On the eve of his departure from office, President Bush responds to U.N requests and orders Operation "Restore Hope" in December of 1992. The mission: to defend famine-relief efforts in the country of Somalia. For months prior, U.N officials and relief workers are thwarted by armed Somali clans in their attempts to deliver desperately-needed food and supplies to a starving country. Food is stolen from the docks and airport. Convoys are high jacked. And relief workers are attacked and sometimes killed.

During night of December 9th, U.S. Marines hit the beach while under the intense spotlights from dozens of TV cameras. They are the first of 25,000 troops sent to patrol the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia. Within months, the situation in Somalia is under control and food is finally able to reach a starving population. Although various warlords and their clans move about the streets, they are reluctant to tangle with U.S. troops.

As President Clinton settles into office in the early part of 1993, he expresses a will to decrease U.S. troops in the region. By June, only 1,200 combat troops and 3,000 support personnel remain. Meanwhile, the question of 'what next?' is answered with the idea of 'nation building' by many in the United Nations. The original mission of securing humanitarian relief gives way to rebuilding Somalia's infrastructure, restoring law and order and establishing a new government by forming a coalition of the Somali clans.

But General Mohamed Farrah Aidid, leader of 3 clans, continuously threatens the process. After 24 Pakistani soldiers are ambushed and massacred, a $25,000 reward is placed on Aidid's head. Admiral Jonathan Howe, Special Representative to the UN Secretary General and responsible for mediating the peace process, asks the U.S. to send special forces to apprehend Aidid.

After 4 American soldiers are killed by a remote detonated mine, the U.S. forms Task Force Ranger, a group of Delta Force commandos, Army Rangers, and pilots from 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (the "Night Stalkers"), led by Major General William F. Garrison.

On August 26, more than eight months after the Marines first landed in Somalia, 440 troops of Task Force Ranger arrive in Somalia with the mission to capture Aidid and his lieutenants. Task Force Ranger performs a number of missions with mixed results, as commanders in Somalia ask the U.S. for Bradley Fighting Vehicles and AC-130 Spectre gunships. The requests are denied by Secretary of Defense Les Aspen.

On the morning of October 3rd, members of Task Force Ranger receive information that Aidid and some of his lieutenants will be meeting in a house next to the Olympic Hotel.

A detachment of Army Rangers and Delta commandos suit-up and head out via Blackhawk helicopters and MH-6 "Little Birds," flying above the streets of Mogadishu, towards their target.


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