Seal Team Success: Lessons learned from a ‘horrible night’ in Iran 30 years ago

Anna Murline from The Christian Science Monitor reports that “The Seal Team Six raid of Osama Bin Laden’s Pakistan compound Sunday is being seen as a historic success. But the roots of that success are in lessons learned from the failure of a mission to free the US hostages held by Iran in 1980.

“The Navy SEAL commando raid of Osama Bin Laden’s compound this week – ultimately resulting in his death – is being hailed as one of the most pivotal black operations achievements in the highly secretive existence of US Joint Special Operations Command.

“SEAL Team Six – known among operators as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, or DEVGRU – drilled for the bin Laden mission for months. In preparation for the close quarters battles that would come with storming the compound, team members fired upwards of 700 rounds of bullets a week in houses built specifically for learning how to dodge and avoid shooting ricocheted rounds, according to former operatives.

“But the special mission units of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which execute the most classified US military operations, have not always enjoyed such extensive coordinated training – or such success….

“The lessons learned from previous failures – particularly one “horrible night” in April 1980 – helped to make the strike on Mr. bin Laden’s compound “a great day” in special operations force history, says retired Delta Force operative Lt. Col. Lewis “Bucky” Burruss.

“It was the aborted attempt to rescue the 52 hostages being held in Iran in 1980 that Burruss calls “the wakeup call in the desert” for the US military….

“The lessons learned on that night had clear echoes in the successes of the Sunday strike in Pakistan. Sources say there was only one hitch – a helicopter that experienced mechanical failure, was forced to land inside bin Laden’s compound, and was unable to take off again. Before they departed the compound, special operators detonated it to keep it from falling into enemy hands.

“By contrast, helicopters abandoned in Eagle Claw were recovered and used by Iran.

“A senior defense official says that there will be a review of the helicopter malfunction Sunday. “With these operations we do extensive hot washes afterward to look at every aspect of the operation,” the official said in a background briefing at the Pentagon. “We will certainly look at that. But as I emphasized earlier, the problem that was encountered did not impede the operation.”

“And that, Burruss says, is precisely the point. “The greatest thing about this success in my mind is that it’s something these guys deserved,” he said. “Not just for the last few days, but for what they have been doing, often in silence, for years and years.””

You can read the entire article on the Christian Monitor site.
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This is a video from ABC site about the Seal Team that killed Osama Bin Laden:

11 Comments

MaxAugust 26th, 2014 at 3:12 am

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alfredNovember 17th, 2014 at 2:51 pm

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GlennNovember 20th, 2014 at 1:32 pm

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deanNovember 25th, 2014 at 7:25 pm

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fredrickNovember 30th, 2014 at 1:17 pm

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alexDecember 13th, 2014 at 10:22 pm

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TonyDecember 24th, 2014 at 9:22 pm

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JulioDecember 25th, 2014 at 12:57 am

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DaveJanuary 13th, 2015 at 11:43 pm

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peterJanuary 14th, 2015 at 12:13 am

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homerJanuary 14th, 2015 at 12:41 am

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