Madness in Mogadishu, Michael Whetstone

Madness in Mogadishu, Michael Whetstone

Madness in Mogadishu, Michael Whetstone

Madness in Mogadishu, Michael Whetstone

Lt. Colonel Michael Whetstone commanded the Quick Reaction Company of the 10th Mountain Division during the brief US involvement in Somalia, commanding his unit during some of the hardest fighting in Mogadishu. His men achieved all of their objectives in a series of bitter battles, and took part in the rescue operations during the ‘battle of Mogadishu’, better known as ‘Black Hawk Down’.

Whetstone has produced a fascinating account of his time in Somalia. His focus is on what was required to turn his command into a highly successful unit, looking at elements of leadership and training, and how the lessons from training were put into effect when the initial peace keeping mission turned into a hot war. His unit took part in a series of high risk missions, in each case achieving its objectives despite being outnumbered by heavily armed opponents. He has also produced an excellent account of what it actually feels like to be in command during that sort of mission, giving us an unusual insight into his thoughts and emotions during the various battles his command took part in.

There is only one area where I disagree with the author. He is quite clear that the fighting ended as a victory for the UN forces, and they did indeed achieve their original objective, capturing two high ranking targets, but the original plan called for a simple in-and-out raid. The main part of the battle was triggered when two US helicopters were shot down and the first US troops to reach the scene were pinned down. UN forces then went in to rescue the original US troops. In this phase of the battle the attempt to rescue survivors from the crashes was at best a draw, and the UN forces were able to rescue the besieged US troops. However the pilot of the second helicopter was captured, and the bodies of several of the US dead fell into Somali hands. It doesn’t matter how tactically efficient the UN troops were after that - the PR damage had been done, and as far as the outside world was concerned, the battle had been a costly disaster.

This is an excellent account of modern infantry warfare, taking us into the heart of urban warfare, with all of the chaos and confusion caused by that environment.

Chapters
1 - Home
2 - Preparing for War
3 - Real-World Mission: The Big Show
4 - Escalation
5 - Out in Africa
6 - The Rangers are Coming, the Rangers are Coming
7 - Baptism by Firefight
8 - Black Eye over Mogadishu
9 - Calm before the Storm
10 - Living History
11 - Running the Gauntlet
12 - Back through the Valley of Death
13 - 'Take a Deep Breath'
14 - Extraordinary Coalition
15 - The Road to Hell
16 - Southern Objective
17 - The Rescue
18 - The Soccer Stadium
19 - Surreal Aftermath
20 - 20/20 Hindsight
Afterword: Preparing a Company for Combat

Author: Lt Col Michael Whetstone, USA (Ret)
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 320
Publisher: Hardback
Year: 2015



Madness in Mogadishu: Commanding the 10th Mountain Division's Quick Reaction Company During Black Hawk Down

On the afternoon of October 3, 1993, two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down over the Somali capital of Mogadishu, leaving a handful of U.S. Army Rangers and Delta Force operators at the mercy of several thousand approaching militants. Ordered to "go find the glow"--the burning wreckage--hard-charging Capt. Mike Whetstone, commander of a Quick Reaction Company in the 10t On the afternoon of October 3, 1993, two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down over the Somali capital of Mogadishu, leaving a handful of U.S. Army Rangers and Delta Force operators at the mercy of several thousand approaching militants. Ordered to "go find the glow"--the burning wreckage--hard-charging Capt. Mike Whetstone, commander of a Quick Reaction Company in the 10th Mountain Division, led part of the convoy sent to rescue the survivors. This powerfully vivid story of modern war is the intense firsthand account of the mission to find the crash site and retrieve the downed soldiers.

*Raw descriptions of urban combat in the labyrinthine streets and shantytowns of Mogadishu
*Complements the bestselling book and Oscar-winning movie Black Hawk Down, which recounts these events primarily from the perspective of the Rangers and Delta Force
*Presents battle-tested lessons for young leaders . more


Contents

In January 1991, Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown by a coalition of opposing clans, precipitating the Somali Civil War. [9] The Somali National Army concurrently disbanded, and some former soldiers reconstituted as irregular regional forces or joined the clan militias. [10] The main rebel group in the capital Mogadishu was the United Somali Congress (USC), [9] which later divided into two armed factions: one led by Ali Mahdi Muhammad, who became president and the other by Mohamed Farrah Aidid. In total, four opposition groups competed for political control: the USC the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF) the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM) and the Somali Democratic Movement (SDM). A ceasefire was agreed to in June 1991, but failed to hold. A fifth group, the Somali National Movement (SNM), declared independence in the northwest portion of Somalia later in June. The SNM renamed this unrecognized territory Somaliland, and selected its leader Abdirahman Ahmed Ali Tuur as president. [11]

In September 1991, severe fighting broke out in Mogadishu, which continued in the following months and spread throughout the country, with over 20,000 people killed or injured by the end of the year. These wars led to the destruction of Somalia's agriculture, which in turn led to starvation in large parts of the country. The international community began to send food supplies to halt the starvation, but vast amounts of food were hijacked and brought to local clan leaders, who routinely exchanged it with other countries for weapons. [12] An estimated 80 percent of the food was stolen. These factors led to even more starvation, from which an estimated 300,000 people died and another 1.5 million people suffered between 1991 and 1992. In July 1992, after a ceasefire between the opposing clan factions, the U.N. sent 50 military observers to watch the food's distribution. [11]

Operation Provide Relief began in August 1992, when U.S. President George H. W. Bush announced that U.S. military transports would support the multinational U.N. relief effort in Somalia. Ten C-130s and 400 people were deployed to Mombasa, Kenya, airlifting aid to Somalia's remote areas and reducing reliance on truck convoys. The C-130s delivered 48,000 tons of food and medical supplies in six months to international humanitarian organizations trying to help Somalia's more than three million starving people. [11]

When this proved inadequate to stop the massive death and displacement of the Somali people (500,000 dead and 1.5 million refugees or displaced), the U.S. launched a major coalition operation to assist and protect humanitarian activities in December 1992. This operation, called Operation Restore Hope, saw the U.S. assuming the unified command in accordance with Resolution 794. The U.S. Marine Corps landed the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit MEUSOC in Mogadishu with elements of 2nd Battalion 9th Marines and 3rd Battalion 11th Marines, secured nearly one-third of the city, the port, and airport facilities within two weeks, with the intent to facilitate airlifted humanitarian supplies. Elements of the 2nd Battalion 9th Marines HMLA-369 (Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 369 of Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Camp Pendleton) 9th Marines quickly secured routes to Baidoa, Balidogle and Kismayo, then were reinforced by the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division. [11]

Mission shift Edit

On 3 March 1993, U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali submitted to the U.N. Security Council his recommendations for effecting the transition from UNITAF to UNOSOM II. He indicated that since Resolution 794's adoption in December 1992, UNITAF's presence and operations had created a positive impact on Somalia's security situation and on the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance (UNITAF deployed 37,000 personnel over forty percent of southern and central Somalia). There was still no effective government, police, or national army, resulting in serious security threats to U.N. personnel. To that end, the Security Council authorized UNOSOM II to establish a secure environment throughout Somalia, to achieve national reconciliation so as to create a democratic state. [11] [13]

At the Conference on National Reconciliation in Somalia, held on 15 March 1993, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, all fifteen Somali parties agreed to the terms set out to restore peace and democracy. Within a month or so, however, by May 1993, it became clear that, although a signatory to the March Agreement, Mohammed Farrah Aidid's faction would not cooperate in the Agreement's implementation. [11]

Aidid began to broadcast anti-U.N. propaganda on Radio Mogadishu after believing that the U.N. was purposefully marginalizing him in an attempt to "rebuild Somalia." Lieutenant General Çevik Bir ordered the radio station shut down, in an attempt to quash the beginning of what could turn into a rebellion. Civilian spies throughout UNOSOM II's headquarters likely led to the uncovering of the U.N.'s plan. On 5 June 1993, Aidid ordered SNA militia to attack a Pakistani force that had been tasked with the inspection of an arms cache located at the radio station, possibly out of fear that this was a task force sent to shut down the broadcast. The result was 24 dead and 57 wounded Pakistani troops, as well as 1 wounded Italian and 3 wounded American soldiers. On 6 June 1993, the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 837, for the arrest and prosecution of the persons responsible for the death and wounding of the peacekeepers. [14]

On 12 June, U.S. troops started attacking targets in Mogadishu in hopes of finding Aidid, a campaign which lasted until 16 June. On 17 June, a $25,000 warrant was issued by Admiral Jonathan Howe for information leading to Aidid's arrest, but he was never captured. [15] Howe also requested a rescue force after the Pakistanis' deaths. [16]

Bloody Monday attack Edit

On 12 July 1993, a U.S.-led operation led to the event Somalis call Bloody Monday. [17] As part of the campaign to find or kill Aidid, American forces attacked a house in Mogadishu after being tipped off by an undercover operative that Aidid would be there at a meeting with tribal leaders. At 10:18 in the morning, American Cobra attack helicopters launched TOW Missiles and 20 mm caliber cannon fire at the structure. [17] [18] The inhabitants of the house, and their reason for being there, is disputed. American forces claimed that it was a meeting of a war council, and that their mission was a success. [18] According to American war correspondent Scott Peterson, a group of Somali elders had gathered at a house to discuss a way to make peace to end the violence between Somali militias and the UN forces. [17] The gathering had been publicized in Somali newspapers the day before the attack as a peace gathering. [17] Regardless of the true purpose of the meeting, the attack was perceived as a very aggressive action by a country not actively at war with Somalia, and caused most Somalis to lose trust in the United States. [18]

According to a Somali survivor, American ground troops killed 15 survivors at close range with pistols, a charge American commanders deny. [17] The official American account was that ground troops spent less than 10 minutes at the site, with the mission of assessing the outcome of the aerial strike. [18] According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, there were 54 dead Somalis and 161 wounded Somali forces claim more casualties, American forces claim less casualties. Aidid was not among the casualties and may not have been present. [18]

The operation would lead to the deaths of four journalists—Dan Eldon, Hos Maina, Hansi Kraus, and Anthony Macharia—who were killed by angry mobs when they arrived to cover the incident, [19] which presaged the Battle of Mogadishu. [20] Human Rights Watch declared that the attack "looked like mass murder." [21] Some believe that this American attack was a turning point in unifying Somalis against U.S. efforts in Somalia, including former moderates and those opposed to the Habar Gidir. [18] [22]

Task Force Ranger Edit

On 8 August 1993, Aidid's militia detonated a remote controlled bomb against a U.S. military vehicle, killing four soldiers. Two weeks later another bomb injured seven more. [23] In response, U.S. President Bill Clinton approved the proposal to deploy a special task force composed of elite special forces units, including 400 U.S. Army Rangers and Delta Force operators. [24]

On 22 August 1993, the unit deployed to Somalia under the command of Major General William F. Garrison, commander of the special multi-disciplinary Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) at the time. [25]

  • B Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment under the command of Captain Michael D. Steele
  • C Squadron, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D) under the command of Lt Col Gary L. Harrell [26]
  • A deployment package of 16 helicopters and personnel from the 1st Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (160th SOAR), which included MH-60 Black Hawks and AH/MH-6 Little Birds from the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU) and Combat Controllers from the 24th Special Tactics Squadron. [27]

Prior Black Hawk shot down Edit

On 25 September 1993, a week before the Battle, Aidid supporters used an RPG to shoot down a Black Hawk near the New Port in Mogadishu. It had been assigned to the 101st Airborne Division and all three crew members were killed. It was the first time a helicopter had been downed in Mogadishu, and the event was a huge psychological victory for the SNA. [28] [29]

U.S. and UNOSOM Edit

Units involved in the battle:

  • Task Force Ranger, including:
    • C Squadron, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D) – aka Delta Force[30]
    • Bravo Company, 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment [30]
    • 1st Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) (The Night Stalkers) with MH-6J and AH-6 "Little Birds" and MH-60 A/L Black Hawks [30]
    • Combat Controllers and Pararescuemen from the 24th Special Tactics Squadron [31] from the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU) & Carrier Air Wing 11 [32]
    • Amphibious Squadron 5 (USS New Orleans LPH-11, USS Denver LPD-9, USS Comstock LSD-45, USS Cayuga LST-1186)
    • BLT 1/9 (Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion/ 9th Marines/ 13th MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit/ USS New Orleans LPH-11 ARG (Amphibious Ready Group)
    • 2nd Battalion “Attack”, 25th Aviation Regiment
    • 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment
    • 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment
    • 3rd platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment
    • 41st Engineer Battalion, 10th Mountain Division [33]
    • 15th Battalion, of the Frontier Force Regiment, Pakistan Army [34] of the Pakistan Army [34]
    • 10th Battalion, of the Baloch Regiment of Pakistan Army
    • 19th Battalion, Royal Malay Regiment of the Malaysian Army [35]
    • 11th Regiment, Grup Gerak Khas of the Malaysian Army (few GGK operators during rescue the Super 6-1 crews) [35]
    • 7th Battalion, Frontier Force Regiment of the Pakistan Army [36]

    USC/SNA Edit

    The size and organizational structure of the Somali militia forces involved in the battle are not known in detail. In all, between 2,000–4,000 regular faction members are believed to have participated, almost all of whom belonged to Aidid's Somali National Alliance. They drew largely from his Habar Gidir Hawiye clan, who battled U.S. troops starting 12 July 1993. [37]

    The Somali National Alliance (SNA) was formed 14 August 1992. It began as the United Somali Congress (USC) under Aidid's leadership. At the time of Operation Gothic Serpent, the SNA was composed of Col. Omar Gess' Somali Patriotic Movement, the Somali Democratic Movement, the combined Digil and Mirifleh clans, the Habr Gedir of the United Somali Congress headed by Aidid, and the newly established Southern Somali National Movement. [38]

    After formation, the SNA immediately staged an assault against the militia of the Hawadle Hawiye clan, who controlled the Mogadishu port area. As a result, the Hawadle Hawiye were pushed out of the area, and Aidid's forces took control. [38]

    On 3 October 1993, special operations forces consisting of Bravo Company 3rd Battalion, the 75th Ranger Regiment, the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, and the 160th Aviation Battalion, attempted to capture Aidid's foreign minister, Omar Salad Elmim and his top political advisor, Mohamed Hassan Awale. [39]

    The plan was that Delta operators would assault the target building using MH-6 Little Bird helicopters, and secure the targets inside the building. Four Ranger chalks under Captain Michael D. Steele's command would fast-rope down from hovering MH-60L Black Hawks. Rangers would create a four-corner defensive perimeter around the target building to isolate it and ensure that no enemy could get in or out. [40]

    A column of nine HMMWVs (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) and three M939 five-ton trucks under Lieutenant Colonel Danny McKnight's command would arrive at the building to take the entire assault team and their prisoners back to base. The entire operation was estimated to take no longer than 30 minutes. [41]

    The ground-extraction convoy was supposed to reach the captive targets a few minutes after the operation's beginning, but it ran into delays. Somali citizens and local militia formed barricades along Mogadishu's streets with rocks, wreckage, rubbish and burning tires, blocking the convoy from reaching the Rangers and their captives. Aidid militiamen with megaphones were shouting, "Come out and defend your homes!" [42]

    At 13:50, Task Force Ranger analysts received intelligence of Salad's location. The soldiers, vehicle convoys, and helicopters were on high alert stand by until the code word "Irene" was echoed across all the radio channels by command. The code word "Irene" was the word that began the mission and sent the helicopters into the air. [43]

    At 15:42, the MH-6 assault Little Birds carrying the Delta operators hit the target, the wave of dust becoming so bad that one was forced to go around again and land out of position. Next, the two Black Hawks carrying the second Delta assault team led by DELTA officer Captain Austin S. Miller came into position and dropped their teams as the four Ranger chalks prepared to rope onto the four corners surrounding the target building. Chalk Four being carried by Black Hawk Super 67, piloted by CW3 Jeff Niklaus, was accidentally put a block north of their intended point. Declining the pilot's offer to move them back down due to the time it would take to do so, leaving the helicopter too exposed, Chalk Four intended to move down to the planned position, but intense ground fire prevented them from doing so. [ citation needed ]

    The ground convoy arrived ten minutes later near the Olympic Hotel target building ( 02°03′01.6″N 45°19′28.6″E  /  2.050444°N 45.324611°E  / 2.050444 45.324611 ) [44] and waited for Delta and Rangers to complete their mission. During the operation's first moments, Private First Class Todd Blackburn fell while fast-roping from Super 67 while it hovered 70 feet (21 m) above the streets. Blackburn suffered numerous head injuries and required evacuation by Sergeant Jeff Struecker's column of three Humvees. While taking Blackburn back to base, Sergeant Dominick Pilla, assigned to Struecker's Humvee, was killed instantly when a bullet struck his head. [45] The Humvee column arrived back at base, full of bullet holes and emitting smoke from the damage. [42]

    First Black Hawk down Edit

    An MH-6, Star 41, piloted by CW3 Karl Maier and CW5 Keith Jones, landed nearby. Jones left the helicopter and carried Busch to the safety of the helicopter, while Maier provided cover fire from the cockpit repeatedly denying orders to lift off while his co-pilot was not in the Bird. Maier nearly hit Chalk One's Lieutenant Tom DiTomasso, arriving with Rangers and Delta operators to secure the site. Jones and Maier evacuated Busch and Smith. Busch later died of his injuries, having been shot four times while defending the crash site. [ citation needed ]

    A combat search and rescue (CSAR) team, led by Delta Captain Bill J. Coultrup, Air Force Master Sergeant Scott C. Fales, and Air Force Technical Sergeant Timothy A. Wilkinson, were able to fast rope down to the Super 61 crash site despite an RPG hit that crippled their helicopter, Super 68, piloted by CW3 Dan Jollota and Maj. Herb Rodriguez. Despite the damage, Super 68 did make it back to base. The CSAR team found both the pilots dead and two wounded inside the crashed helicopter. Under intense fire, the team moved the wounded men to a nearby collection point, where they built a makeshift shelter using kevlar armor plates salvaged from Super 61 ' s wreckage. [47]

    Communications were confused between the ground convoy and the assault team. The assault team and the ground convoy waited for 20 minutes to receive their orders to move out. Both units were under the mistaken impression that they were to be first contacted by the other. [48]

    Second Black Hawk down Edit

    During the wait, a second Black Hawk helicopter, callsign Super 64 and piloted by Michael Durant, was shot down by an RPG-7 at around 16:40. [49] Most of the assault team went to the first crash site for a rescue operation. Upon reaching the first crash site, about 90 Rangers and Delta Force operators found themselves under heavy fire. [50] Despite air support, the assault team was effectively trapped for the night. With a growing number of wounded needing shelter, they occupied several nearby houses and confined the occupants for the battle's duration. [51]

    When Gordon was eventually killed, Shughart picked up Gordon's CAR-15 and gave it to Durant. Shughart went back around the helicopter's nose and held off the mob for about 10 more minutes before he was killed. The Somalis then overran the crash site and killed all but Durant. He was nearly beaten to death, but was saved when members of Aidid's militia came to take him prisoner. [49] For their actions, MSG Gordon and SFC Shughart were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the first awarded since the Vietnam War. [30]

    Repeated attempts by the Somalis to mass forces and overrun the American positions in a series of firefights near the first crash site were neutralized by aggressive small arms fire and by strafing runs and rocket attacks from AH-6J Little Bird helicopter gunships of the Nightstalkers, the only air unit equipped and trained for night fighting. [ citation needed ]

    Relief convoy arrives Edit

    A relief convoy with elements from the Task Force 2–14 Infantry, 10th Mountain Division, accompanied by Malaysian and Frontier Force Regiment of Pakistani U.N. forces, arrived at the first crash site at around 02:00. No contingency planning or coordination with U.N. forces had been arranged prior to the operation consequently, the recovery of the surrounded American troops was significantly complicated and delayed. Determined to protect all of the rescue convoy's members, General Garrison made sure that the convoy would roll out in force. [ citation needed ]

    When the convoy finally pushed into the city, it consisted of more than 100 U.N. vehicles including Malaysian forces' German-made Condor APCs, four Pakistani tanks (M48s), American HMMWVs and several M939 five-ton flatbed trucks. This two-mile-long column was supported by several other Black Hawks and Cobra assault helicopters stationed with the 10th Mountain Division. Meanwhile, Task Force Ranger's "Little Birds" continued their defense of Super 61 's downed crew and rescuers. The American assault force sustained heavy casualties, including several killed, and a Malaysian soldier died when an RPG hit his Condor vehicle. Seven Malaysians and two Pakistanis were wounded. [35] [36]

    Mogadishu Mile Edit

    The battle was over by 06:30 on Monday, 4 October. U.S. forces were finally evacuated to the U.N. base by the armored convoy. While leaving the crash site, a group of Rangers and Delta operators led by SSG John R. Dycus realized that there was no room left in the vehicles for them and were forced to depart the city on foot to a rendezvous point on National Street. This has been commonly referred to as the "Mogadishu Mile". [ citation needed ]

    In all, 19 U.S. soldiers were killed in action during the battle or shortly after, and another 73 were wounded in action. [52] The Malaysian forces lost one soldier and had seven injured, while the Pakistanis also lost one soldier and suffered two injured. Somali casualties were heavy, with estimates of fatalities ranging from 315 to over 2,000 combatants. [5] The Somali casualties were a mixture of militiamen and local civilians. Somali civilians suffered heavy casualties due to the dense urban character of that portion of Mogadishu. [ citation needed ]

    On 6 October 1993, a mortar round fell on the U.S. compound, injuring 12 people and killing Delta Sergeant First Class Matthew L. Rierson, the 19th U.S. soldier killed in the battle. That same day, a team on special mission Super 64 incurred two wounded. [53] Two weeks after the battle, General Garrison officially accepted responsibility. In a handwritten letter to President Clinton, Garrison took full responsibility for the battle's outcome. He wrote that Task Force Ranger had adequate intelligence for the mission and that their objective—capturing targets of value—was met. [54]

    After the battle, the bodies of several of the conflict's U.S. casualties (Black Hawk Super 64 's crewmembers and their defenders, Delta Force soldiers MSG Gordon and SFC Shughart) were dragged through Mogadishu's streets by crowds of local civilians and SNA forces. [55]

    Through negotiation and threats to the Habar Gidir clan leaders by the U.S. Special Envoy for Somalia, Robert B. Oakley, all the bodies were eventually recovered. The bodies were returned in poor condition, one with a severed head. Michael Durant was released after 11 days of captivity. On the beach near the base, a memorial was held for those who were killed in combat. [56]

    Known casualties and losses Edit

    The exact number of Somali casualties is unknown, but estimates range from several hundred to a thousand militiamen and others killed, [57] [58] with injuries to another 3,000–4,000. [59] The International Committee of the Red Cross estimated that 200 Somali civilians were killed and several hundred wounded in the fighting, [60] with reports that some civilians attacked the Americans. [61] The book Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War estimates more than 700 Somali militiamen dead and more than 1,000 wounded, but the Somali National Alliance in a Frontline documentary on American television acknowledged only 133 killed in the whole battle. [62] The Somali casualties were reported in The Washington Post as 312 killed and 814 wounded. [63] The Pentagon initially reported five American soldiers were killed, [64] but the toll was actually 18 American soldiers dead and 73 wounded. Two days later, a 19th soldier, Delta operator SFC Matt Rierson, was killed in a mortar attack. Among U.N. forces, one Malaysian and one Pakistani died seven Malaysians and two Pakistanis were wounded. At the time the battle was the bloodiest involving U.S. troops since the Vietnam War, and it remained so until the Second Battle of Fallujah in 2004. [ citation needed ]

    Pakistan Edit

    No Pakistani soldiers were killed and 10 disappeared during the rescue attempt and assault. Tanks of 7 Lancer Regiment and 19th Lancers were used for the rescue. Italian General Loi said Italian troops had picked up 30 of the wounded Pakistani soldiers. The city's two main hospitals reported that 23 Somalis had been killed and that more than 100 had been wounded. [65]

    Malaysia Edit

    Lance Corporal Mat Aznan Awang was a 33-year-old soldier of the 19th Battalion, Royal Malay Regiment of the Malaysian Army (posthumously promoted to Corporal). Driving a Malaysian Condor armoured personnel carrier, he was killed when his vehicle was hit by an RPG in the early hours of 4 October. [30] Corporal Mat Aznan Awang was awarded the Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa medal (Gallant Warrior/Warrior of Extreme Valor). [35] [66]

    Somalia Edit

    Ambassador Robert B. Oakley, the U.S. special representative to Somalia, is quoted as saying: "My own personal estimate is that there must have been 1,500 to 2,000 Somalis killed and wounded that day, because that battle was a true battle. And the Americans and those who came to their rescue, were being shot at from all sides . a deliberate war battle, if you will, on the part of the Somalis. And women and children were being used as shields and some cases women and children were actually firing weapons, and were coming from all sides. Sort of a rabbit warren of huts, houses, alleys, and twisting and turning streets, so those who were trying to defend themselves were shooting back in all directions. Helicopter gun ships were being used as well as all sorts of automatic weapons on the ground by the U.S. and the United Nations. The Somalis, by and large, were using automatic rifles and grenade launchers and it was a very nasty fight, as intense as almost any battle you would find." [67]

    Reliable estimates place the number of Somali insurgents killed at between 800 and as many as 1,000 with perhaps another 4,000 wounded. Somali militants claimed a much lower casualty rate. [68] Aidid himself claimed that only 315 – civilians and militia – were killed and 812 wounded. [5] Captain Haad, in an interview on American public television, said 133 of the SNA militia were killed, although he gave no numbers for deaths of civilians, many of whom were armed. [6]

    United States Edit

    Name Age Action Medal(s) Awarded (Posthumously)
    Operators of the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta
    MSG Gary Ivan Gordon 33 Killed defending Super Six-Four 's crew Medal of Honor, Purple Heart [30]
    SFC Randy Shughart 35 Killed defending Super Six-Four 's crew Medal of Honor, Purple Heart [30]
    SSG Daniel Darrell Busch 25 Sniper on crashed UH-60 Helicopter Super Six-One, mortally wounded defending the downed crew Silver Star, Purple Heart [66]
    SFC Earl Robert Fillmore, Jr. 28 Killed moving to the first crash site Silver Star, Purple Heart [69]
    MSG Timothy Lynn Martin 38 Mortally wounded by an RPG on the Lost Convoy, died while en route to a field hospital in Germany Silver Star, Purple Heart. [70]
    SFC Matthew Loren Rierson 33 Killed by stray mortar shell that landed near him Oct. 6, 2 days after the initial raid Silver Star, Bronze star, Purple Heart. [71]
    Soldiers of the 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
    CPL James "Jamie" E. Smith 21 Killed around crash site one Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device and Oak leaf cluster,
    Purple Heart [72]
    SPC James M. Cavaco 26 Killed on the Lost Convoy Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart [73]
    SGT James Casey Joyce 24 Killed on the Lost Convoy Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart [73]
    CPL Richard "Alphabet" W. Kowalewski, Jr. 20 Killed on the Lost Convoy by an RPG Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart [74]
    SGT Dominick M. Pilla 21 Killed on Struecker's convoy Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart [74]
    SGT Lorenzo M. Ruiz 27 Mortally wounded on the Lost Convoy, died en route to a field hospital in Germany Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart [74]
    Pilots and Crew of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment
    SSG William "Wild Bill" David Cleveland, Jr. 34 Crew chief on Super Six-Four, killed Silver Star,
    Bronze Star,
    Air Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart [75]
    SSG Thomas "Tommie" J. Field 25 Crew chief on Super Six-Four, killed Silver Star,
    Bronze Star,
    Air Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart
    CW4 Raymond "Ironman" Alex Frank 45 Super Six-Four 's copilot, killed Silver Star,
    Air Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart [76]
    CW3 Clifton "Elvis" P. Wolcott 36 Super Six-One 's pilot, died in crash Distinguished Flying Cross,
    Bronze Star,
    Air Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart [75]
    CW3 Donovan "Bull" Lee Briley 33 Super Six-One 's copilot, died in crash Distinguished Flying Cross,
    Bronze Star,
    Air Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart [77]
    Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division
    SGT Cornell Lemont Houston, Sr.
    1st Platoon, C Company, 41st Engr BN
    31 Member of the "Lost Platoon". Wounded by shrapnel from an RPG whilst recovering a severely wounded Malaysian soldier on the rescue convoy. [78] Also shot in the leg and chest. [79] Died of wounds at Landstuhl Army Regional Medical Center. [80] Bronze Star with Valor Device,
    de Fleury Medal, Purple Heart [81]
    PFC James Henry Martin, Jr. 23 Member of 2nd Squad, 2nd Platoon, Company A. [82] Killed on the rescue convoy by a bullet to the head. [79] Purple Heart [83]

    Military fallout Edit

    In a national security policy review session held in the White House on 6 October 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton directed the Acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral David E. Jeremiah, to stop all actions by U.S. forces against Aidid except those required in self-defense. He reappointed Ambassador Robert B. Oakley as special envoy to Somalia in an attempt to broker a peace settlement and then announced that all U.S. forces would withdraw from Somalia no later than 31 March 1994. On 15 December 1993, U.S. Secretary of Defense Les Aspin stepped down, taking much of the blame for his decision to refuse requests for tanks and armored vehicles in support of the mission. [84] [85] Garrison would write, however, that Aspin was not to blame for the events in Mogadishu. It's also since been noted that the equipment may not have arrived in time to make a difference. [86] A few hundred U.S. Marines remained offshore to assist with any noncombatant evacuation mission that might occur regarding the 1,000-plus U.S. civilians and military advisers remaining as part of the U.S. liaison mission. The Ready Battalion of the 24th Infantry Division, 1–64 Armor, composed 1,300 troops of Task Force Rogue, including the bulk of 1-64 Armor and Infantry troops from her sister battalion 3-15 Infantry. This was the first time M-1 Abrams tanks were delivered by air, using the C-5 Galaxies, which delivered 18 M-1 tanks and 44 Bradley infantry vehicles, [87] while the balance of Task Force Rogues equipment and vehicles were delivered via a roll-on/roll-off ship sent from Fort Stewart (Garden City), Georgia, to Mogadishu to provide armored support for U.S. forces. [ citation needed ]

    On 4 February 1994, the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 897, which set a process for completing the UNOSOM II mission by March 1995, with the withdrawal of U.N. troops from Somalia at that time. In August 1994, the UN requested that the US lead a coalition to aid in the final withdrawal of the UNOSOM II forces from Somalia. On 16 December 1994, Operation United Shield was approved by President Clinton and launched on 14 January 1995. On 7 February 1995, the Operation United Shield multi-national fleet arrived and began the withdrawal of UNOSOM II's forces. On 6 March 1995, all of the remaining U.N. troops were withdrawn, ending UNOSOM II. [88]

    Policy changes and political implications Edit

    The United Nation's three consecutive humanitarian missions in Somalia (UNOSOM I 1992, UNITAF 1992–1993, UNISOM II 1993–1995) were seen by many as a failure, and the evolving civil war that began in 1986 continues as of 2020. [89] The Clinton administration in particular endured considerable criticism for the operation's outcome. The main elements of the criticism surround: the administration's decision to leave the region before completing the operation's humanitarian and security objectives the perceived failure to recognize the threat al-Qaeda elements posed in the region and the threat against U.S. security interests at home. [90] Critics claim that Osama bin Laden and other members of al-Qaeda provided support and training to Mohammed Farrah Aidid's forces. Osama bin Laden even denigrated the administration's decision to prematurely depart the region, stating that it displayed "the weakness, feebleness and cowardliness of the US soldier". [91]

    The loss of U.S. military personnel during the Battle of Mogadishu and television images of American soldiers being dragged through the streets by Somalis evoked public outcry. The Clinton administration responded by scaling down U.S. humanitarian efforts in the region. [91] [92]

    On 26 September 2006, in an interview on Fox News with Chris Wallace, former President Bill Clinton gave his version of events surrounding the mission in Somalia. Clinton defended his exit strategy for U.S. forces and denied that the departure was premature. He said he had resisted calls from conservative Republicans for an immediate departure: ". [Conservative Republicans] were all trying to get me to withdraw from Somalia in 1993 the next day after we were involved in 'Black Hawk Down,' and I refused to do it and stayed six months and had an orderly transfer to the United Nations." [93]

    Clinton's remarks would suggest the U.S. was not deterred from pursuing their humanitarian goals because of the loss of U.S. forces during the battle. In the same interview, he stated that, at the time, there was "not a living soul in the world who thought that Osama bin Laden had anything to do with Black Hawk down or was paying any attention to it or even knew al-Qaeda was a growing concern in October of '93", and that the mission was strictly humanitarian. [93]

    Fear of a repeat of the events in Somalia shaped U.S. policy in subsequent years, with many commentators identifying the Battle of Mogadishu's graphic consequences as the key reason behind the U.S.'s failure to intervene in later conflicts such as the Rwandan genocide of 1994. According to the U.S.'s former deputy special envoy to Somalia, Walter Clarke: "The ghosts of Somalia continue to haunt US policy. Our lack of response in Rwanda was a fear of getting involved in something like a Somalia all over again." [94] Likewise, during the Iraq War when four American contractors were killed in the city of Fallujah, then dragged through the streets and desecrated by an angry mob, direct comparisons by the American media to the Battle of Mogadishu led to the First Battle of Fallujah. [95]

    Links with Al-Qaeda Edit

    Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization has been alleged to have been involved in the training and funding of Aidid's men. In his book Holy War, Inc. (2001), CNN reporter Peter Bergen interviewed bin Laden, who affirmed these allegations. According to Bergen, bin Laden asserted that fighters affiliated with his group were involved in killing U.S. troops in Somalia in 1993, a claim he had made earlier to the Arabic newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi. The al-Qaeda fighters in Somalia are rumored to have included the organization's military chief, Mohammed Atef, later killed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Another al-Qaeda operative who was present at the battle was Zachariah al-Tunisi, who allegedly fired an RPG that downed one of the Black Hawk helicopters he was later killed by an airstrike in Afghanistan in November 2001. [96]

    Aidid's men received some expert guidance in shooting down helicopters from fundamentalist Islamic soldiers, most likely al-Qaeda, who had experience fighting Russian helicopters during the Soviet–Afghan War. [28] A document recovered from al-Qaeda operative Wadih el-Hage's computer "made a tentative link between al-Qaeda and the killing of American servicemen in Somalia," and were used to indict bin Laden in June 1998. [97] Al-Qaeda defector Jamal al-Fadl also claimed that the group had trained the men responsible for shooting down the U.S. helicopters. [98]

    Four and a half years after the Battle of Mogadishu, in an interview in May 1998, bin Laden disparaged the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Somalia. [99] While he had previously claimed responsibility for the ambush, [100] bin Laden denied having orchestrated the attack on the U.S. soldiers in Mogadishu but expressed delight at their deaths in battle against Somali fighters. [99]

    In a 2011 interview, Moktar Ali Zubeyr, the leader of the Somali militant Islamist group Al-Shabaab, said that three al-Qaeda leaders were present during the battle of Mogadishu. Zubeyr named Yusef al-Ayeri, Saif al-Adel, and Sheikh Abu al Hasan al-Sa'idi as providing help through training or participating in the battle themselves. [101]

    In 1999, writer Mark Bowden published the book Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, which chronicles the events that surrounded the battle. The book was based on his series of columns for The Philadelphia Inquirer about the battle and the men who fought. [102]

    Falcon Brigade: Combat and Command in Somalia and Haiti, by Lawrence E. Casper (Col. USA Ret.), published in 2001 by Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. Boulder, Colorado and London, England. Casper was the 10th Mountain Division's Falcon Brigade and QRF Commander during the TF Ranger rescue effort. Eleven months later, Falcon Brigade, under Casper's leadership, launched Army forces from the Navy aircraft carrier Eisenhower onto the shores of Haiti in an operation to reinstate Haitian President Aristide.

    Black Hawk pilot Michael Durant told his story of being shot down and captured by a mob of Somalis in his 2003 book In the Company of Heroes. [103]

    In 2011, Staff Sergeant Keni Thomas, a U.S. Army Ranger recounted the combat experience in a memoir titled Get It On!: What It Means to Lead the Way. [104]

    Howard E. Wasdin's SEAL Team Six (2011) includes a section about his time in Mogadishu including the Pasha CIA safe house and multiple operations including the Battle of Mogadishu where he was severely wounded. [105]

    Lieutenant Colonel Michael Whetstone, Company Commander of Charlie Company 2–14 Infantry, published his memoirs of the heroic rescue operation of Task Force Ranger in his book Madness in Mogadishu (2013). [106]

    Film Edit

    Bowden's book has been adapted into the film Black Hawk Down (2001), produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Ridley Scott. Like the book, the film describes events surrounding the operation, but there are differences between the book and the film, such as Rangers marking targets at night by throwing strobe lights at them, when in reality the Rangers marked their own positions and close air support targeted everything else. [107]

    Upcoming Malaysian film Bakara, directed by Adrian Teh retells the story of Malaysian contingent of UNOSOM II involvement during the rescue operation in the battle. [108]

    Documentaries Edit

    The American series PBS Frontline aired a documentary titled "Ambush in Mogadishu" in 1998. [109] [110]

    The True Story of Black Hawk Down (2003) is a TV documentary which premièred on The History Channel. It was directed by David Keane. [111]

    The American Heroes Channel television series, Black Ops, aired an episode titled "The Real Black Hawk Down" in June 2014. [112]

    The National Geographic Channel television series, No Man Left Behind, aired an episode titled "The Real Black Hawk Down" on June 28, 2016. [113]

    The Seconds from Disaster television series spotlighted the raid and rescue mission in the Season 7 episode "Chopper Down" aired in February 2018. [114]

    Rangers return in 2013 Edit

    In March 2013, two survivors from Task Force Ranger returned to Mogadishu with a film crew to shoot a short film, Return to Mogadishu: Remembering Black Hawk Down, which debuted in October 2013 on the 20th anniversary of the battle. Author Jeff Struecker and country singer-songwriter Keni Thomas relived the battle as they drove through the Bakaara Market in armored vehicles and visited the Wolcott crash site. [115]

    Super 61 returns to US Edit

    In August 2013, remains of Super 61, consisting of the mostly intact main rotor and parts of the nose section, were extracted from the crash site and returned to the United States due to the efforts of David Snelson and Alisha Ryu, and are on display at the Airborne & Special Operations Museum at Fort Bragg, Fayetteville, North Carolina. [116] The exhibit features immersive dioramas and artifacts from the battle including the wreckage of Super 61, the first Black Hawk helicopter shot down during the battle, and Super 64. [117]

    As of October 2018, a fully restored Super 68 is on display at the Army Aviation Museum in Fort Rucker, Alabama. [118]


    Battle of Mogadishu (1993)

    The Battle of Mogadishu (Somali: Maalintii Rangers, lit. '"Day of the Rangers"'), also known as the Black Hawk Down incident, was part of Operation Gothic Serpent. It was fought on 3–4 October 1993, in Mogadishu, Somalia, between forces of the United States—supported by UNOSOM II—and Somali militiamen loyal to Mohamed Farrah Aidid. It was part of the broader Somali Civil War, which had intensified since 1991 and threatened famine the UN had become engaged to provide food aid, but eventually shifted their mission to establish democracy and restore a secure government.

    Standing in the way was Aidid, who refused to cooperate with the UN. The American Task Force Ranger was dispatched to seize two of Aidid's high-echelon lieutenants during a meeting in the city. The goal of the operation was achieved, although it was a pyrrhic victory and conditions spiraled into the deadly Battle of Mogadishu. The initial operation of 3 October 1993, intended to last an hour, became an overnight standoff and rescue operation extending into the daylight hours of 4 October 1993.

    The assault was planned to include an air and ground phase. As the mission was ongoing, Somali forces shot down two American Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters using RPG-7s. A desperate defense of the downed helicopters began, which would become dramatized in the 2001 film Black Hawk Down. Fighting lasted through the night to defend the survivors of the crashes, including the insertion of two sniper commandos who would be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. In the morning, a UNOSOM II armored convoy fought their way to the helicopters, incurring further casualties but eventually rescuing the survivors.

    Casualties included 19 dead American soldiers and 73 wounded, with Malaysian forces suffering one death and seven wounded, and Pakistani forces suffering one death and two injuries. There were between 315 and 2,000 Somali casualties. The battle shifted American foreign policy and led to an eventual pullout of the UN mission. The American withdrawal was ridiculed by Al-Qaeda, who may have been responsible for training the fighters that downed the helicopters. In the aftermath of the battle, dead American soldiers were dragged through the streets by Somalis, which was shown on American television—to public outcry. Fear of a repeat of the battle was a reason for American reluctance to get further involved in the region, and some scholars argue that it was a major factor that affected the Clinton administration's decision to not intervene in the Rwandan genocide, which took place six months later. [8]

    Background

    In January 1991, Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown by a coalition of opposing clans, precipitating the Somali Civil War. [9] The Somali National Army concurrently disbanded, and some former soldiers reconstituted as irregular regional forces or joined the clan militias. [10] The main rebel group in the capital Mogadishu was the United Somali Congress (USC), [9] which later divided into two armed factions: one led by Ali Mahdi Muhammad, who became president and the other by Mohamed Farrah Aidid. In total, four opposition groups competed for political control: the USC the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF) the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM) and the Somali Democratic Movement (SDM). A ceasefire was agreed to in June 1991, but failed to hold. A fifth group, the Somali National Movement (SNM), declared independence in the northwest portion of Somalia later in June. The SNM renamed this unrecognized territory Somaliland, and selected its leader Abdirahman Ahmed Ali Tuur as president. [11]

    In September 1991, severe fighting broke out in Mogadishu, which continued in the following months and spread throughout the country, with over 20,000 people killed or injured by the end of the year. These wars led to the destruction of Somalia's agriculture, which in turn led to starvation in large parts of the country. The international community began to send food supplies to halt the starvation, but vast amounts of food were hijacked and brought to local clan leaders, who routinely exchanged it with other countries for weapons. [12] An estimated 80 percent of the food was stolen. These factors led to even more starvation, from which an estimated 300,000 people died and another 1.5 million people suffered between 1991 and 1992. In July 1992, after a ceasefire between the opposing clan factions, the U.N. sent 50 military observers to watch the food's distribution. [11]

    Operation Provide Relief began in August 1992, when U.S. President George H. W. Bush announced that U.S. military transports would support the multinational U.N. relief effort in Somalia. Ten C-130s and 400 people were deployed to Mombasa, Kenya, airlifting aid to Somalia's remote areas and reducing reliance on truck convoys. The C-130s delivered 48,000 tons of food and medical supplies in six months to international humanitarian organizations trying to help Somalia's more than three million starving people. [11]

    When this proved inadequate to stop the massive death and displacement of the Somali people (500,000 dead and 1.5 million refugees or displaced), the U.S. launched a major coalition operation to assist and protect humanitarian activities in December 1992. This operation, called Operation Restore Hope, saw the U.S. assuming the unified command in accordance with Resolution 794. The U.S. Marine Corps landed the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit MEUSOC in Mogadishu with elements of 2nd Battalion 9th Marines and 3rd Battalion 11th Marines, secured nearly one-third of the city, the port, and airport facilities within two weeks, with the intent to facilitate airlifted humanitarian supplies. Elements of the 2nd Battalion 9th Marines HMLA-369 (Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 369 of Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Camp Pendleton) 9th Marines quickly secured routes to Baidoa, Balidogle and Kismayo, then were reinforced by the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division. [11]

    Mission shift

    On 3 March 1993, U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali submitted to the U.N. Security Council his recommendations for effecting the transition from UNITAF to UNOSOM II. He indicated that since Resolution 794's adoption in December 1992, UNITAF's presence and operations had created a positive impact on Somalia's security situation and on the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance (UNITAF deployed 37,000 personnel over forty percent of southern and central Somalia). There was still no effective government, police, or national army, resulting in serious security threats to U.N. personnel. To that end, the Security Council authorized UNOSOM II to establish a secure environment throughout Somalia, to achieve national reconciliation so as to create a democratic state. [11] [13]

    At the Conference on National Reconciliation in Somalia, held on 15 March 1993, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, all fifteen Somali parties agreed to the terms set out to restore peace and democracy. Within a month or so, however, by May 1993, it became clear that, although a signatory to the March Agreement, Mohammed Farrah Aidid's faction would not cooperate in the Agreement's implementation. [11]

    Aidid began to broadcast anti-U.N. propaganda on Radio Mogadishu after believing that the U.N. was purposefully marginalizing him in an attempt to "rebuild Somalia." Lieutenant General Çevik Bir ordered the radio station shut down, in an attempt to quash the beginning of what could turn into a rebellion. Civilian spies throughout UNOSOM II's headquarters likely led to the uncovering of the U.N.'s plan. On 5 June 1993, Aidid ordered SNA militia to attack a Pakistani force that had been tasked with the inspection of an arms cache located at the radio station, possibly out of fear that this was a task force sent to shut down the broadcast. The result was 24 dead and 57 wounded Pakistani troops, as well as 1 wounded Italian and 3 wounded American soldiers. On 6 June 1993, the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 837, for the arrest and prosecution of the persons responsible for the death and wounding of the peacekeepers. [14]

    On 12 June, U.S. troops started attacking targets in Mogadishu in hopes of finding Aidid, a campaign which lasted until 16 June. On 17 June, a $25,000 warrant was issued by Admiral Jonathan Howe for information leading to Aidid's arrest, but he was never captured. [15] Howe also requested a rescue force after the Pakistanis' deaths. [16]

    Bloody Monday attack

    On 12 July 1993, a U.S.-led operation led to the event Somalis call Bloody Monday. [17] As part of the campaign to find or kill Aidid, American forces attacked a house in Mogadishu after being tipped off by an undercover operative that Aidid would be there at a meeting with tribal leaders. At 10:18 in the morning, American Cobra attack helicopters launched TOW Missiles and 20 mm caliber cannon fire at the structure. [17] [18] The inhabitants of the house, and their reason for being there, is disputed. American forces claimed that it was a meeting of a war council, and that their mission was a success. [18] According to American war correspondent Scott Peterson, a group of Somali elders had gathered at a house to discuss a way to make peace to end the violence between Somali militias and the UN forces. [17] The gathering had been publicized in Somali newspapers the day before the attack as a peace gathering. [17] Regardless of the true purpose of the meeting, the attack was perceived as a very aggressive action by a country not actively at war with Somalia, and caused most Somalis to lose trust in the United States. [18]

    According to a Somali survivor, American ground troops killed 15 survivors at close range with pistols, a charge American commanders deny. [17] The official American account was that ground troops spent less than 10 minutes at the site, with the mission of assessing the outcome of the aerial strike. [18] According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, there were 54 dead Somalis and 161 wounded Somali forces claim more casualties, American forces claim less casualties. Aidid was not among the casualties and may not have been present. [18]

    The operation would lead to the deaths of four journalists—Dan Eldon, Hos Maina, Hansi Kraus, and Anthony Macharia—who were killed by angry mobs when they arrived to cover the incident, [19] which presaged the Battle of Mogadishu. [20] Human Rights Watch declared that the attack "looked like mass murder." [21] Some believe that this American attack was a turning point in unifying Somalis against U.S. efforts in Somalia, including former moderates and those opposed to the Habar Gidir. [18] [22]

    Task Force Ranger

    On 8 August 1993, Aidid's militia detonated a remote controlled bomb against a U.S. military vehicle, killing four soldiers. Two weeks later another bomb injured seven more. [23] In response, U.S. President Bill Clinton approved the proposal to deploy a special task force composed of elite special forces units, including 400 U.S. Army Rangers and Delta Force operators. [24]

    On 22 August 1993, the unit deployed to Somalia under the command of Major General William F. Garrison, commander of the special multi-disciplinary Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) at the time. [25]

    • B Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment under the command of Captain Michael D. Steele
    • C Squadron, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D) under the command of Lt Col Gary L. Harrell [26]
    • A deployment package of 16 helicopters and personnel from the 1st Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (160th SOAR), which included MH-60 Black Hawks and AH/MH-6 Little Birds from the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU) and Combat Controllers from the 24th Special Tactics Squadron. [27]

    Prior Black Hawk shot down

    On 25 September 1993, a week before the Battle, Aidid supporters used an RPG to shoot down a Black Hawk near the New Port in Mogadishu. It had been assigned to the 101st Airborne Division and all three crew members were killed. It was the first time a helicopter had been downed in Mogadishu, and the event was a huge psychological victory for the SNA. [28] [29]

    Order of battle

    U.S. and UNOSOM

    Units involved in the battle:

    • Task Force Ranger, including:
      • C Squadron, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D) – aka Delta Force[30]
      • Bravo Company, 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment [30]
      • 1st Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) (The Night Stalkers) with MH-6J and AH-6 "Little Birds" and MH-60 A/L Black Hawks [30]
      • Combat Controllers and Pararescuemen from the 24th Special Tactics Squadron [31] from the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU) & Carrier Air Wing 11 [32]
      • Amphibious Squadron 5 (USS New Orleans LPH-11, USS Denver LPD-9, USS Comstock LSD-45, USS Cayuga LST-1186)
      • BLT 1/9 (Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion/ 9th Marines/ 13th MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit/ USS New Orleans LPH-11 ARG (Amphibious Ready Group)
      • 2nd Battalion “Attack”, 25th Aviation Regiment
      • 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment
      • 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment
      • 3rd platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment
      • 41st Engineer Battalion, 10th Mountain Division [33]
      • 15th Battalion, of the Frontier Force Regiment, Pakistan Army [34] of the Pakistan Army [34]
      • 10th Battalion, of the Baloch Regiment of Pakistan Army
      • 19th Battalion, Royal Malay Regiment of the Malaysian Army [35]
      • 11th Regiment, Grup Gerak Khas of the Malaysian Army (few GGK operators during rescue the Super 6-1 crews) [35]
      • 7th Battalion, Frontier Force Regiment of the Pakistan Army [36]

      USC/SNA

      The size and organizational structure of the Somali militia forces involved in the battle are not known in detail. In all, between 2,000–4,000 regular faction members are believed to have participated, almost all of whom belonged to Aidid's Somali National Alliance. They drew largely from his Habar Gidir Hawiye clan, who battled U.S. troops starting 12 July 1993. [37]

      The Somali National Alliance (SNA) was formed 14 August 1992. It began as the United Somali Congress (USC) under Aidid's leadership. At the time of Operation Gothic Serpent, the SNA was composed of Col. Omar Gess' Somali Patriotic Movement, the Somali Democratic Movement, the combined Digil and Mirifleh clans, the Habr Gedir of the United Somali Congress headed by Aidid, and the newly established Southern Somali National Movement. [38]

      After formation, the SNA immediately staged an assault against the militia of the Hawadle Hawiye clan, who controlled the Mogadishu port area. As a result, the Hawadle Hawiye were pushed out of the area, and Aidid's forces took control. [38]

      Planning

      On 3 October 1993, special operations forces consisting of Bravo Company 3rd Battalion, the 75th Ranger Regiment, the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, and the 160th Aviation Battalion, attempted to capture Aidid's foreign minister, Omar Salad Elmim and his top political advisor, Mohamed Hassan Awale. [39]

      The plan was that Delta operators would assault the target building using MH-6 Little Bird helicopters, and secure the targets inside the building. Four Ranger chalks under Captain Michael D. Steele's command would fast-rope down from hovering MH-60L Black Hawks. Rangers would create a four-corner defensive perimeter around the target building to isolate it and ensure that no enemy could get in or out. [40]

      A column of nine HMMWVs (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) and three M939 five-ton trucks under Lieutenant Colonel Danny McKnight's command would arrive at the building to take the entire assault team and their prisoners back to base. The entire operation was estimated to take no longer than 30 minutes. [41]

      The ground-extraction convoy was supposed to reach the captive targets a few minutes after the operation's beginning, but it ran into delays. Somali citizens and local militia formed barricades along Mogadishu's streets with rocks, wreckage, rubbish and burning tires, blocking the convoy from reaching the Rangers and their captives. Aidid militiamen with megaphones were shouting, "Come out and defend your homes!" [42]

      At 13:50, Task Force Ranger analysts received intelligence of Salad's location. The soldiers, vehicle convoys, and helicopters were on high alert stand by until the code word "Irene" was echoed across all the radio channels by command. The code word "Irene" was the word that began the mission and sent the helicopters into the air. [43]

      At 15:42, the MH-6 assault Little Birds carrying the Delta operators hit the target, the wave of dust becoming so bad that one was forced to go around again and land out of position. Next, the two Black Hawks carrying the second Delta assault team led by DELTA officer Captain Austin S. Miller came into position and dropped their teams as the four Ranger chalks prepared to rope onto the four corners surrounding the target building. Chalk Four being carried by Black Hawk Super 67, piloted by CW3 Jeff Niklaus, was accidentally put a block north of their intended point. Declining the pilot's offer to move them back down due to the time it would take to do so, leaving the helicopter too exposed, Chalk Four intended to move down to the planned position, but intense ground fire prevented them from doing so. [ citation needed ]

      The ground convoy arrived ten minutes later near the Olympic Hotel target building ( 02°03′01.6″N 45°19′28.6″E  /  2.050444°N 45.324611°E  / 2.050444 45.324611 ) [44] and waited for Delta and Rangers to complete their mission. During the operation's first moments, Private First Class Todd Blackburn fell while fast-roping from Super 67 while it hovered 70 feet (21 m) above the streets. Blackburn suffered numerous head injuries and required evacuation by Sergeant Jeff Struecker's column of three Humvees. While taking Blackburn back to base, Sergeant Dominick Pilla, assigned to Struecker's Humvee, was killed instantly when a bullet struck his head. [45] The Humvee column arrived back at base, full of bullet holes and emitting smoke from the damage. [42]

      First Black Hawk down

      Play media

      An MH-6, Star 41, piloted by CW3 Karl Maier and CW5 Keith Jones, landed nearby. Jones left the helicopter and carried Busch to the safety of the helicopter, while Maier provided cover fire from the cockpit repeatedly denying orders to lift off while his co-pilot was not in the Bird. Maier nearly hit Chalk One's Lieutenant Tom DiTomasso, arriving with Rangers and Delta operators to secure the site. Jones and Maier evacuated Busch and Smith. Busch later died of his injuries, having been shot four times while defending the crash site. [ citation needed ]

      A combat search and rescue (CSAR) team, led by Delta Captain Bill J. Coultrup, Air Force Master Sergeant Scott C. Fales, and Air Force Technical Sergeant Timothy A. Wilkinson, were able to fast rope down to the Super 61 crash site despite an RPG hit that crippled their helicopter, Super 68, piloted by CW3 Dan Jollota and Maj. Herb Rodriguez. Despite the damage, Super 68 did make it back to base. The CSAR team found both the pilots dead and two wounded inside the crashed helicopter. Under intense fire, the team moved the wounded men to a nearby collection point, where they built a makeshift shelter using kevlar armor plates salvaged from Super 61 ' s wreckage. [47]

      Communications were confused between the ground convoy and the assault team. The assault team and the ground convoy waited for 20 minutes to receive their orders to move out. Both units were under the mistaken impression that they were to be first contacted by the other. [48]

      Second Black Hawk down

      During the wait, a second Black Hawk helicopter, callsign Super 64 and piloted by Michael Durant, was shot down by an RPG-7 at around 16:40. [49] Most of the assault team went to the first crash site for a rescue operation. Upon reaching the first crash site, about 90 Rangers and Delta Force operators found themselves under heavy fire. [50] Despite air support, the assault team was effectively trapped for the night. With a growing number of wounded needing shelter, they occupied several nearby houses and confined the occupants for the battle's duration. [51]

      When Gordon was eventually killed, Shughart picked up Gordon's CAR-15 and gave it to Durant. Shughart went back around the helicopter's nose and held off the mob for about 10 more minutes before he was killed. The Somalis then overran the crash site and killed all but Durant. He was nearly beaten to death, but was saved when members of Aidid's militia came to take him prisoner. [49] For their actions, MSG Gordon and SFC Shughart were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the first awarded since the Vietnam War. [30]

      Repeated attempts by the Somalis to mass forces and overrun the American positions in a series of firefights near the first crash site were neutralized by aggressive small arms fire and by strafing runs and rocket attacks from AH-6J Little Bird helicopter gunships of the Nightstalkers, the only air unit equipped and trained for night fighting. [ citation needed ]

      Relief convoy arrives

      A relief convoy with elements from the Task Force 2–14 Infantry, 10th Mountain Division, accompanied by Malaysian and Frontier Force Regiment of Pakistani U.N. forces, arrived at the first crash site at around 02:00. No contingency planning or coordination with U.N. forces had been arranged prior to the operation consequently, the recovery of the surrounded American troops was significantly complicated and delayed. Determined to protect all of the rescue convoy's members, General Garrison made sure that the convoy would roll out in force. [ citation needed ]

      When the convoy finally pushed into the city, it consisted of more than 100 U.N. vehicles including Malaysian forces' German-made Condor APCs, four Pakistani tanks (M48s), American HMMWVs and several M939 five-ton flatbed trucks. This two-mile-long column was supported by several other Black Hawks and Cobra assault helicopters stationed with the 10th Mountain Division. Meanwhile, Task Force Ranger's "Little Birds" continued their defense of Super 61 's downed crew and rescuers. The American assault force sustained heavy casualties, including several killed, and a Malaysian soldier died when an RPG hit his Condor vehicle. Seven Malaysians and two Pakistanis were wounded. [35] [36]

      Mogadishu Mile

      The battle was over by 06:30 on Monday, 4 October. U.S. forces were finally evacuated to the U.N. base by the armored convoy. While leaving the crash site, a group of Rangers and Delta operators led by SSG John R. Dycus realized that there was no room left in the vehicles for them and were forced to depart the city on foot to a rendezvous point on National Street. This has been commonly referred to as the "Mogadishu Mile". [ citation needed ]

      In all, 19 U.S. soldiers were killed in action during the battle or shortly after, and another 73 were wounded in action. [52] The Malaysian forces lost one soldier and had seven injured, while the Pakistanis also lost one soldier and suffered two injured. Somali casualties were heavy, with estimates of fatalities ranging from 315 to over 2,000 combatants. [5] The Somali casualties were a mixture of militiamen and local civilians. Somali civilians suffered heavy casualties due to the dense urban character of that portion of Mogadishu. [ citation needed ]

      On 6 October 1993, a mortar round fell on the U.S. compound, injuring 12 people and killing Delta Sergeant First Class Matthew L. Rierson, the 19th U.S. soldier killed in the battle. That same day, a team on special mission Super 64 incurred two wounded. [53] Two weeks after the battle, General Garrison officially accepted responsibility. In a handwritten letter to President Clinton, Garrison took full responsibility for the battle's outcome. He wrote that Task Force Ranger had adequate intelligence for the mission and that their objective—capturing targets of value—was met. [54]

      Aftermath

      After the battle, the bodies of several of the conflict's U.S. casualties (Black Hawk Super 64 's crewmembers and their defenders, Delta Force soldiers MSG Gordon and SFC Shughart) were dragged through Mogadishu's streets by crowds of local civilians and SNA forces. [55]

      Through negotiation and threats to the Habar Gidir clan leaders by the U.S. Special Envoy for Somalia, Robert B. Oakley, all the bodies were eventually recovered. The bodies were returned in poor condition, one with a severed head. Michael Durant was released after 11 days of captivity. On the beach near the base, a memorial was held for those who were killed in combat. [56]

      Known casualties and losses

      The exact number of Somali casualties is unknown, but estimates range from several hundred to a thousand militiamen and others killed, [57] [58] with injuries to another 3,000–4,000. [59] The International Committee of the Red Cross estimated that 200 Somali civilians were killed and several hundred wounded in the fighting, [60] with reports that some civilians attacked the Americans. [61] The book Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War estimates more than 700 Somali militiamen dead and more than 1,000 wounded, but the Somali National Alliance in a Frontline documentary on American television acknowledged only 133 killed in the whole battle. [62] The Somali casualties were reported in The Washington Post as 312 killed and 814 wounded. [63] The Pentagon initially reported five American soldiers were killed, [64] but the toll was actually 18 American soldiers dead and 73 wounded. Two days later, a 19th soldier, Delta operator SFC Matt Rierson, was killed in a mortar attack. Among U.N. forces, one Malaysian and one Pakistani died seven Malaysians and two Pakistanis were wounded. At the time the battle was the bloodiest involving U.S. troops since the Vietnam War, and it remained so until the Second Battle of Fallujah in 2004. [ citation needed ]

      No Pakistani soldiers were killed and 10 disappeared during the rescue attempt and assault. Tanks of 7 Lancer Regiment and 19th Lancers were used for the rescue. Italian General Loi said Italian troops had picked up 30 of the wounded Pakistani soldiers. The city's two main hospitals reported that 23 Somalis had been killed and that more than 100 had been wounded. [65]

      Lance Corporal Mat Aznan Awang was a 33-year-old soldier of the 19th Battalion, Royal Malay Regiment of the Malaysian Army (posthumously promoted to Corporal). Driving a Malaysian Condor armoured personnel carrier, he was killed when his vehicle was hit by an RPG in the early hours of 4 October. [30] Corporal Mat Aznan Awang was awarded the Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa medal (Gallant Warrior/Warrior of Extreme Valor). [35] [66]

      Ambassador Robert B. Oakley, the U.S. special representative to Somalia, is quoted as saying: "My own personal estimate is that there must have been 1,500 to 2,000 Somalis killed and wounded that day, because that battle was a true battle. And the Americans and those who came to their rescue, were being shot at from all sides . a deliberate war battle, if you will, on the part of the Somalis. And women and children were being used as shields and some cases women and children were actually firing weapons, and were coming from all sides. Sort of a rabbit warren of huts, houses, alleys, and twisting and turning streets, so those who were trying to defend themselves were shooting back in all directions. Helicopter gun ships were being used as well as all sorts of automatic weapons on the ground by the U.S. and the United Nations. The Somalis, by and large, were using automatic rifles and grenade launchers and it was a very nasty fight, as intense as almost any battle you would find." [67]

      Reliable estimates place the number of Somali insurgents killed at between 800 and as many as 1,000 with perhaps another 4,000 wounded. Somali militants claimed a much lower casualty rate. [68] Aidid himself claimed that only 315 – civilians and militia – were killed and 812 wounded. [5] Captain Haad, in an interview on American public television, said 133 of the SNA militia were killed, although he gave no numbers for deaths of civilians, many of whom were armed. [6]

      Name Age Action Medal(s) Awarded (Posthumously)
      Operators of the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta
      MSG Gary Ivan Gordon 33 Killed defending Super Six-Four 's crew Medal of Honor, Purple Heart [30]
      SFC Randy Shughart 35 Killed defending Super Six-Four 's crew Medal of Honor, Purple Heart [30]
      SSG Daniel Darrell Busch 25 Sniper on crashed UH-60 Helicopter Super Six-One, mortally wounded defending the downed crew Silver Star, Purple Heart [66]
      SFC Earl Robert Fillmore, Jr. 28 Killed moving to the first crash site Silver Star, Purple Heart [69]
      MSG Timothy Lynn Martin 38 Mortally wounded by an RPG on the Lost Convoy, died while en route to a field hospital in Germany Silver Star, Purple Heart. [70]
      SFC Matthew Loren Rierson 33 Killed by stray mortar shell that landed near him Oct. 6, 2 days after the initial raid Silver Star, Bronze star, Purple Heart. [71]
      Soldiers of the 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
      CPL James "Jamie" E. Smith 21 Killed around crash site one Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device and Oak leaf cluster,
      Purple Heart [72]
      SPC James M. Cavaco 26 Killed on the Lost Convoy Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart [73]
      SGT James Casey Joyce 24 Killed on the Lost Convoy Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart [73]
      CPL Richard "Alphabet" W. Kowalewski, Jr. 20 Killed on the Lost Convoy by an RPG Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart [74]
      SGT Dominick M. Pilla 21 Killed on Struecker's convoy Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart [74]
      SGT Lorenzo M. Ruiz 27 Mortally wounded on the Lost Convoy, died en route to a field hospital in Germany Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart [74]
      Pilots and Crew of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment
      SSG William "Wild Bill" David Cleveland, Jr. 34 Crew chief on Super Six-Four, killed Silver Star,
      Bronze Star,
      Air Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart [75]
      SSG Thomas "Tommie" J. Field 25 Crew chief on Super Six-Four, killed Silver Star,
      Bronze Star,
      Air Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart
      CW4 Raymond "Ironman" Alex Frank 45 Super Six-Four 's copilot, killed Silver Star,
      Air Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart [76]
      CW3 Clifton "Elvis" P. Wolcott 36 Super Six-One 's pilot, died in crash Distinguished Flying Cross,
      Bronze Star,
      Air Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart [75]
      CW3 Donovan "Bull" Lee Briley 33 Super Six-One 's copilot, died in crash Distinguished Flying Cross,
      Bronze Star,
      Air Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart [77]
      Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division
      SGT Cornell Lemont Houston, Sr.
      1st Platoon, C Company, 41st Engr BN
      31 Member of the "Lost Platoon". Wounded by shrapnel from an RPG whilst recovering a severely wounded Malaysian soldier on the rescue convoy. [78] Also shot in the leg and chest. [79] Died of wounds at Landstuhl Army Regional Medical Center. [80] Bronze Star with Valor Device,
      de Fleury Medal, Purple Heart [81]
      PFC James Henry Martin, Jr. 23 Member of 2nd Squad, 2nd Platoon, Company A. [82] Killed on the rescue convoy by a bullet to the head. [79] Purple Heart [83]

      Military fallout

      In a national security policy review session held in the White House on 6 October 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton directed the Acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral David E. Jeremiah, to stop all actions by U.S. forces against Aidid except those required in self-defense. He reappointed Ambassador Robert B. Oakley as special envoy to Somalia in an attempt to broker a peace settlement and then announced that all U.S. forces would withdraw from Somalia no later than 31 March 1994. On 15 December 1993, U.S. Secretary of Defense Les Aspin stepped down, taking much of the blame for his decision to refuse requests for tanks and armored vehicles in support of the mission. [84] [85] Garrison would write, however, that Aspin was not to blame for the events in Mogadishu. It's also since been noted that the equipment may not have arrived in time to make a difference. [86] A few hundred U.S. Marines remained offshore to assist with any noncombatant evacuation mission that might occur regarding the 1,000-plus U.S. civilians and military advisers remaining as part of the U.S. liaison mission. The Ready Battalion of the 24th Infantry Division, 1–64 Armor, composed 1,300 troops of Task Force Rogue, including the bulk of 1-64 Armor and Infantry troops from her sister battalion 3-15 Infantry. This was the first time M-1 Abrams tanks were delivered by air, using the C-5 Galaxies, which delivered 18 M-1 tanks and 44 Bradley infantry vehicles, [87] while the balance of Task Force Rogues equipment and vehicles were delivered via a roll-on/roll-off ship sent from Fort Stewart (Garden City), Georgia, to Mogadishu to provide armored support for U.S. forces. [ citation needed ]

      On 4 February 1994, the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 897, which set a process for completing the UNOSOM II mission by March 1995, with the withdrawal of U.N. troops from Somalia at that time. In August 1994, the UN requested that the US lead a coalition to aid in the final withdrawal of the UNOSOM II forces from Somalia. On 16 December 1994, Operation United Shield was approved by President Clinton and launched on 14 January 1995. On 7 February 1995, the Operation United Shield multi-national fleet arrived and began the withdrawal of UNOSOM II's forces. On 6 March 1995, all of the remaining U.N. troops were withdrawn, ending UNOSOM II. [88]

      Policy changes and political implications

      The United Nation's three consecutive humanitarian missions in Somalia (UNOSOM I 1992, UNITAF 1992–1993, UNISOM II 1993–1995) were seen by many as a failure, and the evolving civil war that began in 1986 continues as of 2020. [89] The Clinton administration in particular endured considerable criticism for the operation's outcome. The main elements of the criticism surround: the administration's decision to leave the region before completing the operation's humanitarian and security objectives the perceived failure to recognize the threat al-Qaeda elements posed in the region and the threat against U.S. security interests at home. [90] Critics claim that Osama bin Laden and other members of al-Qaeda provided support and training to Mohammed Farrah Aidid's forces. Osama bin Laden even denigrated the administration's decision to prematurely depart the region, stating that it displayed "the weakness, feebleness and cowardliness of the US soldier". [91]

      The loss of U.S. military personnel during the Battle of Mogadishu and television images of American soldiers being dragged through the streets by Somalis evoked public outcry. The Clinton administration responded by scaling down U.S. humanitarian efforts in the region. [91] [92]

      On 26 September 2006, in an interview on Fox News with Chris Wallace, former President Bill Clinton gave his version of events surrounding the mission in Somalia. Clinton defended his exit strategy for U.S. forces and denied that the departure was premature. He said he had resisted calls from conservative Republicans for an immediate departure: ". [Conservative Republicans] were all trying to get me to withdraw from Somalia in 1993 the next day after we were involved in 'Black Hawk Down,' and I refused to do it and stayed six months and had an orderly transfer to the United Nations." [93]

      Clinton's remarks would suggest the U.S. was not deterred from pursuing their humanitarian goals because of the loss of U.S. forces during the battle. In the same interview, he stated that, at the time, there was "not a living soul in the world who thought that Osama bin Laden had anything to do with Black Hawk down or was paying any attention to it or even knew al-Qaeda was a growing concern in October of '93", and that the mission was strictly humanitarian. [93]

      Fear of a repeat of the events in Somalia shaped U.S. policy in subsequent years, with many commentators identifying the Battle of Mogadishu's graphic consequences as the key reason behind the U.S.'s failure to intervene in later conflicts such as the Rwandan genocide of 1994. According to the U.S.'s former deputy special envoy to Somalia, Walter Clarke: "The ghosts of Somalia continue to haunt US policy. Our lack of response in Rwanda was a fear of getting involved in something like a Somalia all over again." [94] Likewise, during the Iraq War when four American contractors were killed in the city of Fallujah, then dragged through the streets and desecrated by an angry mob, direct comparisons by the American media to the Battle of Mogadishu led to the First Battle of Fallujah. [95]

      Links with Al-Qaeda

      Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization has been alleged to have been involved in the training and funding of Aidid's men. In his book Holy War, Inc. (2001), CNN reporter Peter Bergen interviewed bin Laden, who affirmed these allegations. According to Bergen, bin Laden asserted that fighters affiliated with his group were involved in killing U.S. troops in Somalia in 1993, a claim he had made earlier to the Arabic newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi. The al-Qaeda fighters in Somalia are rumored to have included the organization's military chief, Mohammed Atef, later killed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Another al-Qaeda operative who was present at the battle was Zachariah al-Tunisi, who allegedly fired an RPG that downed one of the Black Hawk helicopters he was later killed by an airstrike in Afghanistan in November 2001. [96]

      Aidid's men received some expert guidance in shooting down helicopters from fundamentalist Islamic soldiers, most likely al-Qaeda, who had experience fighting Russian helicopters during the Soviet–Afghan War. [28] A document recovered from al-Qaeda operative Wadih el-Hage's computer "made a tentative link between al-Qaeda and the killing of American servicemen in Somalia," and were used to indict bin Laden in June 1998. [97] Al-Qaeda defector Jamal al-Fadl also claimed that the group had trained the men responsible for shooting down the U.S. helicopters. [98]

      Four and a half years after the Battle of Mogadishu, in an interview in May 1998, bin Laden disparaged the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Somalia. [99] While he had previously claimed responsibility for the ambush, [100] bin Laden denied having orchestrated the attack on the U.S. soldiers in Mogadishu but expressed delight at their deaths in battle against Somali fighters. [99]

      In a 2011 interview, Moktar Ali Zubeyr, the leader of the Somali militant Islamist group Al-Shabaab, said that three al-Qaeda leaders were present during the battle of Mogadishu. Zubeyr named Yusef al-Ayeri, Saif al-Adel, and Sheikh Abu al Hasan al-Sa'idi as providing help through training or participating in the battle themselves. [101]

      Published accounts

      In 1999, writer Mark Bowden published the book Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, which chronicles the events that surrounded the battle. The book was based on his series of columns for The Philadelphia Inquirer about the battle and the men who fought. [102]

      Falcon Brigade: Combat and Command in Somalia and Haiti, by Lawrence E. Casper (Col. USA Ret.), published in 2001 by Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. Boulder, Colorado and London, England. Casper was the 10th Mountain Division's Falcon Brigade and QRF Commander during the TF Ranger rescue effort. Eleven months later, Falcon Brigade, under Casper's leadership, launched Army forces from the Navy aircraft carrier Eisenhower onto the shores of Haiti in an operation to reinstate Haitian President Aristide.

      Black Hawk pilot Michael Durant told his story of being shot down and captured by a mob of Somalis in his 2003 book In the Company of Heroes. [103]

      In 2011, Staff Sergeant Keni Thomas, a U.S. Army Ranger recounted the combat experience in a memoir titled Get It On!: What It Means to Lead the Way. [104]

      Howard E. Wasdin's SEAL Team Six (2011) includes a section about his time in Mogadishu including the Pasha CIA safe house and multiple operations including the Battle of Mogadishu where he was severely wounded. [105]

      Lieutenant Colonel Michael Whetstone, Company Commander of Charlie Company 2–14 Infantry, published his memoirs of the heroic rescue operation of Task Force Ranger in his book Madness in Mogadishu (2013). [106]

      Bowden's book has been adapted into the film Black Hawk Down (2001), produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Ridley Scott. Like the book, the film describes events surrounding the operation, but there are differences between the book and the film, such as Rangers marking targets at night by throwing strobe lights at them, when in reality the Rangers marked their own positions and close air support targeted everything else. [107]

      Upcoming Malaysian film Bakara , directed by Adrian Teh retells the story of Malaysian contingent of UNOSOM II involvement during the rescue operation in the battle. [108]

      Documentaries

      The American series PBS Frontline aired a documentary titled "Ambush in Mogadishu" in 1998. [109] [110]

      The True Story of Black Hawk Down (2003) is a TV documentary which premièred on The History Channel. It was directed by David Keane. [111]

      The American Heroes Channel television series, Black Ops, aired an episode titled "The Real Black Hawk Down" in June 2014. [112]

      The National Geographic Channel television series, No Man Left Behind, aired an episode titled "The Real Black Hawk Down" on June 28, 2016. [113]

      The Seconds from Disaster television series spotlighted the raid and rescue mission in the Season 7 episode "Chopper Down" aired in February 2018. [114]

      Rangers return in 2013

      In March 2013, two survivors from Task Force Ranger returned to Mogadishu with a film crew to shoot a short film, Return to Mogadishu: Remembering Black Hawk Down, which debuted in October 2013 on the 20th anniversary of the battle. Author Jeff Struecker and country singer-songwriter Keni Thomas relived the battle as they drove through the Bakaara Market in armored vehicles and visited the Wolcott crash site. [115]

      Super 61 returns to US

      In August 2013, remains of Super 61, consisting of the mostly intact main rotor and parts of the nose section, were extracted from the crash site and returned to the United States due to the efforts of David Snelson and Alisha Ryu, and are on display at the Airborne & Special Operations Museum at Fort Bragg, Fayetteville, North Carolina. [116] The exhibit features immersive dioramas and artifacts from the battle including the wreckage of Super 61, the first Black Hawk helicopter shot down during the battle, and Super 64. [117]

      As of October 2018, a fully restored Super 68 is on display at the Army Aviation Museum in Fort Rucker, Alabama. [118]


      Background

      In January 1991, Somalian President Mohammed Siad Barre was overthrown in the ensuing civil war by a coalition of opposing clans. [17] The Somali National Army concurrently disbanded and some former soldiers reconstituted as irregular regional forces or joined the clan militias. [18] The main rebel group in the capital Mogadishu was the United Somali Congress (USC), [17] which later divided into two armed factions: one led by Ali Mahdi Muhammad, who became president, and the other by Mohamed Farrah Aidid. In total, there were four opposition groups that competed for political control – the USC, Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF), Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM) and Somali Democratic Movement (SDM). In June 1991, a ceasefire was agreed to, but failed to hold. A fifth group, the Somali National Movement (SNM), later declared independence in the Somalia's northwest portion in June. The SNM renamed the unrecognized territory Somaliland, with its leader Abdirahman Ahmed Ali Tuur selected as president. [19]

      In September 1991, severe fighting broke out in Mogadishu, which continued in the following months and spread throughout the country, with over 20,000 people killed or injured by the end of the year. These wars led to the destruction of Somalia's agriculture, which in turn led to starvation in large parts of the country. The international community began to send food supplies to halt the starvation, but vast amounts of food were hijacked and brought to local clan leaders, who routinely exchanged it with other countries for weapons. An estimated 80 percent of the food was stolen. These factors led to even more starvation, from which an estimated 300,000 people died and another 1.5 million people suffered between 1991 and 1992. In July 1992, after a ceasefire between the opposing clan factions, the U.N. sent 50 military observers to watch the food's distribution. [19]

      When this proved inadequate to stop the massive death and displacement of the Somali people (500,000 dead and 1.5 million refugees or displaced), the U.S launched a major coalition operation to assist and protect humanitarian activities in December 1992. This operation, called Operation Restore Hope, saw the U.S. assuming the unified command in accordance with Resolution 794. The U.S. Marine Corps landed the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Mogadishu and, with elements of 1st Battalion, 7th Marines and 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines, secured nearly one-third of the city, the port, and airport facilities within two weeks, with the intent to facilitate airlifted humanitarian supplies. Elements of the 2nd Battalion HMLA-369 (Helicopter Marine Light Assault-369 of Marine Aircraft Group-39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Camp Pendleton) 9th Marines and 1st Battalion, 7th Marines quickly secured routes to Baidoa, Balidogle and Kismayo, then were reinforced by the 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion and the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division. [19]

      Mission shift

      On 3 March 1993, the U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali submitted to the U.N. Security Council his recommendations for effecting the transition from UNITAF to UNOSOM II. He indicated that since Resolution 794's adoption in December 1992, UNITAF's presence and operations had created a positive impact on Somalia's security situation and on the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance (UNITAF deployed some 37,000 personnel over forty percent of southern and central Somalia). However, there was still no effective government, police, or national army with the result of serious security threats to U.N. personnel. To that end, the Security Council authorized UNOSOM II to establish a secure environment throughout Somalia, to achieve national reconciliation so as to create a democratic state. [19] [20]

      At the Conference on National Reconciliation in Somalia, held on 15 March 1993, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, all fifteen Somali parties agreed to the terms set out to restore peace and democracy. Yet, by May it became clear that, although a signatory to the March Agreement, Mohammed Farrah Aidid's faction would not cooperate in the Agreement's implementation. [19]

      Aidid began to broadcast anti-U.N. propaganda on Radio Mogadishu after believing that the U.N. was purposefully marginalizing him in an attempt to "rebuild Somalia". Lieutenant General Çevik Bir ordered the radio station shut down, in an attempt to quash the beginning of what could turn into a rebellion. Civilian spies throughout UNOSOM II's headquarters likely led to the uncovering of the U.N.'s plan. Aidid ordered SNA militia to attack a Pakistani force on 5 June 1993, that had been tasked with the inspection of an arms cache located at the radio station, possibly out of fear that this was a task force sent to shut down the broadcast. The result was 24 dead, and 57 wounded Pakistani troops, as well as 1 wounded Italian and 3 wounded American soldiers. On 6 June 1993, the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 837, for the arrest and prosecution of the persons responsible for the death and wounding of the peacekeepers. [21]

      On 12 June, U.S. troops started attacking targets in Mogadishu in hopes of finding Aidid, a campaign which lasted until 16 June. On 17 June, a $25,000 warrant was issued by Admiral Jonathan Howe for information leading to Aidid's arrest, but he was never captured. [22] Howe also requested a counter-terrorist rescue force after the Pakistanis' deaths.

      Attack on safe house

      On 12 July 1993, a U.S.-led operation was launched on what was believed to be a safe house where Aidid was hiding in Mogadishu. During the 17-minute combat operation, U.S. Cobra attack helicopters fired 16 TOW missiles and thousands of 20-millimeter cannon rounds into the compound, killing 60 people. However, the number of Somali fatalities was disputed. Abdi Qeybdiid, Aidid's interior minister, claimed 763 dead, including women and children who had been in the safe house. The reports Jonathan Howe got after the attack placed the number of dead at 20, all men. The International Committee of the Red Cross set the number of dead at 54. [23] As it happened, Aidid was nowhere in sight.

      The operation would lead to the deaths of four journalists – Dan Eldon, Hos Maina, Hansi Kraus and Anthony Macharia – who were killed by angry Mogadishu mobs when they arrived to cover the incident, [24] which presaged the Battle of Mogadishu. [25]

      Some believe that this American attack was a turning point in unifying Somalis against U.S. efforts in Somalia, including former moderates and those opposed to the Habar Gidir. [26] [27]

      Task Force Ranger

      On 8 August 1993, Aidid's militia detonated a remote controlled bomb against a U.S. military vehicle, killing four soldiers. Two weeks later another bomb injured seven more. [28] In response, U.S. President Bill Clinton approved the proposal to deploy a special task force composed of 400 U.S. Army Rangers and Delta Force operators. [29] This unit, named Task Force Ranger, consisted of 160 elite U.S. troops.

      On 22 August, the unit deployed to Somalia under the command of Major General William F. Garrison, commander of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) at the time.

      • B Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
      • C Squadron, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D)
      • A deployment package of 16 helicopters and personnel from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (160th SOAR), which included MH-60 Black Hawks and AH/MH-6 Little Birds.
      • Navy SEALs from the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU)
      • Air Force Pararescuemen and Combat Controllers from the 24th Special Tactics Squadron. [30]

      On 21 September, Task Force Ranger captured Aidid's financier, Osman Ali Atto.

      First Black Hawk Down

      At around 02:00 on 25 September, Aidid's men shot down a 101st Airborne Division Black Hawk with an RPG and killed three crew members at New Port near Mogadishu. The shootdown was a huge SNA psychological victory. [31] [32]


      Contents

      Winstone was born in Hackney Hospital, London. [5] [6] He first lived in Caister Park Road, Plaistow E13, and attended Portway infants and junior school. He moved to Enfield when he was seven and grew up on a council estate just off the A10 road. [7] His father, Raymond J. Winstone (1933–2015), ran a fruit and vegetable business [8] while his mother, Margaret (née Richardson 1932–1985) [9] had a job emptying fruit machines. Winstone has recounted how, as a child, he used to play with his friends on bomb sites (vacant lots with rubble from World War II bombs). [10] He joined Brimsdown Primary School and later he was educated at Edmonton County School which had changed from a grammar school to a comprehensive upon his arrival. He also attended Corona Theatre School. He did not take to school, eventually leaving with a single CSE (Grade 2) in Drama. [4] He recounted an early encounter with a notorious gangster:

      "I was still a baby the day Ronnie Kray came round to see Dad, but I've been told this story so many times I can see it unfolding in my mind. Everyone was on their best behaviour, but then Ronnie picked me up, and by all accounts I pissed all over him. He had a new mac on, which had probably cost a few bob, and I absolutely covered it. The room fell silent, then Ronnie cracked up, so everyone knew it was safe to join in." [11]

      Winstone had an early affinity for acting his father would take him to the cinema every Wednesday afternoon. Later, he viewed Albert Finney in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, and said: "I thought, 'I could be that geezer'." Other major influences included John Wayne, James Cagney, and Edward G. Robinson. After borrowing extra tuition money from a friend's mother, a drama teacher, Winstone took to the stage, appearing as a Cockney newspaper seller in a production of Emil and the Detectives.

      Winstone was also a fan of boxing. Known to his friends as Winnie, he was called Little Sugs at home (his father already being known as Sugar, after Sugar Ray Robinson). At the age of 12, Winstone joined the Repton Amateur Boxing Club. Over the next 10 years, he won 80 out of 88 bouts. At welterweight, he was London schoolboy champion on three occasions, fighting twice for England. The experience gave him a perspective on his later career: "If you can get in a ring with 2,000 people watching and be smacked around by another guy, then walking onstage isn't hard." [12]

      School Edit

      Deciding to pursue drama, Winstone enrolled at the Corona Stage Academy in Hammersmith, when he was aged "about seventeen". [13] [11] [4] At £900 a term, it was expensive considering the average wage was then about £36 a week. He landed his first major role in What a Crazy World at the Theatre Royal, Stratford in London, but he danced and sang badly, leading his usually supportive father to say "Give it up, while you're ahead." [14] One of his first TV appearances came in the 1976 "Loving Arms" episode of the popular police series The Sweeney where he was credited as "Raymond Winstone" (as he was in "What a Crazy World") and played a minor part as an unnamed young thug.

      Winstone was not popular with the establishment at his secondary school, who considered him a bad influence. When he discovered that he was the only pupil not invited to the Christmas party he decided to take revenge for this slight. Hammering some pins through a piece of wood, he placed it under the wheel of his headmistress's car and blew out the tyre, for which he was expelled. [4] As a joke, he went up to the BBC, where his schoolmates were involved in an audition and got one of his own by flirting with the secretary. The audition was for one of the most notorious plays in history – Alan Clarke's Scum – and, because Clarke liked Winstone's cocky, aggressive boxer's walk, he got the part, even though it had been written for a Glaswegian.

      The play, written by Roy Minton and directed by Clarke, was a brutal depiction of a young offender's institution. Winstone was cast in the leading role of Carlin, a young offender who struggles against both his captors and his fellow cons to become the "Daddy" of the institution. Hard hitting and often violent (particularly during the infamous "billiards" scene in which Carlin uses two billiard balls stuffed in a sock to beat one of his fellow inmates over the head) the play was judged unsuitable for broadcast by the BBC, and was not shown until 1991. The banned television play was entirely re-filmed in 1979 for cinematic release with many of the original actors playing the same roles, including Winstone. In a commentary for the Scum DVD, Winstone cites Clarke as a major influence on his career and laments the director's death in 1990 from cancer. [15]

      While Winstone has portrayed many characters who share the "hard man" nature of his performance in Scum, he has also explored a variety of other roles, including comedy (Martha, Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence) and as the romantic lead (Fanny and Elvis). His favourite role was Henry VIII in the 2003 TV serial of the same name, remarking at the time: "It's really flattering for me to be asked to play a king. I mean, I'm a kid out of Plaistow, and I'm playing one of the most famous kings of England. It's fantastic!" [3]

      1970s and 1980s Edit

      After a short run in the TV series Fox (1980), and a role in Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains (1982), alongside Diane Lane, Laura Dern, and a host of real life punks like Fee Waybill, Steve Jones, Paul Cook, and Paul Simonon, Winstone starred in the opening episode of the third season of Bergerac (1983), quickly followed by another big break, when he was cast as Will Scarlet in Robin of Sherwood (which began in 1984). He proved immensely popular and enjoyed the role, considering Scarlet to be "the first football hooligan" – although he was reportedly not fond of the dubbed German version. When the series ended, he again teamed up with Jason Connery when they co-starred in Tank Malling, which also featured Amanda Donohoe and Maria Whittaker. Over the years, he has appeared in TV shows including The Sweeney, The Bill, Boon, Fairly Secret Army (as Stubby Collins), Ever Decreasing Circles, One Foot in the Grave, ‘’Home To Roost,(Se4,Ep6)’’,Murder Most Horrid, Birds of a Feather, Minder, Kavanagh QC, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, and Get-back (with the fledgling Kate Winslet). During this period, he was increasingly drawn to the theatre, playing in Hinkemann in 1988, Some Voices in 1994 and Dealer's Choice and Pale Horse the following year.

      1990s Edit

      Winstone was asked to appear in Mr Thomas, a play written by his friend and fellow Londoner Kathy Burke. The reviews were good, and led to Winstone being cast, alongside Burke in Gary Oldman's drama Nil By Mouth. He was widely lauded for his performance as an alcoholic wife-batterer, receiving a BAFTA nomination (17 years after his Best Newcomer award for That Summer). He continued to play "tough guy" roles in Face and The War Zone – the latter especially controversial, as he played a man who rapes his own daughter – but that obvious toughness would also allow him to play loved-up nice-guys in romantic comedies Fanny and Elvis and There's Only One Jimmy Grimble. In Last Christmas, he played a dead man, now a trainee angel, who returns from heaven to help his young son cope with his bereavement, written by Tony Grounds, with whom Winstone worked again on Births, Marriages & Deaths and Our Boy, the latter winning him the Royal Television Society Best Actor Award. They worked together again in 2006 on All in the Game where Winstone portrayed a football manager. He did a series of Holsten Pils advertisements where he played upon the phrase "Who's the Daddy", coined in the film Scum.

      2000s Edit

      In 2000, Winstone starred alongside Jude Law in the hit cult film Love, Honour and Obey, then won the lead role in Sexy Beast, which brought him great acclaim from UK and international audiences and brought him to the attention of the American film industry. Winstone plays "Gal" Dove, a retired and happily married former thief dragged back into London's underworld by a psychopathic former associate (Ben Kingsley, who received an Oscar nomination for his performance).

      After a brief role alongside Burke again in the tragi-comic The Martins, he appeared in Last Orders where he starred alongside Michael Caine, Helen Mirren, David Hemmings, and Tom Courtenay.

      Next Winstone would get a prime part in Ripley's Game, the sequel to The Talented Mr. Ripley, in which he once again played a gangster. He followed up with Lenny Blue, the sequel to Tough Love, and the short The Bouncer.

      In 2000, he starred in To the Green Fields Beyond at the Donmar Warehouse and directed by Sam Mendes. In 2002, he performed at the Royal Court as Griffin in The Night Heron. Two years later, he joined Kevin Spacey for 24 Hour Plays at the Old Vic, a series of productions that were written, rehearsed and performed in a single day. Now internationally known, Winstone was next chosen by Anthony Minghella to play Teague, a sinister Home Guard boss in the American Civil War drama Cold Mountain.

      Perhaps inspired by Burke and Oldman, Winstone has now decided to direct and produce his own films, setting up Size 9 and Flicks production companies with his longtime agent Michael Wiggs. The first effort was She's Gone in which he plays a businessman whose young daughter disappears in Istanbul (filming was held up by unrest in the Middle East). He followed it up with Jerusalem in which he played poet and visionary William Blake.

      Winstone made his action film debut in King Arthur, starring Clive Owen, directed by Antoine Fuqua, and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. Fuqua lauded his performance proclaiming he was "the British De Niro". Winstone provided the voice of Soldier Sam in the screen version of The Magic Roundabout.

      In 2005, he appeared opposite Suranne Jones in ITV drama Vincent about a team of private detectives. He returned to the role in 2006 and was awarded an International Emmy. He also portrayed a 19th-century English policeman trying to tame the Australian outback in The Proposition. In 2006, American critic Roger Ebert described Winstone as "one of the best actors now at work in movies". [16]

      A complete change of pace for Winstone was when he provided the voice for the cheeky-chappy Mr. Beaver in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, also in 2005. Winstone appeared in Martin Scorsese's 2006 film The Departed as Mr. French, an enforcer to Jack Nicholson's Irish mob boss. Critic Roger Ebert singled out Winstone for praise among the ensemble cast of The Departed, writing that the actor "invests every line with the authority of God dictating to Moses". [17]

      He provided motion capture movements and voice-over work for the title character in the Robert Zemeckis' film Beowulf. He then co-starred in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which was released on 22 May 2008. He returned to television drama in The Changeling-inspired Compulsion, originally shown in May 2009.

      2010 to present Edit

      Winstone next starred as Arjan van Diemen in the film Tracker with Temuera Morrison [18] He had a role as CIA agent Darius Jedburgh in the Edge of Darkness remake, replacing Robert De Niro. [19] In 2012, Winstone played the role of Detective Inspector Jack Regan in a remake of The Sweeney (having had a minor role in the original series). Winstone also starred in the slasher-thriller film Red Snow, directed by Stuart St. Paul and based on a short film by Adam Mason. [20]

      In 2011, Winstone starred in the British independent film The Hot Potato, a comedy thriller about two men who come into possession of a lump of uranium. The film, which is set in the East End of London in the 1960s, also stars Winstone's eldest daughter Lois Winstone, Jack Huston, Colm Meaney, and David Harewood.

      In April 2013, while a guest host of the comedy quiz show Have I Got News for You, he provoked controversy by stating that Scotland's chief exports were "oil, whisky, tartan and tramps", leading to a headline in The Scotsman claiming "Ray Winstone calls Scots 'tramps' on TV quiz show". Viewers complained to Ofcom and the BBC. [21] In 2015, he played the role of ex-criminal Jimmy Rose in The Trials of Jimmy Rose, a three-part drama for ITV.

      Winstone met his wife, Elaine McCausland while filming That Summer in 1979. [11] [4] They have three daughters the eldest two, Lois and Jaime, are both actresses. Winstone lives with his wife in Roydon, Essex. [11] [4]

      He is an avid fan of West Ham United and promoted their 2009 home kit. [22]

      Winstone was declared bankrupt on 4 October 1988 [23] and again on 19 March 1993. [24]

      In March 2019, Winstone expressed a preference for leaving the European Union without a deal in the context of Brexit and argued against holding a second referendum, stating that it would lead to "rebellion" and that "The country voted to leave. Then that's democracy, you leave." [25]


      The V-22 Osprey is a vertical/short takeoff and landing (VSTOL) aircraft developed for a variety of missions. It is designed to combine the independence from airfields and the hovering capability of helicopters with the relatively high speed of conventional aircraft.

      The V-22 design evolved from the Bell XV-15 technology demonstration aircraft with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps taking the lead in developing the definitive V-22 aircraft. Intended uses include assault/transport, special operations mission transport and combat search-and-rescue (CSAR) missions.


      Madness in Mogadishu, Michael Whetstone - History

      KINGSLEY AMIS: The novelist who wrote Lucky Jim and The Old Devils lived with his wife Elizabeth Jane Howard in Hadley wood in the 70s. His son is writer Martin Amis.

      WINIFRED ATWELL: Popular pianist from the 1950s whose song Black And White Rag became the theme to BBC TV's Pot Black, lived locally.

      BABY SPICE: singer with the Spice Girls, Emma Bunton was born in Barnet and lived in Finchley.

      JEREMY BEADLE: the presenter of Beadle's About and You've Been Framed was a Hadley wood resident.

      SEAN BEAN:
      Star of the Sharpe TV series who appeared in 007's Goldeneye and Lord Of The Rings, lived in Totteridge.

      DENNIS BERGKAMP: Dutch-born Arsenal star, lived in Cockfosters.

      BEVERLEY SISTERS: Singing trio from the 1950s and 60. Joy was married to footballer Billy Wright. Barnet.

      TONY BLACKBURN: DJ who started his career on Radio Caroline before joining the BBC, lives locally.

      BERNARD BRESSLAW: 6ft 7in star of the Carry On films. Lived locally.

      IAN CARMICHEAL:
      Film actor who also played Bertie Wooster on TV, lived in Totteridge.

      MICHELLE COLLINS:
      Former East Enders actress and breast cancer awareness campaigner, lived in East Finchley.

      RICHARD CROMWELL: (1626-1712)
      the son of Oliver Cromwell lived opposite the Five Bells, Thus,Cromwell Close.

      GODFREY EVANS:
      The legendary wicketkeeper who played for England and Kent was born in Finchley in 1920.

      DAME GRACIE FIELDS: Actress and singer, known as "Our Gracie," lived in Bishops Avenue (the East Finchley end).

      DAVID GINOLA:
      Ex-Spurs player, lived in Totteridge.

      GEORGE GRAHAM:
      former Arsenal manager, lived in Cockfosters.

      CAROL HAWKINS: Actress who starred as the sexy Sharon Eversleigh in TV hit Please, Sir! was born in Barnet.

      TREVOR HOWARD: Great film actor with more than 100 screen credits including Brief Encounter (1945), The Third Man (1949), The Cockleshell Heroes (1955), Mutiny On The Bounty (1962),
      Von Ryan's Express (1965), The Battle Of Britain (1969), Ryan's Daughter (1970), Superman (1978), Gandhi (1982) and White Mischief (1987). He lived in Arkley and The Gate pub was his local.

      DAVID JASON: Another great English actor and star of Only Fools And Horses and Frost lived in a house where Iceland's car park in North Finchley is now.

      JACK KELSEY: Legendary Arsenal and Wales goalkeeper in the 1950's who played against Brazil (and Pele) in the 1958 World Cup Finals. His display against the south americans is engraved in
      welsh footballing history. For Arsenal he was a loyal servant who went on to run the Arsenal Shop.
      He played against Manchester United's "Busby Babes" in their last game in England before the Munich Tragedy. He lived in Southgate and Friern Barnet.

      JOE KINNEAR: Ex Spurs player and Wimbledon manager, lived in Whetstone.

      LENNOX LEWIS: Heavyweight Champion of the World, lived in Hadley.

      DAVID LIVINGSTONE:
      The explorer, I presume, lived in Hadley.

      HUMPHREY LYTTLETON: Legendary Jazz Trumpet player lives locally.

      GEORGE MICHAEL: Was born above a cafe in Church Lane, East Finchley.

      SPIKE MILLIGAN: One of the greatest comedians and a founder of The Goons lived in Holden Road, Finchley, and in Hadley.

      ROGER MOORE:
      The James Bond actor lived in Totteridge when he was making The Saint TV series at Borehamwood.

      ERIC MORECAMBE: His sister in-law ran The Torrington pub and he lived locally.

      MICKEY MOST: Record producer lived in Totteridge lane.

      MARC OVERMARS: Former Arsenal midfielder, lived in Arkley.

      ELAINE PAIGE: Singing star of many musical. Including Evita and Cats, was born in Barnet.

      DANIEL PEACOCK: Comedian/Actor who starred in the film Party Party lived in Squires Lane and Barnet.

      CLIFF RICHARD: Legendary "young one" and Shadows front man lived in Totteridge.

      PETER SELLERS: Comic genius and star of The Goon radio shows and Clouseau films lived with his mother at 211b High Road East Finchley and later bought a house in Whetstone.

      FEARGAL SHARKEY:
      Undertones singer, lived in East Finchley.

      JERRY SPRINGER: TV Host, born in East Finchley.

      GRAHAM STARK: Actor who appeared in many Peter Sellers films, lived in Finchley.

      TERRY-THOMAS:
      Utterly English actor famed for playing cads was born in Nether Street, North Finchley.

      LEE THOMPSON:
      Sax Player with Madness, lives in Barnet.

      SUSAN TULLY: Former East Enders actress, lived in East Finchley.

      FRANKIE VAUGHAN: Singer, lived in Totteridge.

      JOHNNY VAUGHAN: TV presenter born 1966 in Totteridge.

      ARSENE WENGER: Manager of Arsenal, lives in Totteridge.

      TOYAH WILCOX: Singer/actress was born in Finchley.

      BERNIE WINTERS: Comedian, lived in Cockfosters.

      BILLY WRIGHT: Ex England Captain. Lived in Lyonsdown Road, New Barnet.

      PAUL YOUNG: Singer whose hit Wherever I Lay My Hat was number one through the summer of 1983. Lived in Totteridge with model wife Stacy and their three children. Now lives in New Barnet

      SAMANTHA JANUS: Actress who starred in TV's Game On and Liverpool 1, lived in Whetstone.

      BUSTED and GIRLS ALOUD: Both groups lived at a luxury development in Friern Barnet.


      Home

      Standing proudly and confidently outside the back door to Soldiers Gym at Fort Drum, New York, on a frosty, pristine December morning in 1993, I began thinking of the events that had brought me to that place in time. The feeling of being guided by something far larger than me was overwhelming. I felt grateful, lucky, and emotional. At the same time, I was at peace with myself for having accomplished in two dozen months what others could only imagine: surviving the making of history, helping my fellow man in the turmoil of human tragedy, and accomplishing every goal I had set forth for my infantry career. I had lived the epic life of the infantryman, fought the outnumbered battles, been on the rescue missions, and helped to rebuild when called upon to do more than


      Leadership Changes in the Armed Forces

      SHAH ALAM: Jen Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Nor officially assumed the post of the Chief of Defence Force today (Dec 16. 2016). He took over from retiring Jen Zulkifeli Mohd Zin, who had been in charge of the Armed Forces since June 15. 2011.

      Raja Affandi’s ascension to the post of CDF was announced in June. He was appointed as the Army chief on June 15, 2013.

      Army chief Jen Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed will take over as Chief of Defence Forces by year end. Raja Affandi will replace on Dec 16, Jen Zulkifeli Mohd Zin who is retiring, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammudin Hussein today.

      Jen Zulkifeli taking the salute at his farewell parade on Thursday. MAF photo

      Hishammudin said Zulkifeli would be going on his accumulated annual leave and undergo transition training from Dec 16. Zulkifeli’s application to extend his service for 12 months beyond the mandatory retirement age, from June 14, 2016, to June 13, 2017, was approved by the Armed Forces Council, he added.

      He also said that the council also approved Raja Mohamed Affandi’s extension of service for 12 months beyond the mandatory retirement age, from June 20, 2017, to June 19, 2018.

      The decisions on the matter were adopted at the 548th meeting of the Armed Forces Council on May 23, and the appointments and extensions of service were consented by the King.

      The announcement was made six months earlier to avert any speculation, ensure a smooth transition of leadership and to enable the leaders to make the necessary preparations.

      Meanwhile, Jen Zulkiple Kassim,has taken over as the Army chief, also today. He was promoted as a general prior to taking over the post.The chairman of the RMR was the Field Commander, West, prior to his promotion to the top soldier’s post.
      Zulkiple promoted to a four-star general shortly before he took over as the new Army chief

      Zulkiple, 57, began his service in the Army on April 7, 1978, after completing his studies at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in England. Lt Gen Azizan Md Delin is now the Army Field Commander, West, replacing Zulkiple.

      As no announcement has been made on the new Air Force chief, I will update this post once it is made.


      Watch the video: BLACK HAWK DOWN FULL MOVIE HD