The Last of the Missing Recon Team
Froggy Ruminations has a postmortem of the mission in which a SEAL team ran into superior numbers near Asadabad, Afghanistan. A helicopter carrying a quick reaction force was subsequently lost in an attempt to extract them. Froggy Ruminations believes it was fundamentally due to bad luck that the team was discovered.(Hat tip Peg for discovering a mistake in the earlier version of this post).
I have received an unofficial “debrief” account of what happened on the SR mission and the subsequent actions of the QRF that went in to save them. I am not going to go into that here in an open forum, but I do want to address the broader issues of the operation. ... My understanding of how they were compromised amounts to basically a freak occurrence.
As to the issue of whether the commander of the quick reaction force misjudged the dangers of attempting a rescue, he argues that although the SEAL commander knew the odds, he nevertheless did everything possible to extract his men and led the mission himself.
Chances are good that the TF Commander had some kind of UAV surveillance in the area, and he therefore knew essentially how grave the SR team’s situation really was. Since LCDR Kristensen was on the bird that crashed, it is clear that the SEAL leadership element at the TF had no qualms about going in to get the SR team. Since the Nightstalkers flew the mission, it is clear that their leadership element was willing to take the risk of a daytime insertion in order to rescue their SEAL brothers. And since the QRF did in fact launch, it is clear that the TF Commander decided in his experience that he had to make the attempt to get his men out of there. The fact that people died as a result of those decisions does not make them incorrect. Soldiers and Sailors die in war, that’s just the way it is.