07 August 2011

Army Chopper Down in Afghanistan, 20+ Navy SEALs lost

While the shootdown happened yesterday, the news has now stabilized with facts about who was involved and the composition of the casualties.

The Naval Special Warfare community was reeling in what one member called “shock and disbelief” Saturday after 22 of its own died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan that also killed eight other U.S. service members, a civilian interpreter and seven Afghan soldiers.

The CH-47 Chinook crash, which occurred during a raid in Wardak province, is believed to be the biggest single loss ever suffered by the NSW community or in the 24-year history of U.S. Special Operations Command.

Of the 22 NSW members killed, 17 were SEALs and five were direct support personnel, according to the source in the NSW community. Two of the SEALs were from a West Coast SEAL unit, but the others were from Gold Squadron of Naval Special Warfare Development Group, or DevGru, sometimes known as SEAL Team 6, said the NSW source.

DevGru, based in Dam Neck, Va., is the Navy’s “Tier One” special mission unit that operates as part of task forces formed under the Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N.C. It is the Navy’s equivalent to the Army’s 1st Special Forces Operational Command — Delta, or Delta Force. DevGru has four line squadrons — Blue, Gold, Red and Silver — plus a strategic reconnaissance element known as Black Squadron.

Each squadron is divided into three troops. The crash wiped out an entire troop in Gold Squadron, said the NSW source.

A huge loss for the military. Too many of America's best lost in this.
Interesting insight into the organization of SEALs, too.

The official statement from the Secretary of Defense

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of many outstanding Americans in uniform and of their Afghan counterparts earlier today in Afghanistan. Their courage was exemplary, as was their determination to make this a safer world for their countries and for their fellow citizens. We will stay the course to complete that mission, for which they and all who have served and lost their lives in Afghanistan have made the ultimate sacrifice. They and their families are in my thoughts, in my prayers and in my heart."

By: Brant

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