If you do not remember it was on August 6th, 2011 when a Navy SEAL helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan. Mr. and Mrs. Billy Vaughn the parents of Aaron Vaughn, one of 17 Navy SEAL Team Six members along with 13 other Americans, 5 EOD support personnel, 3 AF Commandos and 5 Army aviators killed in the shootdown of their CH-47 in Afghanistan while on mission. The call sign of the helicopter was Extortion 17. They were going to aid of Army Rangers pinned down in a firefight. This loss of 30 or our finest was and still is the largest single day loss of US military in combat in Afghanistan.
Mr. Vaughn wrote the book “Betrayed” about what happened and the many lies told to them by the Navy including Admiral William Harry McRaven, Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command who lied to their faces in their home about many of the details of this unnecessary loss of US treasure. They were flabbergasted when McRaven defended Obama over and over despite his adopting a terrible COIN strategy to “win the hearts and minds of the Afghanis” and the attendant weak ROE that would get Americans killed and insured we could not win in Afghanistan. They also said Biden and Panetta were responsible for outing Seal Team Six and putting its members and their families in grave danger. In fact they said McRaven raved to them about what a great Commander-in-Chief Obama was. McRaven is still in his command.
Other major points he made which are addressed in detail in the book.
- Despite the fact that an AC 130 and two Army Long Bow Apaches were in air over valley where the action took place and knew where the enemy was, they were not allowed to fire at them to provide suppressive support vicinity of the LZ because of Afghani driven US Rules of Engagement (can’t fire vicinity villages). No close air support was provided despite the fact that US forces were engaged in a fire fight, the higher headquarters knew the LZ was hot and that there was no village near the LZ, only one 3 story tower (from which the single Afghan farmer with an RPG -7 shot down the helicopter on final approach 50′ above the ground. All inside were burned to death in the ensuing explosion.
- The CH-47D was never intended to be a combat assault helicopter but rather a cargo and artillery carrier. The US Army 160th Aviation Battalion has specially equipped, silent helicopters including MH 60s in Afghanistan but these were not used.
- No General or anyone in chain-of-command was disciplined as a result of this huge tactical blunder.
- No explanation as to why there were 7 Afghan Army personnel on board and why they were not the same 7 originally on the manifest list.
Mr. & Mrs. Vaughn, although still grieving for their son and very proud of him, have done extensive research of documents under the FOI act and by interviewing personnel involved.
They are convinced that their son and the other members of Navy SEAL Team 6 (Gold Team) were set up to die in this operation.
Like me, and many others, they do not recommend anyone enter the military today.
I highly recommend you purchase and read the book “Betrayed” by Billy Vaughn. If you have any faith left in our government, I doubt you will after reading this.
©Royal A. Brown, III. All rights reserved.