SEAL Team Six Story Unfolding


A National Guard Chinook with a Full Load of Seals and Special Ops?


by  Jim W. Dean, VT editor


Special Operations - Boeing - MH-47E Chinook

Gordon Duff’s piece Saturday afternoon has run up over 61,000 reads plus whatever the blogger traffic was. We put it out quickly because losing this many SEALS in a one mission crash seemed impossible with the ops procedures for moving these highly trained teams around.

The comment section was very active and generally most all agreed that an a  RPG shot bringing down a SEAL Chinook with a huge team aboard staggered the imagination.

SEAL package insertions and egress are where they are most vulnerable. They have very special transport to protect them from small arms.

The story of their going to the rescue of a pinned down unit…a SEAL insertion would most likely not be going into a landing zone blind as to enemy fire risk. Protecting the landing spot is like….ahhhh….very important !!!

Some VT associates have, for many years, flown “black ops,” including SEAL teams.

Military death notices were going out today (August 8th) and we saw and heard some of the first sad family interviews. And a special one was a National Guardsman, Sgt. Patrick Hamburger, a Chinook crew chief only in Afghanistan for a few days.  So it appears we might have a breach of standard operating procedure where a huge team was put into a National Guard Chinook to go in. No word yet on where the Seals SPECOPS Chinooks were. But I suspect we will not have to wait long.

Sgt. Patrick Hamburger and Daughter
The operational procedures are designed to avoid even the possibility of a loss like this. This should not have happened and no stone will be left unturned.

I hope they fare better than my mother when she became a 16 year old WWII widow. Her newlywed husband got blown to bits with 579 others on the SS Paul Hamilton, April 20th, 1944.

It seems the brass had been packing troops onto ammo ships and they took an aerial torpedo with 7000 tons of explosives aboard. The details were classified for 50 years. I pray that these families fare better.

Our thanks to Ann Barnhardt for  passing the along the personal source news below. We still had no Pentagon video today, but the BBC got a phone interview with an eye witness who says he watched it all from his porch. That is a strange thing to be doing in a fire fight as folks tend to shoot first and ask questions later.

This is an updated CBS news video and some families getting through their horrible Sunday.

[youtube rBjKMHzP8KM]


Tips from Afghanistan   …from  Ann Barnhardt

National Guard Chinook

I received a tip from a soldier stationed with an aviation brigade out of Jalalabad overnight.

“Almost immediately, after news of the crash began to spread, we were placed in an internet and phone blackout. This means communication with family, friends and “others” back home, in real time, is prevented until further notice.

However, there are also chinook pilots, crews and mechanics assigned here who were privy to the details of the crash almost immediately.

One of confirmed details they have been discussing is that the chinook shot down belonged to a National Guard unit. Which is causing people to whisper in astonishment,

“why were some of the most elite of America’s military, in such large numbers, tooling around on a National Guard aircraft? Also, those around me are wondering why such a large number (extremely unconventional for Seals, Green Berets, etc) of them riding in a single aircraft instead of being spread out into numerous aircraft.”

The Famous Patch

Without question, I mean no disrespect to the pilots and crew of the National Guard aircraft, but the fact is that it’s very “strange” that Seals would be conducting an actual mission, with such large numbers, in such a basic aircraft. …Especially, given the fact that there were special operation chinooks easily available and sitting idle when this tragedy took place.”

I am not a journalist. I have no means of checking this. But SOMEONE needs to investigate if in fact the SEALS were on a National Guard helo, if there were SPECOPS Chinooks available and idle, and what the difference in armament is between Guard Chinooks and SPECOPS Chinooks.

This potential difference in armament is HUGE and could account for the possibility of the Chinook being shot down by an RPG, if that is what happened.

MH-47G Chinook - rollout ceremony 6 May 2007
Following up on the RPG question, we have lost only one (that I can find) SPECOPS Chinook to RPG fire, and that incident saw the RPG shot go inside the cabin of the SPECOPS Chinook through an open hatch. It was a Golden BB shot.

That tells us that the SPECOPS Chinooks are extremely resilient and have high combat survivability. The SPECOPS Chinooks are like a heavily armored Brinks truck.

A standard National Guard Chinook would be analogous to a FedEx truck by comparison. You never pack 25 SEALs into one helo as a point of dispersion protocol, as stated by a reader below.

“I have been told that a MINIMUM of three helos would normally be used for a group of that size. And IF they were indeed in a standard National Guard Chinook and not a SPECOPS Chinook, that would be like rolling out in a FedEx truck with your extremely precious cargo.”

Every human being is infinitely precious, but we can all agree that from a battlefield standpoint, SEALs are “tactically precious.”

UPDATE 2: From a reader:


You are on to something here. I was in the 160th 1982- 1985 and I can tell you that the reason the aviation wing was created was so special ops would never again have to fly missions with anyone other than their own pilots and birds.

UPDATE 3: From a reader:

U.S. Army Chinook - Interior

Ann, I’m sure you’re getting a lot of notes on the Chinook debacle. I’m retired USAF familiar with how the system works when it comes to the questions asked by your Jalalabad contact. First, look to the Command Authority.

Dispersion protocols are almost never broken except on direct order up the chain high enough that nobody could question or refuse the order without jeopardizing their career.

Second, ‘who benefits’? Follow the trail of beneficiaries to the incident. Tactically, intell had to be passed to the shooters as to the timetable.

I’m willing to bet that there were several RPG’s (if not Stinger’s – remember, we provided quite a few and never kept a record during the Soviet incursion into Afghanistan) involved. Then, once fired, the shooters had to egress unseen to fight another day.

Many people I know, including some recently back from that area say this stinks to high Heaven, as you do.

Editors Note: We seem to be in the fog of war on what kinds of helicopters these teams use and when. Some checking around has turned up SEALS on Army Chinooks.  Many factors may come into play as to multiple helos, day or night operation. Below is a famous tragic battle of a Ranger rescue attempt of a shot down SEAL chopper team and found their Chinook taken down with an RPG and bullets going through it like butter.

[youtube ylMV8vAwypA]

Profile: Congressional logjam over expanding the child tax credit for low-income families

NPR All Things Considered June 10, 2003 | MICHELE NORRIS, MELISSA BLOCK 00-00-0000 Profile: Congressional logjam over expanding the child tax credit for low-income families Host: MICHELE NORRIS, MELISSA BLOCK Time: 9:00-10:00 PM MICHELE NORRIS, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I’m Michele Norris.


And I’m Melissa Block.

Congressional Republicans took considerable heat for removing part of the Bush tax-cut plan benefiting low-income families. The change was made just before final passage of the bill. Last week in response to the public outcry, the Senate restored the tax credit to more than six million low-income families with children. But rather than simply approve the Senate bill, the House has drawn up its own child tax credit fix that carries a far bigger price tag. NPR’s David Welna reports from the Capitol. child tax credit 2012

Unidentified Woman: We got to put our prayers into action, God, and so right now in the homes of hundreds…

DAVID WELNA reporting:

At what was billed as a prayer gathering held today in an ornate Senate caucus room, religious leaders from around the country joined to press House GOP leaders to pass a child tax credit for low-income families. The Reverend Jim Wallace heads the multidenominational group Call to Renewal.

Reverend JIM WALLACE (Call to Renewal): The White House heard the outrage; now the president says, too, that we should do the right thing, that the House should do the right thing. Now we will wait to see if they do and to see if low-income families and their children are embraced.

WELNA: Meanwhile, at a notebooks-only briefing for reporters in the Capitol, Majority Leader Tom DeLay scoffed at the notion that the House would simply take up the bill passed last week by the Senate that restores the child tax credit for low-income families. As DeLay put it, `Ain’t going to happen.’ This followed what essentially were marching orders from President Bush to pass the Senate bill conveyed yesterday by White House spokesman Ari Fleischer.

Mr. ARI FLEISCHER (White House Spokesman): His advice to the House Republicans is to pass it, to send it to him so that he can sign it. He understands they’re going to take a look at some other tax matters; that’s their prerogative. But he wants to make certain that this does not get slowed down, bogged down; he wants to sign it.

WELNA: Asked about Fleischer’s comment, DeLay replied acidly, `Last time I checked, he doesn’t have a vote.’ Late this afternoon, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas announced the House would consider as soon as Thursday its own bill to fix the child tax credit omission. But while the Senate bill’s $10 billion cost is paid for by increased customs fees, the House bill carries an $85 billion price tag with nothing to offset the cost. Thomas said that’s the price of extending the tax credits for a full decade rather than the three years in the Senate’s bill.

Representative BILL THOMAS (Republican, California; Chairman, House Ways and Means Committee): I understand that you can pay for offsets when you’re doing politics. Politics is always cheap. When you do policy and you’re trying to help real people for a decade, that costs money.

WELNA: The Senate would likely balk at the House bill’s bigger price tag and the fact that it’s not paid for with offsets. Its higher cost might also force House Democrats to vote against it, even though they’ve been pushing hard to restore the child tax credits. Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky says she can only see herself voting for a bill like the one passed by the Senate. this web site child tax credit 2012

Representative JAN SCHAKOWSKY (Democrat, Illinois): If it is not and if it is a loaded-up bill, I won’t be able to support such a measure. I think in the long run, or maybe even in the short run, it will end up hurting those working families and will just serve once again that very top level of Americans that they seem so dedicated to helping- -the very richest.

WELNA: Last night Republican Congressman Mike Castle of Delaware introduced the Senate’s bill fixing the child tax credit. Like other GOP moderates in the House, Castle says he simply wants to get that fix over and done with. He’s worried Republicans have gotten a black eye for taking it out of the original tax-cut bill.

Representative MICHAEL CASTLE (Republican, Delaware): I don’t think the black eye would last very long if this is done quickly, but I think if there is an effort either to scuttle this or to delay it indefinitely, then that might be quite a shiner, then the black eye would last for a long time.

WELNA: But for House Republican leaders, this may be payback time. By proposing a much more costly fix to the child tax credit problem, they have a chance to get even with the Senate, which last month forced those leaders to settle for a tax cut less than half the size that they wanted. David Welna, NPR News, the Capitol.



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Jim W. Dean was an active editor on VT from 2010-2022.  He was involved in operations, development, and writing, plus an active schedule of TV and radio interviews.