Slava Novorossiya

Slava Novorossiya

Saturday, June 27, 2015


         Today is the 10th year commemoration of a counterterrorism mission in Kunar province, Afghanistan, involving four U.S. Navy SEAL members, took place. Three of the SEALs were killed during the operation, whilst a fourth was protected by local villagers and was rescued by the US military. In addition, an MH-47 Chinook helicopter carrying 8 Nightstalkers - members of the Army's elite 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) - and 8 US Navy SEALs was shot down while attempting to come to their rescue to provide extraction in the mountains of the Kunar province, Afghanistan.

            I will post information about this mission from Wikipedia.

050628-N-0000X-001 United States Navy file photo of Navy SEALs operating in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. From left to right, Sonar Technician (Surface) 2nd Class Matthew G. Axelson, of Cupertino, Calif; Senior Chief Information Systems Technician Daniel R. Healy, of Exeter, N.H.; Quartermaster 2nd Class James Suh, of Deerfield Beach, Fla.; Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Marcus Luttrell; Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class Shane Patton, of Boulder City, Nev.; and Lt. Michael P. Murphy, of Patchogue, N.Y. With the exception of Luttrell, all were killed June 28, 2005, by enemy forces while supporting Operation Red Wings.

SEALs prior to Operation Red Wings (L to R): Matthew Axelson, Daniel R. Healy, James Suh, Marcus Luttrell, Eric S. Patton, Michael P. Murphy

Memorial plaque in memory of the U.S. Army Night Stalkers killed in Operation Red Wings.

Operation Red Wings
Part of the War in Afghanistan
June 27, 2005 – mid-July 2005
Sawtalo Sar Mountain, Shuryek (Matin) Valley, Korangal Valley, Pech District, Kunar Province, Afghanistan
Temporary U.S. Pyrrhic victory; long-term insurgent victory
  • Insurgent forces temporarily withdraw from the area while U.S. forces sustain heavy casualties
  • Insurgent forces return three weeks later
United States
  • U.S. Navy
  • U.S. Army
  • U.S. Marines
Local anti-coalition militants
  • Local pro-Taliban nationals
Commanders and leaders
Lieutenant Colonel Andrew MacMannis (USMC)
LCDR Erik S. Kristensen 
LT Michael P. Murphy 
12 Navy SEALs
8 Night Stalkers
additional helicopter crews
2 MH-47 Chinook
2 UH-60 Black Hawk
2 AH-64D Apache helicopters
Ranging from 8–10 fighters to 70–100 depending on source
Casualties and losses
19 killed, 1 wounded,
1 Chinook helicopter shot down
Unknown, with the highest estimate 35 killed
Unknown number of wounded

Operation Red Wings (often incorrectly called "Operation Redwing" and/or "Operation Red Wing") was a combined / joint military operation during the War in Afghanistan (2001–present) in the Pech District of Afghanistan's Kunar Province, on the slopes of a mountain named Sawtalo Sar, approximately 20 miles west of Kunar's provincial capital of Asadabad, in late June through mid-July 2005. Operation Red Wings was intended to disrupt local anti-Coalition Militia (ACM) activity, thus contributing to regional stability and thereby facilitating the Afghani Parliament elections scheduled for September, 2005. At the time, anti-Coalition Militia activity in the region was carried out most notably by a small group led by a local man from Nangarhar Province, Ahmad Shah, who had aspirations of regional Islamic fundamentalist prominence. He and his small group were among the primary targets of the operation.

The operation was conceived by the 2nd Battalion of the 3rd Marine Regiment (2/3) of the U.S. Marine Corps based on an operational model developed by 2/3's sister battalion, the 3rd Battalion of the 3rd Marine Regiment (3/3) which had preceded the 2nd Battalion in their combat deployment. It utilized special operations forces (SOF) units and assets, including members of the U.S. Navy SEALs and the U.S. Army Special Operations Command's 160th Special Operation's Aviation Regiment (Airborne) (SOAR(A)), for the opening phase of the operation. A team of four Navy SEALs, tasked for surveillance and reconnaissance of a group of structures known to be used by Ahmad Shah and his men, fell into an ambush by Shah and his group just hours after inserting into the area by fastrope from an MH-47 helicopter. Three of the four SEALs were killed and a quick reaction force helicopter sent in for their aid was shot down with a rocket propelled grenade fired from an RPG-7, killing all eight U.S. Navy SEALs and all eight U.S. Army Special Operations aviators on board.

The operation then became known as "Red Wings II" and lasted approximately three more weeks, during which time the bodies of the deceased SEALs and Army Special Operations aviators were recovered and the only surviving member of the initial team, Marcus Luttrell, was rescued. While the goal of the operation was partially achieved, Ahmad Shah regrouped in Pakistan, and returned with more men and armament, aided by the notoriety he gained from the Red Wings ambush and helicopter shootdown. Several weeks later, Shah's group in Kunar Province was stricken to a point of inoperability and Shah was seriously wounded, during Operation Whalers, in August 2005.

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