Friday, August 12, 2011

38 Tragically Lost but now Avenged

On Saturday August 6th in Tangi Vallery, Wardak province, Afghanistan, a CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed with the loss of all on board. 30 U.S. service members along with 7 Afghan commandos and an interpreter who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, died as a result of the crash - the greatest single loss for U.S. forces in the war.

A local resident in Tangi, told AP Television News that the helo was shot down by an RPG fired from a nearby knoll as it was preparing to land to deploy the men on board to support military personnel already on the ground. “As soon as it was hit, it started burning,” he said. The helo broke apart and crashed in large sections.

SecDef Panetta said in a statement that day: "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."

After deliberation [due to many of the SEALs being members of NAVSPECWARDEVGRU], the Pentagon yesterday elected to release the names of the sailors, soldiers and airmen who perished:

Lt. Cmdr. (SEAL) Jonas B. Kelsall, USN
Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Louis J. Langlais, USN
Senior Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Thomas A. Ratzlaff, USN
Senior Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Kraig M. Vickers, USN
Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Brian R. Bill, USN
Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) John W. Faas, USN
Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Kevin A. Houston, USN
Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Matthew D. Mason, USN
Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Stephen M. Mills, USN
Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist/Diver) Nicholas H. Null, USN
Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Robert J. Reeves, USN
Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Heath M. Robinson, USN
Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Darrik C. Benson, USN
Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Parachutist) Christopher G. Campbell, USN
Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Jared W. Day, USN
Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) John Douangdara, USN
Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) Michael J. Strange, USN
Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist) Jon T. Tumilson, USN
Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Aaron C. Vaughn, USN
Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jason R. Workman, USN
Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jesse D. Pittman, USN
Petty Officer 2nd Class (SEAL) Nicholas P. Spehar, USN

Chief Warrant Officer David R. Carter, U.S. Army
Chief Warrant Officer Bryan J. Nichols, U.S. Army
Sgt. Patrick D. Hamburger, U.S. Army
Sgt. Alexander J. Bennett, U.S. Army
Spc. Spencer C. Duncan, U.S. Army

Staff Sgt. Andrew W. Harvell, U.S.A.F.
Tech. Sgt. John W. Brown, U.S.A.F.
Tech. Sgt. Daniel L. Zerbe, U.S.A.F.

Rear Adm. Sean Pybus, head of Naval Special Warfare Command, said in a statement Thursday that his command suffered a tremendous loss and that it “will honor their service and sacrifice, and embrace their families as our own, in this time of immeasurable grief."

On Tuesday, it was reported that CENTCOM assigned Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Colt, the 101st Airborne Division’s deputy commander, to conduct an investigation into the cause of the crash as is customary. One person whose account he will never have however is that of one Mullah Mohibullah. The ISAF and U.S. Forces Afghanistan commander Gen. John Allen, USMC, told reporters during a video conference at the Pentagon on Wednesday that Air Force F-16s and an AC-130H, as well as Army AH-64 Apache helicopters conducted an air strike against Mohibullah and another insurgent who were determined to have been those that fired the shot that brought down the Chinook. Coalition troops on the ground reported Mohibullah a confirmed kill along with several others.

Sources: Military Times / FOX News / BBC News


Former Grunt said...

So they called in an airstrike to get one man?

Yep, sounds like a MARINE! is in charge there now :)

ZaneDavid said...

Something smells.
All SEALs are senior enlisted, all
in their 30s, all on one Chinook,
hit by one RPG while landing and
it breaks up in large sections,
killing all on board.

23 years in the Navy doing what I
was doing - and - I'm suppose to
buy this.

As they say: "You can BS the fans,
but not the players".