I’ve been following this past weekend’s tragic story of the military helicopter crash in Afghanistan that claimed the lives of 30 Americans, including 22 Navy SEAL team members. It’s amazing the information that’s available on the internet when you want to dig for it.I do not claim any military background, and have only a limited knowledge about SpecOps, due to a few books I have on the subject. Yet, when I read the various reports about the tragedy, my first reaction was why was a slow-flying Chinook sent in to a heavily armed enclave with 22 SEALS aboard. In following a trail of hyperlinks from various news stories, many of them led to blogs and comments from former servicemen knowledgeable about military equipment, and who still have contacts in Afghanistan. Picking up from my earlier comment about Chinooks, it appears that others are indeed posing the same question, only taking it a step further.
- Why were so many of our “precious treasures” SEALS on a National Guard Chinook helo, and not a SpecOps helo, when the latter are always supposed to be ready and waiting?
- Why was a National Guard unit, newly arrived in Afghanistan, used on a SpecOps backup mission instead of the 160th SOAR (SpecOps Aviation Regiment)?
- As one administration official put it, “The feeling here is lucky shot, last lucky shot.” Really? Or do we have one heckuva serious intel problem? And what does this mean for the future as we continue to draw down our troops?
When gut-wrenching tragedies occur, we sometimes cannot accept that there are simple answers, human error, or as my boss used to tell me, “s**t happens”. Instead we look for complex answers or conspiracies. The families, colleagues, and friends do not need more grief at this difficult time. As the investigation continues, and we learn more details of this tragedy, may the truth come out, however difficult it may be. For anyone wishing to help SEAL families, you can make a donation to the Navy SEAL Foundation by clicking here. The Navy SEAL Foundation’s mission is to provide immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare community and their families.