I'm glad to see you mentioned the Phil Sands rescue; it didn't get much notice. To answer your question about who performed that particular rescue, it was a Ranger element. I know this because I infil'ed & exfil'ed the assault team (an MH-60 came and swooped up Sands as soon as the target was cleared).
Like it was reported, no one knew Phil Sands had been captured, much less that he was cuffed to a bed in one of the houses targeted that night (one of the lower priority targets too, if I recall. Might be why it was Rangers on our chalk and not operators, but I dunno). We were like chalk next-to-last, and almost didn't go because our first bird was hard broke on the pad, and our second bird didn't want to start back up after mission brief at the MSS. Lucky for Mr. Sands, our FE was a mad genius and somehow managed to literally suck-start the aircraft back to life!
The overall operation that night was huge, something like 20 aircraft and what seemed like all of TF Central, hitting multiple targets in this one area west of Baghdad. We had no idea there was a hostage on any of the targets, just lots of really bad dudes, and probably lots of pocket litter. All the colors of the rainbow participated in the op, it just so happened to be Rangers on our bird that hit the house where Phil Sands was chained up (who, as a side note, was a bit of a wanker.)
We launched on a few other hostage rescue missions - at least a couple for Jill Carroll, and one or two for Iraqis - but all of them turned out to be dry holes. The Phil Sands rescue was definitely one of the most memorable missions I participated in over there.
Just out of curiosity, and forgive me if I'm you're not allowed to say, but what percentage of these missions to PJs attach to?
@AD7 I'm not sure how they're set up in Afghanistan, but in Iraq, there was always a CSAR element either on standby or with the mission package, which would have a couple PJs with a crapton of medical and extrication gear, one or two CCTs, and a security element of Rangers. Sometimes there would also be a SOF medical element on standby also, with one helicopter set up as a mobile surgical platform with a doc and a PA or SOCM. As far as PJs stacking up on targets, running around shootin' it up with the assault teams? Not so much. That's more fantasy than reality, as the teams already have their own medics, and that's not the role of PJs anyway.
@Coriolis effect I believe he is no longer in DevGru, the issue was raised in one of the SOFREP Radio Podcasts with the Navy SEAL guest from Stars Earn Stripes.
hey i have some probably expired piece of intel (rumor) on that philippine rescue with the burhams. .... ok here goes nothing.it all happened when i was a kid, i could remember my dad saying that the whole operation was US led. i can only remember fragments but i can clearly remember him saying that US troops were the ones operating inside, while the local troops(most likely the phil.army) were putting up facade for the media. so how did a kid like me know about it? my dad was a pastor, but before he became one he was "this" close to join the army scout rangers, but that's a different story. the important fact was that he was a pastor with a lot of army buddies, and one them happened to be a radio man who was religious enough to ask my dad for an over the phone prayer before the rescue went green light.
yes, you guessed it, im a filipino, and i live in mindanao to boot. well as for the rest of the intel im guessing it was a seal team who pulled it off, combined with some cia intel gathering and liason with our local marines. but this part is just me connecting the dots which kind of makes sense.
...im not expecting many to believe me, but this is just me and my way of giving credit for those who operated that night, those who really deserve the credit for the rescue.
You definitely know more than me, but I always thought the Jessica Lynch rescue was Joint between the Rangers, PJs, SEALs and Army SF. Any info.
@Logan F Crooks The Jessica Lynch Rescue is a joint Op, PJ's from 24 STS were here to taking care of her, Devgru were kicking doors, Rangers secured the perimeter+were looking for the bodies of US personnels killed during the ambush, and Marines did some diversion a few kilometers away.
@Logan F Crooks The vast majority of these operations were joint operations including other units along with the JSOC SMUs. I absolutely was not intending to minimize their efforts, but for this little exercise I was primarily interested in listing known hostage rescue missions that Delta and ST6 have reportedly played a role in. It's been fairly widely reported that SEAL Team Six was the unit that actually went in and grabbed her.
@The Nature Roy If you watch the video its clear that the guys getting her were PJs. No doubt they were supported by other units, though.
One thing Im curious about is on the OBL Raid McRaven had his boys do it. If McChrystal would have been there would it have been tasked to CAG? How much politics play into it who gets what?
This article is probably the best explanation as to the Who/Why: http://www.armytimes.com/news/2011/05/military-bin-laden-raid-a-triumph-for-special-operations-050911/
In a nut shell: CAG stopped rotating out of Afghanistan to prep for Iraq. Afghanistan died out for a while after 2003 up until 2007/08 time frame. So while they were trying to find intel on any Taliban/AQ to go after. CAG was dropping bodies nightly in Iraq. When 75th and CAG started circulating back (in masses) into the 'Stan in that 08 time frame. The country was in a way sliced up geographically between the two SMUs. My understanding is the 75th and DEV became very symbiotic in their area of operations (you go/I go kind of OPTEMPO). While CAG is doing their own solo work somewhere else.
@ArcticWarrior My understanding is that ST6 was on rotation at that time and that is why they got the mission. I don't think it was a question of politics but I wasn't there...
Jack, the team leader of "Pizza's" team that we talked about- he told me many years ago that the Unit was in route to Peru but during the flight over, the Peruvian commandos undertook the rescue because of time sensitivity. He said they did an amazing job.
@Iassen Donov I always thought that there were operators on the ground but you know what they say about assumptions!
Jack, I met a couple ElSalv commandos (CEAT) who were trained in Fort Bragg some years ago, they explained how good was te training that SOCOM provided to some South American countries, including the Peruvian Commandos, who raided the embassy by themselves, but with a lot of input gained from years training with their US counterparts. Chavin de Huantar was a great designed and executed operation, carried by none but the Peruvians, even with the shady involvement and political motivations of clowns like Fujimori and others.
@JackMurphyRGR im sure there was one or two guys on the ground as part of an ADVON element. But the main body (or only body) definitely didn't make it in time.
Does anybody at some point see DEV/CAG being merged and JSOC becoming a sub-branch? I understand the Branch ego thing might get in the way but bot units are seperated from there mother branch. Is the training/ selection that different? The rumour is CIA wants them under there control, not the Pentagons control. Any truth to that?
@ArcticWarrior All of Delta are Army personnel. To attend selection you have to be in the RA, guard, or reserves. I imagine the same applies to ST6, they are all SEALs and Navy support.
Not necessarily true as there are a hand full of Marines (a baby's hand) in CAG, as there are Air Force and SEALs from ST6 (Howard Wasdin talks about this in his book) and there have also been members of ST6 who attempted selection to CAG during the Clinton era when most units in the community as well as the military were very risk averse. These are a very small percentage and probably number in the single digits. The majority of CAG (roughly 70%) started off their careers in the 75th.
If you watched that one episode of One Man Army - one of the contestants was a PJ who went to Delta by simply attending selection (his name was Rob). JSOC is a joint command as it's name states, and personnel from all branches can vet for positions within this command. There are units in JSOC such as JCU (commo) and JMAU (medical) that have very relaxed requirements when it comes to branch-preferences. The SMUs accept members from all branches but they do have internal pre-reqs that the individuals have to meet.
A friend from the MARSOC side of things says that ST6 does open their doors to certain Marines and not just SEALs. But the Marines at the very least must undertake BUD/s (but not SQT). Considering the prime USMC candidates for ST6 are hardened veterans of the Recon and MARSOC community who have tons of training under their belts see going to BUD/s as a "waste of time". So no Marines in ST6 just yet.
A very small thing because you definitely have way more knowledge on the subject than I do, but I believe in his book Wasdin was explaining how 24STS CTTs and PJs attended ST6/Delta training in order to prepare them to operate with those units when attached.
The section in question states, "Although the air force CCTs and PJs were not as specialized in skills like door-kicking, they were experts in their fields -- to a higher level than the SEAL or Delta operators. Integrating them into SEAL Team Six and Delta was one of the best moves JSOC ever made. Although not held to as high a tactical standard (standards such as physical fitness remained the same) as SEALs, particularly for close-quarters combat training, they received Team Six's Green Team training. During my Green Team, although a CCT and a PJ were among the four or five who failed, a CCT and PJ passed. The CCTs and PJs also rotated over to Delta Force for their training. Then, after some time at home with their air force units, they rotated back and fourth between Six and Delta again..."
Again, that's not to say that there are not examples of an Air Force PJ or CCT being invited to try out for Delta Force or SEAL Team Six (and it seems that you provided one such example), just that to me it sounds as if Wasdin was describing something a bit different.
@Iassen Donov Very interesting. I've come across a number of hints to this effect -- along with statements to contrary. I've never seen it stated quite this clearly. I'm looking forward to your contributions to SOFREP.
@Iassen Donov If guys within Delta straight up told you they have current Marines I'll take your word for it. My last deployment I spent a bit of time playing Rock Band with an element of B Squadron, but I never bothered asking this question since I figured, while under a joint command, Delta was after all an Army unit and the prereqs on the recruiting site stated you need to be in some form of the Army.
*** I'm sure the Marines who complained about going to BUD/s are the same guys on the recon teams who have been to Scuba/Combat Dive training. ***
Makes perfect sense. Looking forward to your articles, man, you're definitely the go to JSOC guy on SOFREP.
Many people confuse getting an invite from Delta as something indiviualistic. It's a mass email that is sent to military personnel who meet the requirements (Grade, TIS, age, etc). Delta's recruiters don't know anything about the individuals they sent the email to. Most of it is automated. There isn't a group of guys who travel the nation's military bases "scouting" for candidates to invite - they have better things to do. They just want more warm bodies volunteering for selection. The more people attending selection the more candidates to send to OTC.
I really can't make an assumption on your Marine friend. He could have received an email, or he met/trained with an operator who had the recruiters send him the information to attend selection.
There are probably tons of former Marines in the SEALs.
Eric Shellenberger was killed in training. He served 8 years in the USMC and with Force Recon. He LEFT the Marines and re-enlisted into the Navy to be a SEAL. If he wanted to go to ST6 straight from the Marines, he would have had to been approved from within Six and then attend BUD/s. Without spending any time on the SEAL teams.
An 8 year veteran with Force Recon could have a lot to offer to DEVGRU.
btw, my name is Bulgarian.
"Cross pollination" is very common.. Rangers to AFSOC, Recon to SF, so on and so on. Jeff Kraus author of "You want me to do what?" started off in SF and then ended up in the SEALs. All these examples consist of guys having to re-enlist into a branch and starting over so to say. Going to Delta from a different branch is an entirely different process.
Bro, is that bit about that Marine getting "invited" by Delta accurate?
I know a Recon Marine, pre-MARSOC, who was working out, this is Gitmo, made an impression on the SEALs also in the gym, was approached and was "invited", but I think he went thru BUD/S and ended up lateralling.
The "invitation" by Delta I'm kinda curious. Thanks, man. Good stuff.
Brother I've lived with and served under a CAG team for one month in Mosul as their much needed RTO. I was with the 75th at the time. I made some good friends from that unit, of which many of them were killed in a single IED attack. I also asked a lot of questions. And was given a lot of answers.
I mean like I said, just watch the episode with Rob.. the first person to talk during this OMA teaser is Rob: http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/one-man-army-bring-your-a-game.html
There is a big difference from re-enlisting into a different branch and volunteering for service with another SOF unit. And then there is going through the selection process of a JSOC unit and "crossing over". JSOC has a lot of pull in the bigger scope of things - for one, when I was in, your chain of command could not keep you from attending CAG selection. No matter how hard they tried.
I'm sure the Marines who complained about going to BUD/s are the same guys on the recon teams who have been to Scuba/Combat Dive training.
Nice. Welcome! Is that an Israeli name?
Regarding the scuttlebutt of Marines in ST6, piggy backing on @Canopylight 's comments, it could be that the Marines were/are laterals to SEALs, then ST6.
Maybe Brandon can comment on this, but there's quite a few Marines who have lateraled over to SEALs. Maybe SOFREP can write an article about cross-pollination, Marines to SEALs, Rangers to AFSOC, Marines to Delte, and etc. etc.
@Iassen Donov I'd be curious to where you get your information from. I've got emails sitting in my AKO account from the Delta recruiter saying otherwise. It's possible for a former Marine to be a Ranger for instance, but they joined the Army in the process. The same applies to Delta. Considering BUD/S has very different requirements from MARSOC, drown proofing being one of the big ones and the use of SCUBA equipment, I don't see how it's a waste of time. There are liaison positions within almost all SOCOM units as well as certain support stuff. The 75th has ETACs and ANGLICO under their command, but they aren't 'Rangers.'
@Iassen Donov SOFREP, meet Iassen a fellow Ranger and new member of the writing staff. I think we'll all learn a lot from him.
Thanks, man. Very informative!
So no Marines in ST6, but Marines and AF in Delta. A buddy of mine just texted me back and said he knew of a guy from Radio Recon (a little known Marine Recon unit, so many of them can't keep up) got a personal invite to Delta, this was in the mid-1990s, so pre-MARSOC.
Thanks. I never really understood the recruiting/selection process.
CIA, SAD, SAG pretty much composed of all former JSOC/NightStalkers, it would make sense. But DoD, don't think, would want that. DIA HumINT already answers to CIA.
75th at one time was under big Army control, then came JSOC and the rest is history. It was a real sore spot with a lot of guys up top for awhile. So stranger things have happened.
@ArcticWarrior The CIA would love to have everything under their control. I don't see these units being merged anytime soon. Their selection process and the background of the operators is fairly different. Culturally there is also a big difference between these two units.
Chris here. I certainly should have included 'Operation Eagle Claw,' but at the time I was thinking of a JSOC list and JSOC was formed in its aftermath. Also, as Jack noted, this list is almost certainly not exhaustive. It's basically what I could recall from rescue attempts that have been reported. I think it's probably pretty complete as far as 'known' operations are concerned but who knows how many have been conducted that haven't become public knowledge (or at least JSOC's involvement in them). Obviously, the actual reporting referenced is almost certainly not completely accurate either. In other words, considered this "for entertainment purposes only." That said, by its nature hostage rescue tends to be a lot more public & high-profile than most of the missions these units are tasked with, so they provide an occasional fleeting glimpse into their activities. Hopefully some of you found it interesting.
Addendum: Delta is said to have played some role in a couple more hostage rescue operations I failed to include.
The successful rescue of BG James L. Dozier from members of the Italian "Red Brigades" terrorist organization in 1981 by NOCS. I'm not sure if Delta's role in the operation has been fully detailed in public. A look around the web shows slightly contradictory claims in terms of their involvement. If anyone is aware of a more definitive account, I would be interested in seeing it myself.
Also, Damien Lewis, the author of 'Operation Certain Death' about the SAS/SBS hostage rescue of 11 members of the British Army's Royal Irish Regiment and their Sierra Leone Army liaison officer in Sierra Leone, claims he discovered after the book's publication that Delta played a role in the rescue as well.
This is some really good stuff, Chris!!! Thanks!
I know Delta/ST6 have worked closely with LAPD SWAT, at the beginning, there biggest collaboration was the 1984 Olympics. Other collaborations or relationships with other local PDs known?
@LCpl X FBI and HRT have long time relationship with Delta.
@LCpl X LAPD (and Im sure other agencies) continue to maintain a relationship with JSOC units. for example recently SWAT went out to Dam Neck and trained VBSS/Ship Interdiction with DEVGRU and DEVGRU members came to LAPD to conduct surveillance training with SIS (elite surviellance unit).
Also recently JSOC units conducted urban training in conjunction with LAPD assets including SWAT and Air support. www.tgdaily.com/security-features/6107-us-special-forces-train-in-the-city-of-angels
Posse comitatus is waived for them at the highest level. They do work with locals even today. The Seattle WTO just happened to leak almost during the riots.
Oh, no OPSEC here, bro. This is history, as far as I know JSOC just wanted to learn SWAT techniques when standing up, I'm sure they don't interface with local PD now, unless specifically called. I'm asking when they were standing up late 70s/early 80s.