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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.