In the wake of the failed hostage rescue mission conducted by the British SBS in Nigeria, it may also prove useful to take a look back at JSOC hostage rescue missions as well. Special thanks to SOFREP reader Chris for his hard work in compiling this information for us.
The successful rescue of Jessica Buchanan and Poul Hagen Thisted by SEAL Team Six in Somalia.
The unsuccessful attempt to save Jean and Scott Adam, Phyllis Macay and Robert Riggle from Somali pirates by ‘Navy SEALs’ (presumably SEAL Team Six) off the coast of Oman. (Note: Reports seem to indicate they were killed prior to the assault.)
The unsuccessful attempt to save Linda Norgrove by SEAL Team Six in Afghanistan. A grenade thrown by one of the operators killed Norgrove.
The successful rescue of Richard Phillips by SEAL Team Six off the Somali coast.
The successful rescue of an unnamed 61-year-old engineer from Ohio by SEAL Team Six in Afghanistan.
The successful rescue of Ingrid Betancourt in Colombia in which CAG played some role (while all credit was publicly given to the Colombians). “A Delta Force detachment helped rescue Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and fourteen other hostages, including four Americans, in 2008, even though full credit was given to the Colombians.” — From ‘The Command’
[Just an aside here, I happened across Delta’s staging area for this mission completely by accident in the summer of 2007. I was having a scotch at a bar in Central America and suddenly started seeing people I recognized… -Jack]
The unsuccessful rescue attempt to rescue David Addison by ‘American special forces’ in Afghanistan. Numerous ‘verified SOF’ on message boards state that the operation was conducted by SEAL Team Six, which makes sense considering all of the other Afghanistan hostage rescue missions conducted by US SOF that I am aware of went to ST6).
Not technically a rescue, but it has been reported that the intense pressure of ever-closing raids by Delta, ST6, and the SAS in the search for Jill Carroll led to her being released by her captors in Iraq.
The ‘accidental’ successful rescue of Phil Sands in Baghdad by ‘American special forces’ who stumbled onto this unknown captive during the course of a raid in which they infiltrated by helicopter. A raid in Baghdad by ‘American special forces’ in 2006 may have been Delta, ST6, or Rangers. I want to guess CAG due to the fact that Task Force Green was responsible for Baghdad and I’d think if it were a non-JSOC unit then it would have been made public, but who knows?
The successful rescue of Roy Hallums by Delta in Iraq.
The successful rescue of Jerzy Kos, Umberto Cupertino, Maurizio Agliana, Salvatore Stefio by Delta in Iraq.
The successful rescue of Jessica Lynch by SEAL Team Six in Iraq.
The successful rescue of Gracia Burnham/unsuccessful rescue attempt of Martin Burnham and Deborah Yap in the Philippines, which may or may not have involved JSOC SMUs in some capacity. There are some sketchy internet rumors of a ‘back-up/advisory’ role played by Gold Squadron of SEAL Team Six.
The successful rescue at the Japanese Embassy Hostage Rescue in Peru, in which Delta is widely reported to have played some sort of (advisory?) role.
The successful rescue of Kurt Muse by Delta in Panama.