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“The more you sweat in peacetime, the less you bleed in war.”

Discussion in 'Society and Culture' started by ethics, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    That’s the motto of our military and it’s what being an elite sniper, making all the way to the most elite of all sections of SEAL units, the Team Six. That’s really what the Autobiography is about and it was one of the better ones out there, and certainly better one I’ve read in year.

    Why? It’s not boring, probably because Wasdin’s life never was, even from the beginning and his severely abusive step-father, we learn what made the man, and how some of the biological DNA makeup made him what he is today.

    The book goes in a chronological order, from Wasdin’s childhood to his teens, to his getting in to the Navy. It culminates with his last mission in Somalia in 1993. The gem here is that you get a front row seat a month before “Black Hawk Down” mission and he highlights much of the mission from being on the ground.

    The other plus is that you pick up some good information on equipment and clothing. I mean, if it’s good enough for the most elite of military units, it must be kick ass. So here’s a fast list:

    • North Face blue polypropylene (polypro) undershorts, also used in winter warfare, to wick moisture away from the body. We put on woodland cammies, camouflage tops and bottoms. I wore wool socks.
    • GSG9 Addidas books for comfort
    • SIG SAUER P-226 Navy 9 mm. We tend to agree as he calls it the best pistol in the world.
    • Swiss Army Knife, not the little one but the real deal.
    There were other gems that I didn’t know, hell, never even would believe if not read it myself. Did you know that a sniper never looks directly at his human target? No? Check this out:

    How cool is that? The Navy SEALS don’t just believe in the sixth sense, they actually apply rules of sniping in to this belief.

    The book is a fast read, once you hit the middle it becomes incredibly fast and it has a pretty decent moral towards the end. I was actually surprised (don’t want to ruin it for you) by the choice he made at the end of the book but that just proves that we are all human, no matter the training, reflexes, etc…

    One last thing: This book is not kind towards:

    • the media and how the motto the story is greater than soldier’s lives
    • The United Nations and its corruption lead to deaths
    • Italians in Somalia. Same with Russians.
    • President Bill Clinton and his decisions in regards to not just pulling out but not attending memorials
    • Al Qaeda’s role, as well as Palestinian’s PLO
    • Army’s bureaucracy.
    Buy the book, you won’t be sorry.
    Copied from: http://asheki.com/?p=79

    This post has been promoted to an article
  2. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    The book goes in a chronological order, from Wasdin’s childhood to his teens, to his getting in to the Army. It culminates with his last mission in Somalia in 1993. The gem here is that you get a front row seat a month before “Black Hawk Down” mission and he highlights much of the mission from being on the ground.

    Something is amiss with this reviewer's writeup...Wasdin was in the Army in Somalia, and then magically made it to the Navy SEALs as a shooter with ST6, but was medically retired in 1995?

  3. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Damn it, I screwed up. He was never with the Army, although he did contemplate going to Delta. I'll fix that.
  4. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member


    But you don't have to be in the Army to know that the Army's bureaucracy is screwed up. :D

    By the by, be careful by citing ST6 (or DEVGRU I guess they are these days, which sounds about right given the component command has the stellar acronym of SPECWARCOM) as being "the elite of the elite"...a whole passel of SFOD-D guys might take issue with that!

  5. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    In Somalia, Garrisson had Adid almost a month before Oct 3rd clusterfuck. CIA was pissed that he didn't pull the trigger and no one, till this day, knows why the mission to kill him at a house was scrapped.
  6. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    TF Ranger was stood up in August 1993, and I don't think it was even fully staffed until the end of August. If you give me a date, I'll bet I can provide some operational context, but Aideed was practically seen everywhere--in the Black Sea, leading a convoy of Hadr Gibr "technicals", shopping for lingerie at Bloomingdales. Tough to know if this guy actually has something credible to talk about without more specifics. But Garrison was a stickler for verification, and the verification method of choice was airborne surveillance. Since the Somalis had grown used to having helicopters in the air pretty much all hours of the day, they ignored them unless they were low enough to shoot at. But as you might guess, aerial surveillance in urban terrain is not the handiest tool to use, but it was the only one that was available 24/7.

    TF-R's aviation components weren't always used on strikes, so if the aviators weren't dialed up because the mission was a 100% ground movement, then that might be how he knows something special.

    And one very important note: the size, composition, and TTPs of TF-R were severely hampered by political considerations.

  7. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    He may have been verification driven but they did about 8 attempts of using the Rangers for kidnapping other Somalis, most of the time they got someone irrelevant. One time they captured 13 people and then let them all go because none of them were essentials. Wasdin mentions that Somalis were not dumb and after seeing so many operations (rope down, block the roads with Humvees, etc... ) they were pretty much expecting this by Oct.

    There were so many mistakes in between all of this and even during the Oct 3-4th that while I am no military guy, I will say that our Army fucked up royally.

    And Clinton? Go fuck yourself, I lost a lot of respect what you did and didn't do after.
  8. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    And what does the SEAL say would have worked in an extremely congested urban environment that was almost totally held by enemy combatants who knew the terrain and could move overland with the aid of the average skinny?

    Heavy armored vehicles weren't available for a variety of reasons, and even if they were, there were virtual warrens where these guys hung out that precluded their use.

    Marching to the destination was out of the question.

    Air assault ops were the only answer, but without the cover of darkness, the chance of success was probably less than 50%. There simply was no other way, and there was no way to cultivate HUMINT resources on the ground to escort our forces, provide them with actionable intel, and adequately prep the area of operations.

    I give the SEALs a tip of the hat always, but they weren't the only operators there--SFOD-D is absolutely as accomplished, as well-trained if not better, and are absolute masters of this kind of operation. They're hardly inexperienced Boy Scouts. And the Rangers, while extremely regimented in their approach, aren't exactly knobs on the job either.

    The SEAL might take a parochial view and say otherwise; but the truth of the matter is, if he was there (and the team was, don't know about him personally), they had a voice in the operational continuum. And while Delta was in charge of the hostile recovery, if the SEALs had a different game plan, then they never presented it. Almost all of the tactical meetings were open floor events at one point or another, because everyone involved knew the templated approach wasn't going to work after the first four or five tries.

    So unless the SEALs had Star Trek transporters in their sea bags, there weren't a lot of cards to play.

    And TF-Ranger was the most sophisticated combat team on the face of the planet at the time. They harvested the best from every unit from every service. The "jointness" of the composition kind of sucked at times, but the interoperability was actually very, very good. Even the 10th Mountain lightfighters stood tall when they had to, and those guys had been running ragged ever since the Marines pulled out.

    You're right, but it's all 100% hindsight. Again, if the guy had operational insights to make the takedown missions more effective, then his leaders weren't strong enough in kicking it up to Garrison--and if Garrison was obstinant (which I believe he was), then the SEAL component commanders could backdoor it through SOCOM. These aren't wiliting lillies we're talking about here, these are guys who know how to get shit done. Doesn't matter what branch of service they're in, SOCOM is a virtual fifth service and if Army was standing in the way, SOCOM had the ability to sort it out with one phone call to the TF S3 shop to straighten things out.

    Now I haven't read the book, but trust me...TF-R wasn't populated with 500 rote-learners. Everyone who was in that organization brought a set of skills that were not only applicable to the mission, but they could also step outside of the box and apply new tactics, techniques, and procedures.

    But in this instance, just like it was for OBL and to a smaller extent Hussein, the landscape favored the bad guy. And Italian subterfuge aside, there was just no way a bunch of Americans were going to be able to penetrate a lawless society like that in years, much less weeks. UNITAF tried that, being nice and gentle and easy, and all it did was ensure a lot of folks got killed because the clans figured out that if they hid among the people, they were safe. And if anyone went to guns on the people, the clans would put it on the news and work the media to their advantage.

    The only thing I would have done differently if I was calling the shots would have been to suspend diurnal ops and forget about taking Aideed alive--dead was always preferable, and everyone knew that anyway.

    Say it ain't so. Clinton didn't approve the op in the first place--he didn't have to, and didn't want to--but he and his hand-picked butt-boy Les Asspin certainly did everything they could to make sure it didn't succeed.

  9. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    No, but neither were you. :)
  10. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Here's one of the times: Page 203:
  11. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    Give me a date on that? August, September?

  12. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    September 5th, I believe.

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