There are a lot of bullets out there that say To whom it may concern,says Major Doug Glover, a U.S. Marine F/A-18D weapons and sensors operator who was a senior watch officer for the Marine air operations center in southern Afghanistan. They reached the site at 04:12 and found no survivors. Early life I thought I hit a tree,he said. Hs unit called itself Extortion Company. One of his Chinooks, flying under the call sign Extortion 17 (one-seven), was tasked with the special operations mission the night of Aug. 6. It was the day we learned our son Aaron and other American warriors had lost their lives in a helo crash in Afghanistan. He knew the pilots and crew members aboard Extortion 17. There are more operations than can be supported by the 160th at any given time," says Major Matthew Brady, a former 160th pilot and company commander. According to one Army report, in the three months prior to the Juy Zarin raid, as many as 17 RPGs were fired at helicopters over Wardak and Logar provinces, a relatively small part of the country. Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Vaughn was one of the SEAL Team 6 operators who died in the crash. U.S. Navy Seals At 2:38 a.m. on August 6, 2011, a U.S. Army Chinook helicopter, call sign Extortion 17, entered the western opening of Afghanistan's restive Tangi Valley, flying alone. All rights reserved. On 6 August 2011, a U.S. CH-47D Chinook military helicopter operating with the call sign Extortion 17 (pronounced "one-seven") was shot down while transporting a Quick Reaction Force attempting to reinforce a Joint Special Operations Command unit of the 75th Ranger Regiment in the Tangi Valley in Maidan Wardak province, southwest of Kabul, As the ground assault force rushed toward Tahirs compound, Extortion 17 and 16 sped back to base, where they were refueled, and awaited word to extract the team, evacuate wounded, or race reinforcing troops to Juy Zarin. May God give them the strength to carry on without them. The first grenade missed Extortion 17. The crash claimed the lives of 38 personnel, including 22 special operations forces in Afghanistan Aug. 6, 2011. Photo by Jake Simkin for Coffee or Die Magazine. The helicopter crashed less than 5 seconds later, killing all 38 people on board. The Afghan soldiers were an essential part of the package; they were trained to move with our forces to the target. It was brought down by multiple shots. The Final Mission of Extortion 17: Special Ops, Helicopter Support, SEAL Team Six, and the Deadliest Day of the U.S. War in Afghanistan Hardcover - September 19, 2017 by Ed Darack (Author) 223 ratings Editors' pick Best History See all formats and editions Kindle $13.99 Read with Our Free App Audiobook $0.00 Free with your Audible trial Hardcover Lees second deployment started in May of 2011. This is the Group Burial for unidentified remains of casualties of the Chinook helicopter (CH-47D 89-00175) which crashed in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011. Spencer C. Duncan, 21, of Olathe, Kan. [7][27][28] During the battle, American forces observed a small group of Taliban trying to flee the scene. The U.S. Navy SEAL task force assigned to conduct operations in Tangi Valley was well conditioned to the dangerous operating environment. Operating with no lights save for the faint green glow of night vision goggles and cockpit instrument panels, the two helicopters, call signs Extortion 17 (one-seven) and Extortion 16, lifted into the darkness and accelerated toward a destination less than 20 miles west. Gold Star father Bill Vaughn had a heartfelt message to American "leaders" while discussing a documentary that investigates the Extortion 17 helicopter crash in Afghanistan. The 30 Navy SEALs and other Special Forces personnel, along with the Helicopter flight crew because American Military and Political leaders threw these men under the bus the enemy was driving and then covered it all up with lies and deceit. For every one that gets lucky, there are hundreds, even thousands, that zip by you., As weve seen a number of times, theres a point that a lucky shot is going to get you and there is only so much you can do to mitigate it, says Glover, the Marine aviator. "[30], On 12 August 2011, Jim Lehrer of the PBS NewsHour announced that he would report the Honor Roll at the end of the program with names and photographs of all 30 men. Extortion 16 flew empty. Its crazy how many times I can think of where me or the guys I was with had to do that.. Thirty Americans perished in the blink of an eye, half of which comprised an entire 'troop' from SEAL Team 6's Gold Squadron. Ed Darack March 2015 The Chinook's cargo capacity, speed,. To address some unanswered questions, the committee received briefings, classified and unclassified, on the operational component leading up to the loss of the 30 servicemen and eight Afghan nationals and the postmortem handling of the 30 American servicemen on Extortion 17. This tactic was highly successful; hundreds of operations were conducted without firing a shot for years. Around 02:23, the two helicopters departed the forward base. At 01:00, they decided to engage the group with the SEAL reserves. A few minutes past 2 a.m.on August 6, 2011, at a dusty forward operating base40 miles south of Kabul, Afghanistan, the rotors of two U.S. Army CH-47D Chinooks began to turn. It requires the highest level of skills from the pilots because they are some of the most dangerous operations.. The remaining two fighters ducked into a stand of trees and disappeared from the Apaches infrared scanners. As they started their descent, Lee heard a loud popping noise. To find answers to many of the outstanding questions regarding Extortion 17, a congressional oversight committee held a hearing on February 27, 2014. [11] Seventeen U.S. Navy SEALs remained in reserve at the forward operating base. [11], The 30 American deaths represent the greatest loss of U.S. military lives in a single incident in the war in Afghanistan that began in 2001. But even a precisely aimed shot fired from an unguided weapon by a seasoned fighter is subject to the ballistics-altering whims of atmospheric variation, subtle and undetected flaws in launcher or projectile, and uncontrollable environmental factors such as wind gusts, large temperature variations, or even particulates in the air. Extortion 17 is a name etched in our minds as one of the worst losses our military has ever experienced. God bless all of them- the bravest of the brave. [25][original research? The following was extracted from The Navy Times: If one is to believe the account of Matt Bissonnette, the only possibility of a participant of the bin Laden raid perishing on Extortion 17 is if the one SEAL specifically noted not to be a member of Red Squadron was a member of Gold Squadron and a passenger aboard the ill-fated Chinook. [29], Other reports alleged that the Taliban had laid an elaborate trap for American special-operations forces, luring them in with false information. Alexander J. Bennett, 24, of Tacoma, Wash. [11], Separately, ISR aircraft continued to observe the unengaged group from the compound. Lee remained in Afghanistan flying combat missions for another eight months before returning home in the spring of 2012. You never want to use the same landing zone twice, Darack said. It just wasnt.. Two fired at roughly the same time. We continue our work at the Museum so that theirservice and sacrifice will never be forgotten. At the flight controls were David R. Carter of the Colorado Army National Guard and copilot Bryan J. Nichols, a Kansas-based Army reservist. But Tahir and a group of his fighters escaped. All content is protected by copyright and may not be used for commercial purposes without prior written permission. [11], The mission was deemed high risk; two AH-64 Apache helicopters, an AC-130 gunship, and other additional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft supported the troop transports on their approach and remained with the ground forces afterwards. And to this day, people are still debating what really happened. The two may have been those who escaped Apache cannon fire, or they may have split away from either of the groups that formed after the start of the raid. Instead, two rigorous U. S. military investigations followed every moment of the mission to determine what went wrong on Extortion 17s final flight. Extortion 17 and its 38 occupants would not return. The hardest LZ Id ever been into, Lee said. The "had Seal team 6 killed" is a likely reference to what's known as the "Extortion 17" incident, the August 2011 tragedy in which a Chinook military helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan,. 5 U.S. The Joint Combat Assessment Team report further noted that despite a robust deck of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets, none identified the location from which the shooters fired prior to the helicopter downing. It is also the most disastrous incident in the. I had to learn how to land while browned-out, wearing NVGs, on the side of a mountain or an uneven field, Lee said. [11] Going forward, the two AH-64 Apache helicopters would be engaged in tracking those two groups of Taliban, and hence unable to provide surveillance or fire support to the inbound helicopter carrying the SEAL team. 2 U.S. Navy SEALs from a west coast-based SEAL team. Get the latest in military news, entertainment and gear in your inbox daily. He was too busy. The first round sailed past the helicopter. The crash killed all 38 people on board including 25 American special operations personnel, five United States Army National Guard and Army Reserve crewmen, seven Afghan commandos, and one Afghan interpreter as well as a U.S. military working dog. This was preventable only if they just had not taken off that night, Lee said. In July 2010, an RPG-wielding fighter put a round into the tail boom of a Marine AH-1W Super Cobra, downing it and killing both pilots. For the last two years, hes been an attorney with the law firm Jackson Walker. God sees you, You do see that A-12(1963! The pilots and crew of Extortion 17, however, had ideal experience and abilities for the mission that night. That's the only route, so they took positions on either side of the valley on mountains and as the helicopter approached, they attacked it with rockets and other modern weapons. Copyright 2023 | National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum, The Museum is a 501(c)(3) organization. In order to speed disembarkation, all troops were loaded on a single CH-47D helicopter for transport; the other Chinook would approach the landing zone second as a decoy. Winds whipped through the fir trees. Because unarmed villagers, unaffiliated with the Taliban, could also have been in those trees and among the groups milling about the village, the gunships could not have fired. Upon learning of Tahirs possible location, a U.S. Army Rangers and Afghan Special Forces team was deployed into the valley from the south. He was probably in the top 1 percent of Army aviators, Lee said. On this night, Aug. 6, 2011, something went terribly wrong. If this was survivable, that was the right crew to have. According to officials, the team included 17 SEALs, five Navy special operations troops who support the SEALs, three Air Force airmen, a five-member Army air crew and a military dog, along with. Save up to 30% when you upgrade to an image pack. Aired: 08/01/21 Rating: NR However, the Afghan government forces did not occupy the base, which was seized by the Taliban shortly after the departure of American forces. Should the Apache pilots have fired into the stand of trees after the two fighters ducked out of sight? The US soldiers killed in the 2011 Afghanistan Boeing Chinook shoot-down with the call sign Extortion 17 (Photo: XY) SGT Alexander J. Bennett SPC Spencer Duncan (youngest onboard) CWO Bryan J. Nichols So the whole team went in one Chinook helicopter Extortion 17. The aircraft jerked. The crash killed all 38 people on board including 25 American special operations personnel, five United States Army National Guard and Army Reserve crewmen, seven Afghan commandos, one Afghan interpreter, and a U.S. military working dog. #neverforgotten #screwedbygovt #demmandanswers. Their deaths are the greatest single loss of life ever suffered by the U.S. Special Operations community in the 24-year history of the U.S. Special Operations Command. [41] At the subsequent hearing in February 2014, Pentagon representative Garry Reid defended the decision to undertake the mission and denied that the Taliban had any advance knowledge of it. Advertising Notice He said: "They wanted to attack our Mujahideen who were in a house, but our Mujahideen resisted and destroyed a helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade. He would not have hesitated to fly with any of them. [35] The Seattle Times and The New York Times also reported this information. Explore. The SEAL task force was monitoring this activity, and they were soon called upon to deploy quickly into the northern end of the valley to intercept Tahir and capture him and those moving with him. We were told at that time we were the first unit to make it through a rotation without having anyone killed.. But over time, they became more disturbing, including one that suggested the Taliban had been tipped off by someone inside the Afghan government as revenge for bin Ladens killing. Rest in peace, gentlemen; you will not be forgotten. Some 30 seconds later, one of the AH-64 Apache helicopters in the area reported: Fallen Angel.. American, French and Afghan National Police forces carried out a three-day sweep of the area, and the area was then deemed secure. "One. For Lee, there was no time to reflect on how close he had come to dying. His account of the brave pilots, crew, and passengers of Extortion 17 . In light of that raids success, the shootdown of Extortion 17 incited a flurry of conspiracy theories: The Taliban were tipped off; it was a trap; it was retribution for the killing. The extreme G-forces killed everyone on board within a fraction of a second, Darack said. Some sources state that at the shootdown, the two AH-64 Apache helicopters were engaged in tracking another Taliban group and were thus unable to provide surveillance (of the landing zone and infiltration route) and fire support the inbound CH-47D helicopter carrying the Navy SEAL team. Spec Ops Magazine 2023 All Rights Reserved. At 2:36 a.m., Extortion 17 requested an infrared spotlight, visible only through night vision goggles, to illuminate the landing zone. Their target: an Afghan named Qari Tahir and his group of fighters. A chief warrant officer 5, a member of the Colorado National Guard, Carter had over 4,500 flying hours, including more than 1,000 hours during combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. Director Franois Garcia Writer Sandeep Panesar Stars Robert O'Neill (archive footage) Patricia Economo Enrique Garcia He was also an instructor at the High Altitude Army National Guard Aviation Training Site (see Triple Threat: High, Hot, and Heavy, Aug. 2014), where many U.S. and foreign helicopter pilots train for mountainous and high-altitude flying, often before deployment to Afghanistan. Just three months earlier, members of a counterpart SEAL Team 6 squadron successfully raided a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and killed Osama bin Laden. On board the Chinook CH-47D were 15 members of SEAL Team Six, 15 SEAL Team Six Support personnel, 1 Bomb Dog, 7 . Prior to the mission, the deadliest incident was June 2005's Operation . Bissonnette also said that there was one DEVGRU Operator on the mission who was not a member of Red Squadron and that he was chosen for the mission because of his linguistic abilities. See more ideas about extortion, navy seals, seal team 6. ], Four years after the downing of Extortion 17, there were many theories about a possible government coverup. Then they have to stick the landing. The landing zone was small, and the commanders didnt want to split up the strike force. Near the site of the Extortion 17 crash stands a memorial to Taliban fighters killed in the August 2011 battle during which Extortion 17 was shot down. Approaching to land or having just taken off, the craft is flying slow and low, so it presents a tempting target. He finished his contract with the Army shortly afterward, and that September enrolled in Southern Methodist Universitys Dedman School of Law. The incident became known as "Extortion 17" after the helicopter . And thats fine; thats what you signed up for, Lee said. [2][38], On 10 August 2011, the U.S. military stated that the insurgent who fired the rocket-propelled grenade had been killed only two days afterward in an F-16 airstrike, saying only that intelligence gained on the ground provided "a high degree of confidence" that the person was among those killed in the airstrike from two days earlier, but providing no other details. The basis of the provocative hit military documentary Fallen Angel Call Sign: Extortion 17. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Geneva G. Brier/Released) (U.S. Army photo by Rachel Larue/Arlington National Cemetery/released). Hi there! In mid-2011, combined with a U.S. Army aviation battalion, they had spent weeks conducting operations nearly every other night in Wardak and surrounding provinces south of Kabul to capture or kill Taliban forces, disrupt attack plots, and deny them sanctuary on this strategic approach to Kabul City. At that moment, Extortion 17 slowed to 58 mph, at no more than 150 feet, approaching a spot framed by trees and mud-brick huts, and "sparkled" by the infrared designator on an AC-130 gunship. The team boarded Extortion 17 with Dave Carter and Bryan Nichols at the controls. On Aug. 6, 2011, insurgent forces in Afghanistan shot down an American aircraft. Three hours after disembarking from the Chinooks, the assault force had secured the compound and detained a number of Tahirs men, but they hadnt found Tahir himself. Lee earned his wings at Fort Rucker, Ala., then deployed to Pakistan, where he did humanitarian missions, learning to fly into and out of mountainous terrain. We were supporting special operations, but not to the degree of the 160th. His father Billy Vaughn recounted Thursday a phone call from his son following the White House . This would not be the first time that an Afghan military member has been an undercover Taliban Terrorist and shot our US Military! Ninty-six days after the death of Osama bin Laden by SEAL Team Six, an old Vietnam era Army Reserve helicopter, call sign "Extortion 17," was shot down in the Wardak Province, Tangi River Valley, Afghanistan on Aug 6, 2011. On such missions, the Chinook pilots nearly always fly at night, wearing night vision goggles, or NVGs. Patrick D. Hamburger, 30, of Lincoln, Neb. The group probably contained the commander and a few of his bodyguards, while the remaining Taliban fighters offered resistance in an effort to buy the group enough time to escape. I find it extremely suspicious that, after the alleged killing of Osama Bin Laden, there was a very suspicious burial at sea for a covered corpse that was alleged to be Bin Laden. Editors note: This story originally appeared in October 2017. Burn is on, they radioed. Classified reports, published by Wikileaks, teem with notes from pilots and crew of all types of military helicopters who saw RPG attacks throughout the war. The helicopter plunged tail first. A Taliban fighter shot the helicopter out of the sky with a rocket-propelled grenade and all aboard were killedthe single greatest loss of American life in the Afghan war. Nothing tests the capabilities of a young helicopter pilot like flying in the extreme conditions of Afghanistan. [12][13], Six minutes prior to reaching the landing zone, the empty CH-47D left the formation as planned. U.S. Special Operations Command possesses its own specialized ChinooksMH-47sflown by the ultra-secretive 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, the Night Stalkers. The MH-47s modifications include inflight refueling probes, additional and upgraded sensors, more powerful engines, and more powerful defensive weapons than their conventional counterparts. At 02:15, one group of three Taliban fighters took a position in a stand of trees; the remaining six or seven men entered a building located some 2km (1.2mi) from the target compound. On his first deployment, he felt fortunate to be surrounded by veteran pilots he could learn from. In a new book The Final Mission of Extortion 17 published by Smithsonian Books, journalist and photographer Ed Darack revisits the shootdown of Extortion 17, a Chinook bearing U.S. and . Lightboxes. The following was transcribed from the above video press conference. Extortion 17 August 6, 2022 marks 11 years since Extortion 17. Extortion 17 was the call sign of a special operations mission in Afghanistan on Aug. 6, 2011, that responded to an Army Ranger unit engaged in a firefight with the Taliban and in need of backup. Senior Chief Robert James Reeves was one of those Americans. barrios peligrosos de colombia,