About the Author
@[email protected] Not really... All I'll say about that.
@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.
@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.
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?