It wasn’t an easy movement. Not only were they in hostile territory (though the Shuryek Valley was considerably more friendly toward US forces than the Korengal and Chichal, on the other side of the ridge), but they were facing the same brutally steep, rocky terrain that the Rangers had been moving over, in the dark. Under those circumstances, and with the loads involved, to include radios, batteries, water, ammunition, and the specialized rescue equipment they would need, footing becomes treacherous, and a single slip can result in a nasty fall, which can set back the movement at best, and result in serious injury at worst. The rescue team had to move slowly and carefully not only because of the difficulty of the terrain and the weight, but simply to avoid needlessly risking the success of the mission.

The movement, less than a mile as the crow flies, took over 6 hours. At 0330Z, with the sun already up, the PJs made contact with the Rangers, and linked up on the high ground above the bodies.

With the High Angle team on site, the Rangers, who had been holding security on the area for over 10 hours, turned the site over to the High Angle team. For security, they had apparently pulled all their men up onto the high ground; there wasn’t anything more they could do for the bodies, and down in the ravine was a decidedly tactically unsound position. Telling the PJs where the bodies were located, they then moved up to the team’s original OP.

Using the OP as a starting point, the Rangers began searching for the body of Matthew Axelson. They searched 800 meters out from the OP, following the ridge. The Rangers kept to the ridgeline, leaving the ravine to the PJs.