May 9, 2013

Extortion 17 Heroes

Many of our regular readers have asked us what we think about the recent news of some of the Extortion 17 families coming forward to discuss their concerns with the press.

We have made an editorial decision to stay out of this. In fact, earlier this month I made the decision that SOFREP will focus more on the positive aspects of Special Operations and the community. We’ve been guilty in the past of participating in the drama, especially when it came to ST6, but that show is over. There is too much good stuff happening in Special Operations and the community at large. We will continue to publish hard, pipe-hitting commentary on foreign and domestic affairs that are in our lane, you can count on that.


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About the Author

is a former U.S. Navy SEAL with combat deployments to Afghanistan, and Iraq. During his last tour he served as the west coast sniper Course Manager at the Naval Special Warfare Center. He is Editor-in-Chief of SOFREP.com, and a New York Times best selling author (The Red Circle & Benghazi: The Definitive Report). His writing has been featured in print, and digital media worldwide. You can follow him on twitter here.

To comment on this article please join/login. Here's a sample of the comments on this post.

  • RW11

    SEAN SPOONTS(MAFIA) The Chinook is the only aircraft I would recommend for that altitude and combat load.

  • SEAN SPOONTS(MAFIA)

    RW11 My point addressed the claim made by another poster that the Chinook was not suited to Special Operations use because it was not considered maneuverable.  I don't know of any aircraft at low altitude and low air speed that isn't vulnerable to ground fire.

  • RW11

    Somewhat irrelevant. A CH-47 at 100-150ft moving at 50knts while on final is vulnerable.... plain an simple. So is a V-22 (even more so) and an H-60.

  • RW11

    If the success of your infil depends on pre-assault fires, and those are denied by the MC, the AMC can always modify the plan. He has "Go/No-Go" authority where the use of his aircraft is concerned. Pre-assault fires are used somewhat conservatively.  In my humble opinion, there was a lack of threat analysis on multiple levels in the chain of command. The primary responsibility rests Aviation Battalion Commander in regards to the use of his asset as an IRF. Since IRF was an alternate plan, not the primary, it appears as if was glossed over in lieu of what seemed more pressing at the time; the Offset Infil.  Given the compressed mission planning timeline that occurs to accomplish these missions, the IRF plan, and the risk decisions thereof, were de facto delegated to the AMC.  If I objectively put myself in the position of the AMC, given the operational picture as well as the 3 SAFIRES in the vicinity within the previous 61 days, I would not agree to an X or Y infil of the IRF unless it was to actually reinforce the ME. The op had been going on for 3.5 hours. There have already been RPGs spotted and 3 significant SAFIRES within the narrow valley in recent history.  That being said. Sometimes bad stuff happens. When you roll the dice on these missions for long enough, eventually the bad guy is going to be at the right place at the right time and he may inflict some serious damage. The loss of life is devastating. These lessons, unfortunately, get learned from time to time.  I am sorry if I offend anyone by my post. That is not my intent.

  • NinjaMike

    Wow! Guess who's in front of a camera? AGAIN? Ben Smith! This time, re: Extortion 17,  he says, "All of a sudden, we had targets on our backs."  Excuse me, but not only was this dirtbag never in SEAL Team 6, but was he even in the Teams  long enough to get his hands dirty and earn a Combact Action Ribbon? Did he ever even make it beyond FNG status before he punked out? Someone PLEASE stuff a sock in his big bloated hairy gob.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkrHF36Ghd0&feature=youtu.be