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CloseToTheEdge
May 5th, 2011, 03:12 AM
A couple things about the official explanation of the events leading up to the demise of OBL seemed a bit confusing. Specifically the details about the number and type of helicopters used don't seem to add up.

One tidbit of doubt involves the number of troops deployed and then retreived. Offical statements indicate that all personnel were evacuated in the second Black Hawk helicopter after the first had mechanical problems just after landing, but there were far too many humans (plus OBL's remains) for that to be possible for the one remaining helicopter. It appears that there must have been a minimum of three helicopters at the compound.

Another question: Why would our guys destroy the damaged helicopter on the ground?

That would be done if the onboard technology was such that they did not want it to fall into another nation's hands. but there's nothing that special about a stock Black Hawk, which has been around for a long time. I figured perhaps it was equipped with some special night vision gear or something like that. But the photos below from OBL's compound indicate that at the very least, the wreckage of what was destroyed by our troops was no ordinary Black Hawk at all...

http://sitelife.aviationweek.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/0/14/8065b635-752f-4a63-ae97-84beaff28a19.Full.jpg

Strangely enough, a garden-variety Black Hawk landed yesterday at the elementary school near my house for some kind of special "show and tell" for the kids, as the pilot was married to one of the school teachers. That thing made a FUCKING HUGE amount of noise coming in.

Perhaps the Seals have a new, quiet ride that they are not talking about...

More here:

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/05/aviation-geeks-scramble-to-i-d-osama-raids-mystery-copter/all/1

Aardvark
May 5th, 2011, 04:15 AM
Why would our guys destroy the damaged helicopter on the ground?


Irrespective of any outward design secrets there is a little issue of the on-board computers, weapons tracking systems, weapons systems, mission telemetry information... and on and on.

As I mentioned in another thread, Pakistan has a bad reputation for sharing coveted tech information with rogue regimes like North Korea, Libya and Iran... no doubt this loss is part of the acceptable collateral damage from the mission if not somewhat painful.


Cheers,
Aardvark



.

clicktrack
May 5th, 2011, 04:46 AM
Irrespective of any outward design secrets there is a little issue of the on-board computers, weapons tracking systems, weapons systems, mission telemetry information... and on and on.

As I mentioned in another thread, Pakistan has a bad reputation for sharing coveted tech information with rogue regimes like North Korea, Libya and Iran... no doubt this loss is part of the acceptable collateral damage from the mission if not somewhat painful.


Cheers,
Aardvark



.

Yep. Aardy pretty much nailed it. Some of the military products I worked on in my former life had, by spec, some self-destruct facility for exactly that reason. Nothing upon nothing usable can be left behind if possible. Usually the built in self destruct was accompanied by the backup failsafe for once the destruction was done...the fire axe.

(I shit you not...think of the P3 that landed in Chinese territory a few years back).

blackieC
May 5th, 2011, 04:54 AM
Yes, Blackhawks are noisy. This explains how the neighbor tweeted about hearing the helicopters overhead. I'd also be willing to bet, as Ardy has pointed out, that the gear on Blackhawks that the Seals use is probably substantially different from what may be found on National Guard helicopters that get clearance to land at the local school. Blowing that shit up was a prudent move.

CloseToTheEdge
May 5th, 2011, 05:11 AM
That tail assembly is not a stock Black Hawk. At a minimum, it was a highly modified one, or possibly something else altogether.

I'm not saying that destroying it was not standard operating procedure, but they may have left a little too much:

http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/dangerroom/2011/05/RTR2LZQ11.jpg

A little stealthy, perhaps?

Brendo
May 5th, 2011, 02:34 PM
@ReallyVirtual on Twitter said an acquaintance claimed at least three helicopters...

Wide-O
May 5th, 2011, 02:54 PM
@ReallyVirtual on Twitter said an acquaintance claimed at least three helicopters...

FWIW, initial reports from Al Jazeera, and other sources, also claimed three helis.

Edit: actually @reallyvirtual only heard one, and later got a message:


@kursed Another rumor: two copters that followed the crashed one were foreign Cobras - and got away

The helicopter woke him up because it made so much noise. So much for stealth.


@tahirakram very likely - but it was too noisy to be a spy craft, or, a very poor spy craft it was.

Full history of his tweets at http://twitter.com/#!/reallyvirtual (I don't think you need an account)

CloseToTheEdge
May 5th, 2011, 04:58 PM
Perhaps the "new" model had some radar-evading characteristics. The idea of it being quiet seems quite unlikely though, and the witnesses you mentioned obviously have debunked that idea. I've also read articles that speculated that making a helicopter silent would pretty much be against the laws of physics, at least as helicopters are now designed.

Fearnloathing
May 5th, 2011, 05:54 PM
SOP on an Op is to scuttle any disabled craft. JSOC swing wings carry sensitive electronics as well as radar absorption and avoidance tech. The third bird is also no great surprise the standard battle plan for an airborn insertion is for a third bird to play the role of forward observer and comms. As well as having a 2 man sniper cadre on board for high ground support.

dwoz
May 5th, 2011, 06:07 PM
My very limited knowledge of helicopters is that they can be made far more quiet by making the rotor blades much broader and shorter. But that this diminishes their effective lift and efficiency.


Also, as far as the destruction of the damaged machine...this was set up to send secure instantaneous video/audio/mission status back to the white house. Just finding out what frequencies and protocols were used would be a big compromise of our existing command/control structure, requiring a wholesale change to something different, ahead of the schedule that such changes normally occur on.

On the subject of the execution/kill vs. capture...I would have to imagine that one of the mission contingencies was the early intervention of the pakistani military onsite. once the helicopter was compromised, that contingency would have been automatically asserted, and the mission would change to the assumption that Bin Laden might not be leaving the site under US custody. Thus, the only way he would then be leaving the site is in the custody of Allah. My guess is that if the chopper had stayed happy, we'd be talking about the CAPTURE of Bin Laden today.

CloseToTheEdge
May 5th, 2011, 07:28 PM
I am certainly glad they took backups for the helicopters, but found it interesting that the "mechanical failure" came at the exact time and place that would have most likely put them under enemy fire. Seems possible that they took some ground fire but obviously did not have time to assess the details. So glad they went in with adequate resources to complete the mission and leave with everyone that was deployed.

What you guys posted about standard operating procedure seems very logical to me. I did not consider the direct video link and the classified nature of the comm gear.

Not that I want to view any pictures of a dead body, but I do wish they would release them, at least to help debunk all the conspiracy theories that had OBL dead already.

I think the individuals who carried out this raid will probably not be held up for public recognition due to the possible future threats to their lives, but I am glad they did their job well, and think they must deserve some commendation.

And I am also glad that taking care of OBL was again a priority in leadership's book.

Brendo
May 6th, 2011, 04:34 AM
Also, as far as the destruction of the damaged machine...this was set up to send secure instantaneous video/audio/mission status back to the white house. Just finding out what frequencies and protocols were used would be a big compromise of our existing command/control structure, requiring a wholesale change to something different, ahead of the schedule that such changes normally occur on.This makes sense - it'd be the reason why the feed supposedly dropped out to the white house... the helicopter would have been destroyed. Either that or they knew the Pakistanis were trying to intercept the feed so they killed the feed.


On the subject of the execution/kill vs. capture... My guess is that if the chopper had stayed happy, we'd be talking about the CAPTURE of Bin Laden today.Agree.

Johnny
May 6th, 2011, 05:21 AM
Nah, mission was to kill him. Which is best.

Mick Stuart
May 6th, 2011, 09:42 PM
Nah, mission was to kill him. Which is best.

:Thumbsup::Thumbsup:

sidechain
May 9th, 2011, 04:48 AM
I was in Geneva Switzerland when George W. flew in for a G8 meeting. They had Blackhawks lining the runway, from my vantage point in the tiny Easyjet 737 I was in, those Blackhawks are big mean looking machines. So I would imagine landing one of those in a city at night would take a special kind of skill.

PRobb
May 9th, 2011, 05:33 PM
I am certainly glad they took backups for the helicopters, but found it interesting that the "mechanical failure" came at the exact time and place that would have most likely put them under enemy fire. Seems possible that they took some ground fire but obviously did not have time to assess the details. So glad they went in with adequate resources to complete the mission and leave with everyone that was deployed.
Agreed




Not that I want to view any pictures of a dead body, but I do wish they would release them, at least to help debunk all the conspiracy theories that had OBL dead already.
Disagree.
It's like the birthers. The sane people don't need the pictures, and for the crazies they won't matter. You can't counter crazy with logic. Kinda by definition.

zakco
May 9th, 2011, 08:53 PM
The sane people don't need the pictures, and for the crazies they won't matter. You can't counter crazy with logic.

agreed.

nobby
May 17th, 2011, 04:11 AM
Those weren't standard Blackhawks by any means, The outer fuselages were specially designed to evade radar and they were quieter than regular Blackhawks.

When the one crashed because it lost lift within a walled compound, a third, different chopper (an Apache, I think) was sent in.

OBL would have presented enormous problems if taken alive. Or for that matter if he wasn't "buried" at sea.

And he didn't raise his hands.

:otek:

CloseToTheEdge
May 17th, 2011, 05:46 AM
Yeah, I've rethought the idea of releasing the pictures of OBL. It would not convince any skeptics anyway.

CloseToTheEdge
May 17th, 2011, 04:12 PM
Well, this should close this one out:

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2011/05/ap-raiders-knew-mission-a-one-shot-deal-051711/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter