmad Shah, a Taliban leader who commanded a group of insurgents known as the "Mountain Tigers",[2] west of Asadabad.[6][7]

After an initially successful infiltration, local goat herders stumbled upon the SEALs' hiding place. Unable to verify any hostile intent from the herders,[8] Murphy asked the team what should be done with them. Axelson reportedly voted to kill the Afghanis, and Dietz didn't offer an opinion, causing Murphy to state that he would vote the same as Luttrell, who said the herders should be set free.[9]

Shortly after the goatherders disappeared over the mountain ridge, the SEALs were confronted by a force of Afghan fighters, estimated between 50-150 strong,[2] causing Luttrell to believe that the released herders had given away their position.[10][11]

The insurgents set up a "well organized, three-sided attack", which forced the SEALs to begin running down the slope.[2][12] After 45 minutes, Dietz abandoned the cover of the forest and ran into the open intent on placing a distress call for immediate support from Bagram Air Base, but was shot in the hand.[2]

Murphy then moved into the open himself, after noting the team's radio transmitters weren't functioning properly in the mountains, and placed the emergency call for support from his cell phone. He was shot in the stomach during the conversation.[2][11]

After two hours of fighting, only Luttrell remained alive, although he was lying unconscious behind a ridge where he had been knocked by the blast of a rocket-propelled grenade.[2][12]

 Failed rescue
Afghan fighters approach the plateau on which the Americans died.

Two MH-47D helicopters, four UH-60 Blackhawks and two AH-64D Longbows attempted to come to their rescue to provide extraction in the mountains of Kunar. One of the MH-47 helicopters, carrying eight Navy SEALs and eight 160th Nightstalkers, was shot down by a rocket propelled grenade shot through the open rear ramp, causing the pilot to lose control of the craft. It hit a mountain ledge, and then fell to the bottom of a ravine, killing all sixteen on board.[13]

Shah, the original target of the SEAL team, later gave an interview where he claimed that his forces had set a trap for the American forces, "We certainly know that when the American army comes under pressure and they get hit, they will try to help their friends. It is the law of the battlefield."[14]

 Search and rescue
Kunar-booty-from-Op Red Wing.OGG
Play video
An Afghan fighter displays the GPS, laptop, night goggles, field radio and other equipment seized from the Navy SEALs during the operation.

The only survivor of the attack, Luttrell tried to hide himself as he waited for rescue from the search helicopters flying overhead. Driven by thirst, shot in the leg and with three cracked vertabrae,[2] he traversed 7 miles over the remainder of the day.[1] He remained unnoticed until, falling from a ledge, he was discovered by an Afghan shephard named Gulab[15], who summoned his companions to help carry the wounded Luttrell to the village of Sabray-Minah.[1][12] The villagers took care of Luttrell, providing food and medical attention, and protecting him from the Taliban that came to the village demanding that he be turned over to them.

Meanwhile, nearly two days after the initial confrontation, an American search team had located the downed helicopter and verified that all 16 aboard had been killed.[13] A spokesman for the Taliban, Mofti Latifollah Hakimi, confirmed that the helicopter had been shot down by insurgent fire, and promised to deliver the video made during the assault to media outlets.[16]

Despite multiple attempts, the search helicopters were unable to locate the wounded Navy SEAL. On July 2,[2] the village elder, armed with a note from Luttrell, went down to seek help from a Marine outpost several miles away. With this information, the U.S. forces drew up extraction plans which according to Lt. Col. Steve Butow were "one of the largest combat search-and-rescue operations since Vietnam".[12] As the rescue teams closed in upon the village they ran into Luttrell and some of the villagers who were moving him from one hiding place to another.

Six days after the operation, an American search team located Murphy's body.For the next four days, they held out hopes that Axelson might be found alive.[13]

 American casualties
The bodies of the three American SEALs, before being scattered by the insurgents.
Kunar-Navy -Hard Drives.OGG
Play video
An Afghan fighter investigates the hard drive pulled from a laptop seized during the attack.

SEAL Team:

    * Lt. Michael P. Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, New York
    * STG2(SEAL) Matthew Axelson, 29, of Cupertino, CA [17]
    * GM2(SEAL) Danny Dietz 26, of Littleton, Colorado[17]

The service members killed aboard the helicopter include:[3]


    * Staff Sgt. Shamus O. Goare, 29, of Danville, Ohio
    * Chief Warrant Officer Corey J. Goodnature, 35, of Clarks Grove, Minnesota.
    * Sgt. Kip A. Jacoby, 21, of Pompano Beach, Florida
    * Sgt. 1st Class Marcus V. Muralles, 33, of Shelbyville, Indiana
    * Master Sgt. James W. Ponder III, 36, of Franklin, Tennessee
    * Maj. Stephen C. Reich, 34, of Washington Depot, Connecticut.
    * Sgt. 1st Class Michael L. Russell, 31, of Stafford, Virginia
    * Chief Warrant Officer Chris J. Scherkenbach, 40, of Jacksonville, Florida


    * FCC(SEAL/SW) Jacques J. Fontan, 36, of New Orleans, Louisiana
    * ITCS(SEAL) Daniel R. Healy, 36, of Exeter, New Hampshire
    * Lt. Cmdr. Erik S. Kristensen, 33, of San Diego, California
    * ET1(SEAL) Jeffery A. Lucas, 33, of Corbett, Oregon
    * Lt. Michael M. McGreevy, Jr., 30, of Portville, New York
    * QM2(SEAL) James E. Suh, 28, of Deerfield Beach, Florida
    * HM1(SEAL/FMF) Jeffrey S. Taylor, 30, of Midway, West Virginia
    * MM2(SEAL) Shane E. Patton, 22, of Boulder City, Nevada

[edit] Aftermath
v • d • e
War in Afghanistan

Mazar-I-Sharif – Herat – Qala-i-Jangi – Tora Bora – Anaconda – Takur Ghar – Jacana – Red Wing – Lashkagar – Mountain Thrust – Helmand – Kaika – Sangin – Panjwaii – Medusa – Mountain Fury – Falcon Summit – Achilles – Hoover – Pickaxe-Handle – Chora – Firebase Anaconda – Harekate Yolo – Musa Qala – Karez – Gora Prai – Sarposa Prison – Arghandab – Wanat – Hammer – Uzbin – Eagle's Summit

On September 14, 2006, Dietz and Axelson were posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for "undaunted courage" and heroism. Luttrell was also awarded the Navy Cross in a ceremony at the White House. In 2007, Lieutenant Murphy was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle.

Additionally, June 28, 2008, Luttrell and the family members of soldiers killed overseas were honored at a San Diego Padres game.[18] In addition, the Navy Leapfrogs[who?] brought in the American flag, the POW/MIA flag and the San Diego Padres flag. The attendees were given a standing ovation by the more than 25,000 there to watch the game.

A statue entitled The Guardians stands in the Cupertino Memorial Park, in Cupertino, California, the former residence of Axelson. The statue depicts both Matthew Axelson and James Suh standing back-to-back.[19]

[edit] References

   1. ^ a b c Luttrell, Marcus; Patrick Robinson (2006). Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10. Back Bay Books. ISBN 0316067598.
   2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j p. 145-146 - Bahmanyar, Mir & Chris Osman. Seals: The US Navy's Elite Fighting Force (October 21, 2008 ed.). Osprey Publishing. pp. 256. ISBN 1846032261.
   3. ^ a b "Helicopter crash victims identified" (HTML). CNN News (July 4, 2005). Retrieved on 2008-12-14.
   4. ^ Luttrell, Lone Survivor. Luttrell states that he saw his team kill approximately 100 of the Taliban pursuing them and learned from local villagers later that another 30 or so were killed by airstrikes.
   5. ^ Blumenfeld, Laura (2007-06-11). "The Sole Survivor - A Navy Seal, Injured and Alone, Was Saved By Afghans' Embrace and Comrades' Valor". Washington Post.
   6. ^ Naylor, Sean D. (2007-06-18). "Surviving SEAL tells story of deadly mission". Army Times. Retrieved on 2008-07-21.
   7. ^ Matt Dupee (April 17, 2008 12:43 PM). "Bara bin Malek Front commander killed in Pakistani shootout" (HTML). long war journal. Retrieved on 2008-12-10.
   8. ^ West, Diane (August 17, 2007). "Death by rules of engagement".
   9. ^ Naylor, Sean D. (2007-06-18). "Surviving SEAL tells story of deadly mission". Army Times. Retrieved on 2008-07-21.
  10. ^ "Interview with Luttrell". Pritzker Military Library (May 19, 2008). Retrieved on 2008-12-10.
  11. ^ a b April Drew (October 17, 2007). "Highest Honor for Afghan War Hero" (HTML). Retrieved on 2008-12-14.
  12. ^ a b c d Blumenfeld, Laura (2007-06-11). "The Sole Survivor - A Navy Seal, Injured and Alone, Was Saved By Afghans' Embrace and Comrades' Valor". Washington Post.
  13. ^ a b c Rocky Mountain News, "SEAL was Heritage grad", July 9, 2005
  14. ^ Lisa Myers & the NBC Investigative Unit (Dec. 27, 2005). "An interview with a Taliban commander" (HTML). msnbc. Retrieved on 2008-12-10.
  15. ^ Tim Mcgirk (Jul. 11, 2005). "How The Shepherd Saved The SEAL" (HTML). time. Retrieved on 2008-12-14.
  16. ^ IntelCenter. IntelCenter Terrorism Incident Reference (TIR): Afghanistan: 2000-2007 (April 24, 2008 ed.). Tempest Publishing, LLC. pp. 646. ISBN 0966543785.
  17. ^ a b "U.S. military searches for missing SEAL" (HTML). CNN News (July 7, 2005). Retrieved on 2008-12-14.
  18. ^ Families of American Military, Inc. (30 June 2008). "Operation: Never Forget" (HTML). pub. Retrieved on 2008-12-14.
  19. ^ Matt Wilson (11/19/2008). "Cupertino ceremony honors uniformed men and women" (HTML). Cupertino Courier. Retrieved on 2008-12-14.

-- Edited by storm at 20:56, 2008-12-15


Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 46

MAJSMRMM.jpgHere are some pics of the operators(rip) of Operation: Redwing 

the good men of SDV Team 1MAJSMRMM.jpg






Lord, keep me safe from my friends. i can take care of my enemies...

Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 46

For a more detailed perspective of what had transpired during this Op, may i recommend reading the book of Marcus Lutrell, "The Lone Survivor". Its a good read.

Lord, keep me safe from my friends. i can take care of my enemies...
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