Hail and farewell

Yesterday 37 servicemen were killed in the crash of a Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter (almost certainly the MH-47G Special Operations version) in Afghanistan. The majority of them were from the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group, commonly known today as DEVGRU and formerly as SEAL Team 6. Others included several US Army helicopter crew from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, proudly known as the ‘Night Stalkers’.

There were also seven Afghan Special Operations personnel, and an unidentified US dog-handler and his animal.

This will be a devastating loss to the tight-knit Special Operations community. It won’t stop their operations, of course; but DEVGRU and 160th SOAR personnel are the ‘cream of the cream’. All their members must prove themselves operationally in other, less demanding environments before being selected for these elite units. It’ll take some time to replace men of so high a caliber.

Across the USA tonight, and in Afghanistan, the families and comrades of the dead men are mourning their loss. Say a prayer for the living and the dead. We sleep more safely in our beds because these men, and their comrades in arms, routinely put their lives on the line for us. Sometimes they must pay a heavy price for their dedication. 37 of them paid it yesterday.

Brothers, we who have served, even in lesser units, salute your sacrifice. We shall not forget you.



  1. The conspiracy nuts are having a field day with this, since some of the men who died were on the team that killed Osama bin Laden.

    The sad thing is, given American history, that what they're saying isn't too farfetched.


  2. How lucky we are that these men wanted to do what they did. I am so grateful, and feel sincerely sorry for their units, families and friends for their loss. Their loss is our loss.

  3. Rest in Peace guys.

    You paid the ultimate sacrifice and the American people will remember you in their prayers.

    We, fellow Americans will never forget and never forgive the enemies of America!

  4. Please don't come to any conclusions based on media reports. Things are not always the way they appear initially…

    God bless the lost warriors and their loved ones. Hard times in Clarksville and Virginia Beach right now.


  5. Reports seem to be coming out that the it was a CH-47 transport and not one of the upgraded SPECOPS birds. It also looks like it was being flown by the National Guard.


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