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Operation Gothic Serpent: 19 Years Ago Today

Today is the 19TH anniversary of TF Ranger and the fighting in Mogadishu that has since come to be called Blackhawk Down.

I debated whether or not to post something today about Operation Gothic Serpent, not because I doubt that it's worth remembering, but rather because if we were to post about every firefight, TIC and operation worth remembering, that's all we would be doing. How many have there been just since we put boots on the ground after 9/11? How many of our troops have been killed, wounded or captured? Do I somehow make less of all them by focusing attention on another?

In the end, the events of 03 October 93 are a huge part of military and popular culture on many levels- the VALOR of young men, Medals of Honor, training, AARs, political debate, leadership issues, books, et al- and needed to be mentioned today. I hope you will agree that taking a moment to remember it, and our fallen, is worthwhile and does not in any way denigrate or lessen the sacrifices of other men and women in other places.

I first read about the raid, TF Ranger, Mohammed Farah Aidid and the Habr Gidr as a mandatory assignment for a training billet I held. Initially we had access to was the original newspaper series from the Philadelphia Inquirer, and then a Frontline episode that gave an overview of the events that day. Eventually that series of newspaper reports was written into a book, Blackhawk Down, which of course became the movie of the same name. I've always thought the Inquirer's collection was superior to the book (for amount of content and detail) and of course he movie (from a factual standpoint), and I'd urge you to read it if you have not already. http://inquirer.philly.com/packages/somalia/sitemap.asp

Introduction: http://inquirer.philly.com/packages/somalia/nov16/rang16.asp

Video clips: http://inquirer.philly.com/packages/somalia/video.asp

Audio files: http://inquirer.philly.com/packages/somalia/audio.asp

An African Union peacekeeper (Ugandan?) in the Bakara Market in August of last year. Players change, the fighting contines.

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