This happened when I was just a kid, but I still remember my dad coming home from work talking about it. “Work” for him was being a Paratrooper at Ft. Bragg, and as he says the Airborne is a pretty small community. He knew some of the guys involved in this mission, so when we were still mirroring some of these tactics in Iraq I often thought about this mission. Watching the video just raises the hair on my neck and puts a lump in my throat.
We did adopt some SOP’s because of this battle though that have carried through into my own planning still:
- Even if the mission is a “quick day time” mission you plan like you’ll be out all night.
- Bring your night time devices every time you go out.
- In Iraq we always made sure we packed as much water in the vehicles as possible. Typically at least 2 cases of bottled water. In addition, every guy also had a full Camelbak hanging on his seat. This was in case we had to leave the vehicle for some reason he could put it on and have water on him. It was very typical to dismount and set security, talk to locals, inspect a potential IED, etc.