November 5th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

Iron Man suit, from the silver screen to the battlefield

By Larry Shaughnessy

A U.S. Special Operations soldier kicks in the door of a terrorist safe house.  The bad guys open fire with AK-47s, but the bullets just bounce off the soldier as he fires back.

It’s a scene that easily could have been included in any of the hugely successful “Iron Man” movies, but the man who runs U.S. Special Forces Command, Adm. William McRaven, wants to make it reality, and soon.

McRaven gave the green light to what the Pentagon officially calls a Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, but everyone refers to it colloquially as “The Iron Man suit.”

McRaven recently spoke about losing a special operator in Afghanistan. "I would like that last operator to be the last one we ever lose," he said.
FULL POST

October 7th, 2013
11:51 AM ET

Official: Navy SEAL team pulled out when it couldn't capture suspect alive

By Barbara Starr

U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six pulled out during a raid to capture suspected Al-Shabaab leader Ikrima when it became clear that he couldn't be taken alive, a senior U.S. official told CNN.

"Their mission was to capture him. Once it became clear we were not going to able to take him, the Navy commander made the decision to withdraw," said the official, who has direct knowledge of the entire Somalia operation but declined to be identified publicly.

The official said the SEALs came under heavy opposition and an intense firefight broke out, leading to the withdrawal.

The mission's aim - to capture Ikrima - is the reason the team was used rather than a lethal drone attack, the official said.
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October 5th, 2013
07:35 PM ET

U.S. forces take part in 2 Africa raids targeting alleged terrorists

By Barbara Starr and Evan Perez

U.S. military forces were involved in two separate operations in Africa - one of them targeting a member of the group Al-Shabaab that was behind last month's Kenya mall attack, and the other going after an al Qaeda leader tied to bombings of two U.S. embassies.

The Al-Shabaab raid took place in Somalia, where that terrorist group is based, sometime in the past 24 hours, a senior U.S. official said Saturday evening.

The team of U.S. Navy SEALs had to withdraw before it could confirm whether it killed the target because they came under fire, the official said. The SEALs made the "prudent decision" to withdraw rather than engage in further combat, according to the official.

The other mission ended in the capture of Abu Anas al Libi, who is suspected to have played a significant role in the August 7, 1998, bombings of American embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and Nairobi, Kenya, U.S. officials said.

FULL STORY
June 18th, 2013
07:18 PM ET

DoD plans for women in combat

A dramatic moment at the Pentagon Tuesday, and another milestone for military women.

Declaring "the days of Rambo are over," officials announced that in a few years, women will be allowed in combat units.

Eventually, that may including the country's most elite special forces.

CNN Pentagon Correspondent Chris Lawrence explains how long the transition will take.

February 15th, 2013
07:12 PM ET

Navy SEAL commander rebuts 'Shooter' claim

By Barbara Starr

The commander of all Navy SEALS is sharply critical of claims attributed to a man called "The Shooter," identified in a published report to have been the SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden but felt mistreated by the military when he left the service.

Esquire magazine's riveting account of the 2011 bin Laden raid in Pakistan was based on an interview with the former SEAL, who was not named but complained about losing his health care coverage when he left the Navy last year.

He was short of the full 20-year career required to receive such benefits.

"Concerning recent writing and reporting on 'The Shooter' and his alleged situation, this former SEAL made a deliberate and informed decision to leave the Navy several years short of retirement status," said Rear Admiral Sean Pybus, commander of the Naval Special Warfare Command.
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February 11th, 2013
06:45 PM ET

'Nightmare' at home for SEAL who shot Osama bin Laden

By Jamie Gumbrecht

He's the man who rolled into a bedroom in Abbottabad, Pakistan, raised his gun and shot Osama bin Laden three times in the forehead.

Nearly two years later, the SEAL Team Six member is a secret celebrity with nothing to show for the deed; no job, no pension, no recognition outside a small circle of colleagues.

Journalist Phil Bronstein profiled the man in the March issue of Esquire, calling him only the Shooter - a husband, father and SEAL Team Six member who happened to pull the trigger on the notorious terrorist. It's a detailed account of how the raid unfolded, and what comes after for those involved. The headline splashed across the cover reads, "The man who killed Osama bin Laden ... is screwed."

"They spent, in the case of the shooter, 16 years doing exactly what they're trained to do, which is going out on these missions, deployment after deployment, killing people on a regular basis, " said Bronstein, executive chairman of the Center for Investigative Reporting. "They finally get to the point where they don't want to do that anymore."
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SEAL commander's death in Afghanistan an apparent suicide, military says
The Navy is investigating the apparent suicide of Navy Cmdr. Job W. Price in Afghanistan, a U.S. military official tells CNN.
December 23rd, 2012
05:09 PM ET

SEAL commander's death in Afghanistan an apparent suicide, military says

By Barbara Starr

The Navy is investigating the death in Afghanistan of one of its most senior SEAL officers as an apparent suicide, a U.S. military official tells CNN.

Navy Cmdr. Job W. Price, 42, of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, died Saturday while serving as the commanding officer of SEAL Team 4, a special warfare unit based in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

The official, who has direct knowledge of the event, spoke on the condition of anonymity because the death remains under full investigation by the U.S. military. FULL POST

December 10th, 2012
03:32 AM ET

U.S. Navy SEAL killed in operation to rescue American doctor in Afghanistan

By Qadir Sediqi

An elite U.S. special forces team rescued an American doctor who had been abducted in Afghanistan, but lost one of their own members in the mission, officials said.

Dr. Dilip Joseph was freed 11 hours after his captors released two other kidnapped staffers of his nonprofit agency, Morning Star Development, the organization said Sunday.

Hours later, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that "a U.S. service member was killed in the operation."

A U.S. official said the man who was shot dead belonged to the Navy's Special Warfare Development Group, more commonly known as SEAL Team Six. The elite unit is the same one that took part in the raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, but the official didn't know if the fallen service member was involved in that operation.

FULL STORY
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November 9th, 2012
02:08 PM ET

Navy SEALs reprimand meant to send message to other SEALs

By Chris Lawrence

The disciplining of U.S. Navy SEALs who aided a video game maker was conducted in a more public fashion than typically done in order to send a message to the SEALs community about keeping classified information secret, CNN has learned.

Seven U.S. Navy SEALs have been reprimanded for giving up classified information connected to their work so a video game could seem more realistic, according to a Navy official.

The seven were charged with the unauthorized showing of their official combat gear and dereliction of duty for disclosing classified material, according to the official, who is familiar with the investigation.  The letters of reprimand will be "considered" when the SEALs go up for promotion, essentially ending any chance of advancement in the Navy.

At least one of the SEALs disciplined was part of the team that raided Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan, a defense official said Friday.

The reprimand was not conducted privately, as is usually the case.  The decision was made "at the command level" to conduct the disciplinary proceedings, with most members of the command present, "to send a message to other SEALs" that revealing classified information and publicly speaking about their missions is "unacceptable." FULL POST

Navy SEALs punished for revealing secrets to video game maker
A Pentagon official said Matt Bissonnette, a former Navy SEAL, also shared classified information when he released his memoir No Easy Day, described by Bissonnette as “the first hand account of the mission that killed Osama bin Laden.”
November 9th, 2012
01:38 AM ET

Navy SEALs punished for revealing secrets to video game maker

By Mike Mount

Seven U.S. Navy SEALs have been reprimanded for giving up classified information connected to their tradecraft so a video game could seem more realistic, according to a navy official.

The seven were charged with the unauthorized showing of their official combat gear and dereliction of duty for disclosing classified material after an investigation found the seven to have worked as paid consultants for two days with the video game company Electronic Arts, according to a U.S. Navy official familiar with the investigation.

The work, done around the late spring and early summer, was unauthorized by their commanders and against military regulations according to the Navy official.

All seven are active duty members of SEAL Team 6, considered the most elite of the Navy’s SEAL community. At least one of the team members was on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden last year, according to a Navy official.

The seven, all senior enlisted sailors, received their punishment Thursday at their base in Virginia. All seven were given a letter of reprimand and their pay taken for two months. The move essentially prevents their chances for promotion and ends their military careers.

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