Today marks the 30th anniversary of 1993’s Battle of Mogadishu, a watershed event in the history of special operations.
The battle pitted elements of a joint SOF element named “Task Force Ranger” against the Aideed militia, with many in the city of Mogadishu joining in the battle.
Members of the unit had conducted an operation on that city’s Olympic Hotel in order to capture key leaders of the Aidid Militia. Unfortunately, during the exfil portion of the raid, a battle ensued which claimed the lives of 18 Americans and wounded another 73. Additionally, CW3 Michael Durant was captured by the militia. Fortunately, Durant was later repatriated and went on to retire from the 160th.
Of the men killed that day, two would be awarded the Medal of Honor, Delta Operators Gary Gordon and Randy Shughart for their selfless efforts to protect Durant after his aircraft, callsign Super 64 was shot down.
For those of you unfamiliar, one of the best accounts of the battle is contained in the book, “Blackhawk Down” by author Mark Bowden. Much of the information was serialized prior to the book’s publication in the Philadelphia Enquirer. Later this was made into a movie bearing the same name.
For an insider account, watch SOF Veteran MSG Paul Howe (USA, Ret) discuss “The Battle Of The Black Sea” on Makeready.TV.
Please take a moment to remember these men and their sacrifice.