August 06, 2011

The Deadliest Day

An American special operations helicopter—most likely a CH-47—was downed last night in Afghanistan in the deadliest single incident of the Afghan war for American forces.

A military helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan, killing 31 U.S. special operation troops and seven Afghan commandos, the country's president said Saturday. An American official said it was apparently shot down, in the deadliest single incident for American forces in the decade-long war.

The Taliban claimed they downed the helicopter with rocket fire while it was taking part in a raid on a house where insurgents were gathered in the province of Wardak late Friday. It said wreckage of the craft was strewn at the scene.l

I think I can speak for both Mike and myself in offering our sincere prayers to the families of those lost, and for the souls of these brave warriors.


Update: The majority of the dead are Navy SEALs from Team 6. The aircrew is probably from the Army's 160th SOAR, and the remainder of those killed were Afghan military. It is beginning to sound like a Taliban gunner got lucky with an RPG as the helicopter shortly after taking off as the mission was completing and the unit was exfiltrating.

Elements of Team 6 killed Osama bin Laden.

I would not be surprised at all if the RPG came from the Pakistani ISI.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at August 6, 2011 10:08 AM

Eternal Father: The Navy Hymn
Lyrics by Reverend William Whiting and Music by Reverend John B. Dyke

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep,
Its own appointed limits keep.

Oh hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea! Amen.

Eternal Father, lend Thy grace To
those with wings who fly thro' space,
Thro wind and storm, thro' sun and rain,
Oh bring them safely home again.

Oh Father, hear an humble prayer,
For those in peril in the air! Amen.

Oh Trinity of love and pow'r,
Our brethren shield in danger's hour,
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them where so e'er they go.

Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea! Amen.

Posted by: Jim HM3 1968 at August 6, 2011 12:44 PM

I would think it unlikely to find 20 SEALS in one place at one time - even in the COMMZ.

Posted by: Druid at August 6, 2011 02:14 PM

The spirit and dedication of our military never seems to change. They are now and have always been the strength of our country. The article just below this one, The Literature Corner: My Very Dear Sarah, should not be missed. The same letter could have been written by the men who died in Afghanistan. Remarkable people. May they rest in peace.

Posted by: carol at August 9, 2011 12:03 AM