A few nights after we got back from the mission to Prata Ghar, we had a party to celebrate the successful collaboration of German and American forces. Since the Germans were the only ones on the base with beer, they played host. 

This would be the first of a series. Over the following weeks it became commonplace to hear a bunch of SEALs leaving our compound saying, “Hey, we’ll be back, we have to go debrief with the Germans.” We had a number of parties with the Germans after that first mission, the last of which was quite memorable — although not in a happy sense.

We also went on additional joint missions with the Germans, including one that took us high up in the mountains to Ahmed Kheyl, on the Pakistani border north of Zhawar Kili, to explore another complex of caves. This place was high above the snow line, so we were going to insert by helo and trudge up there on snowshoes to check these caves out. All the intel said it was a fairly benign environment. 

Once again, we flew up to Bagram the day before the op and stayed there overnight, departing early the next morning on a few Sikorsky H-53s. This is a big-ass helicopter, much louder than the CH-47, and it puts out such a large rotor wash that you can’t really use it for targeted search-and-rescue missions. Stealth was not an important element here, as we were going to be inserting at a friendly checkpoint.