Lieutenant Colonel Pete Blaber: Delta Force officer in command of Advanced Force Operations in Afghanistan in Feb 2002.
Mike “Goody”: Navy SEAL NCO in charge of Mako31 in Afghanistan in Feb 2002.
Around Feb 27, 2002 Operation Anaconda was about to kick off in the Shahikot Valley in Afghanistan. LTC Blaber was assigning three special ops teams (2 Delta, 1 SEAL) to observation posts (OP) around the valley to aid in the operation. The catch? They had to hike into these OPs in the middle of winter, at night, with 80 lb worth of gear and stay there for days. And they had to do be in position before the operation kicked off and do so without being detected. If any of the three teams were detected it could blow the entire operation.
This is the a portion of the conversation that LTC Blaber had with Sgt “Goody” the night before he left for his OP.
Blaber: “Goody, the success or failure of your mission will predicate the success or failure of the entire operation. You have to make it to that OP before H-Hour.”
Goody: “Sir, I’ll make it to my OP come hell of high water. If we’re hurting on time, I’ll drop our rucks. If we’re still having problems, I’ll keep dropping gear until five naked guys with guns are standing on the OP at H-Hour.”
Mako31 did make it to their OP in time. And they also discovered a major Taliban position that, if not discovered, could have shot down the helicopters flying in the foot soldiers of the 101st and 10th Mountain Divisions.
LTC Blaber could not have been more right.
And the SEALs of Mako31 could not be any more the heros in protecting our freedom.