Friday, October 23, 2009

Black Hawk Down - Somalia, 3rd October 1993

This is one of my favorite books. Black Hawk Down, was made into a movie which is also one of my favorites. The author Mark Bowden, works for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Some of the best parts of the book is at the beginning, when they are waiting for the go ahead, they are waiting for the code word.

pray for us sinners, now at the hour of our death, amen.

The 3rd of October 1993
There were twenty false alarms for every real mission. Waiting for the code word for launch which today was "Irene" they were a formidable sum of men and machines.

Black Hawk, Super Six Four, heard over the intercom the soft voice of the pilot, Chief Warrant Officer Mike Durant, clearly pleased. Durant announced "Fuckin Irene" And the armada launched, lifting off from the shabby airport by the sea into an embracing blue vista of sky and Indian Ocean. They eased out across a littered strip of white sand and moved low and fast over running breakers that formed faint crest parallel with the shore. In close formation they banked and flew down the coastline southwest. From each bird the booted legs of the eager soldiers dangled from the benches of the open doors.

One by one, the various units would repeat "Lucy" the code word for the assault to begin: Romeo Six Four, Colonel Harrell; Kilo Six Four, Captain Scott Miller, the Delta assault-force commander; Barber Five One, veteran pilot Chief Warrant Randy Jones in the lead AH-6 gunship ; Juliet Six Four, Captain Mike Steele, The Ranger commander aboard Durant's bird; Uniform Six Four, Lieutenant Colonel Danny McKnight, who was commanding the ground convoy poised to take them all out. The convoy had rolled up to the spot several blocks away.

*This is Romeo Six Four, to all elements. Lucy, Lucy.
*This is Kilo Six Four, roger Lucy.
*This is Barber Five One, roger Lucy.
*Juliet Six Four, roger Lucy.
* This is Uniform Six Four, roger Lucy.

We call it, The Battle of the Black Sea, the Somalis call it, Malinti Rangers (The Day Of The Rangers)

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