After exhaustive analysis, the note from Marcus was determined to be genuine. Finally, the “Probability of Area” had been narrowed down, and the search could become more focused. Air assets were still over the area constantly, though only going down toward the mountainsides at night. Dozens of resupply bundles were dropped from the air, containing food, water, cell phones, batteries for every piece of equipment the SEALs might have, radios, and other signaling devices. It was hoped that, if one of the missing SEALs found one of these bundles, they would have a chance of contacting SAR assets, since it was assumed, based on the circumstances of the attack, that they did not have working comms.
Leaflets with encrypted survival information were dropped. Others promised a reward to any of the local tribesmen who came forward to Coalition forces with information that led to the rescue of any of the SEALs.
Around this time, the Rangers of 3rd Ranger Battalion arrived in the AO. They had reached Afghanistan a day before, but had to go through all of the procedures for entering theater before they could be inserted to join the search.
For interpreters, the Rangers had with them members of the Afghan Counterterrorist Pursuit Team, a US-sponsored Afghan Special Operations unit. The “Mohawks,” as they were called, would not only provide language support for the Rangers if they had to talk to the locals, but were trained to fight alongside them.
To the Rangers’ concern, when briefed the insert route was the exact same flight path as Turbine 33’s. While the crash site was secured, the Rangers were a little wary of going right into the same area, by the same route. It wouldn’t be the first time a follow-on force taking the same route had been ambushed.
However, the insert went smoothly, without making contact with the enemy. The Rangers moved off the LZ, seeing what was left of the wreck of Turbine 33 as they passed it. Once away from the LZ, they set up a patrol base, getting ready to head out to search the surrounding mountains in the morning.