OPERATION RED WING

On June 28, 2005, a team of four Navy SEALs, tasked for surveillance and reconnaissance of a group of structures known to be used by Ahmad Shah and his men, fell into an ambush by Shah and his group just hours after inserting by fastrope from an MH-47 helicopter in the Hindu Kush of Afghanistan.
 
The team members were team leader Navy Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy of SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1 (SDVT-1), based out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Petty Officer Second Class Danny P. Dietz from SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 2 (SDVT-2), based out of Virginia Beach, Virginia; Petty Officer Second Class Matthew G. Axelson from SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1 (SDVT-1); and Navy Hospital Corpsman Second Class Marcus Luttrell, of SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1 (SDVT-1). After moving to a pre-determined, covered overwatch position, from which the SEALs could observe the Named Areas of Interest, the team was discovered by local goatherders. After determining that they were civilians, and not combatants, Lieutenant Murphy had them released, as was protocol in the area of operations at the time, according to rules of engagement.  Three of the four SEALs were killed in an ambush; a quick reaction force helicopter sent in for their aid was subsequently shot down with an RPG-7 rocket propelled grenade by one of Shah's men, killing all on board; 8 Navy SEALs and 8 U.S. Army Special Operations aviators. 
 
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The operation lasted approximately three more weeks, during which time bodies of the deceased SEALs and Army Special Operations aviators were recovered and the only surviving member of the initial four-man surveillance and reconnaissance team, Marcus Luttrell, was rescued.

At the time, this was the worst single-day U.S. Forces death toll since Operation Enduring Freedom began and the single largest loss of life for Naval Special Warfare since World War II.
 
The Naval Special Warfare (NSW) community will forever remember June 28, 2005 and the heroic efforts and sacrifices of it's special operators. They made the ultimate sacrifice while engaged in the fierce fire fight on the front lines of the global war on terrorism.

 
OPERATION RED WING KIAs
*also referred to as OPERATION RED WINGS / REDWING

Navy SEALs
SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

  1. Lt. (SEAL) Michael P. Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y. 
  2. Sonar Technician (Surface) 2nd Class (SEAL) Matthew G. Axelson, 29, of Cupertino, Calif.
  3. Machinist Mate 2nd Class (SEAL) Eric S. Patton, 22, of Boulder City, Nev.
  4. Senior Chief Information Systems Technician (SEAL) Daniel R. Healy, 36, of Exeter, N.H. 
  5. Quartermaster 2nd Class (SEAL) James Suh, 28, of Deerfield Beach, Fla. 

SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 2, Virginia Beach, Va.

  1. Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class (SEAL) Danny P. Dietz, 25, of Littleton, Colo. 

SEAL Team 10, Virginia Beach, Va.

  1. Chief Fire Controlman (SEAL) Jacques J. Fontan, 36, of New Orleans, La. 
  2. Lt. Cmdr. (SEAL) Erik S. Kristensen, 33, of San Diego, Calif. 
  3. Electronics Technician 1st Class (SEAL) Jeffery A. Lucas, 33, of Corbett, Ore. 
  4. Lt. (SEAL) Michael M. McGreevy Jr., 30, of Portville, N.Y. 
  5. Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (SEAL) Jeffrey S. Taylor, 30, of Midway, W.Va. 

Army Night Stalkers
3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), Hunter Army Air Field, Ga.

  1. Staff Sgt. Shamus O. Goare, 29, of Danville, Ohio. 
  2. Chief Warrant Officer Corey J. Goodnature, 35, of Clarks Grove, Minn. 
  3. Sgt. Kip A. Jacoby, 21, of Pompano Beach, Fla. 
  4. Sgt. 1st Class Marcus V. Muralles, 33, of Shelbyville, Ind. 
  5. Maj. Stephen C. Reich, 34, of Washington Depot, Conn. 
  6. Sgt. 1st Class Michael L. Russell, 31, of Stafford, Va. 
  7. Chief Warrant Officer Chris J. Scherkenbach, 40, of Jacksonville, Fla. 

HQ Company, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), Fort Campbell, Ky.

  1. Master Sgt. James W. Ponder III, 36, of Franklin, Tenn. 

            U.S. Navy SEALs are the maritime component of U.S. Special Operations Command and the Navy’s special operations force.  The SEALs take their name from the elements in which they operate – sea, air and land. Experts in special reconnaissance and direct action missions – SEALs continue to successfully execute DoD’s most important warfighting missions in the GWOT.

For more information on Naval Special Warfare, please visit: www.seal.navy.mil

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