Academic journal article Military Review

Task Force Ranger and the Battle of Mogadishu

Academic journal article Military Review

Task Force Ranger and the Battle of Mogadishu

Article excerpt

From 3 to 4 October 1993, a joint U.S. special operations task force fought a prolonged battle through the densely populated streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, after its mission to capture key members of a Somali militia group led by Mohamed Farrah Aidid was met with unexpectedly stiff resistance and a portion of the task force was pinned down in the center of the city. The lessons learned from Task Force Ranger portended even greater challenges in the future for U.S. forces facing the prospect of combat in urban settings and megacities.

Task Force Ranger included units from the 3rd Ranger Battalion, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment--Delta, the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, and other special operations elements from the Air Force and the Navy. It was given the mission to capture Aidid and dismantle his organization, the Somali National Alliance. On 3 October, it sent a force of 19 aircraft, 12 vehicles, and 160 men to arrest two high-level leaders of the Aidid organization.

The mission began well, with the quick capture of two militia leaders, although one ranger was injured during a fall from a helicopter while fast-roping. However, a large crowd of armed militia and civilians, including women and children, rapidly converged on the scene, congesting the roads and blocking the extraction of the injured soldier and the two militiamen by ground convoy. …

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