This is Part II in a two-part series on Navy SEAL Dave Scott. You can read Part I here.
After the USS Cole was hit, nobody had any idea what attacks might be coming next. So the Navy immediately halted all resupply operations that were underway throughout the region and rerouted everything through a single port, where it could focus all its surveillance and intelligence resources in one place to make sure it was all safe. The guys in charge of making sure it was safe were us.
While nobody came out and said so, it was clear that command was worried about another Cole-style attack on an American vessel. If two idiots in a speedboat could take out a 10,000-ton destroyer, then who knew what else was possible? The security of the entire overseas fleet depended on our ability to get these resupply ships in and out safely.
Since there was a substantial population of ex-pat British and American workers in the Port of Aden, it was relatively easy for us to blend in. We took 12-hour shifts, setting up surveillance in the port either early in the morning or at night, depending on the rotation. Just like on the bridge of the Cole, we spent long hours doing nothing but watching through our optics and binos, watching anything and everything. Why was that truck over there? Trucks weren’t supposed to be there. Who were these guys over here who weren’t here yesterday, and what were they doing here today? Anything remotely suspicious we wrote down in our activity logs, which would later be turned into reports that would go up some unseen chain of intelligence command.