Four Warriors Who Gave Their Lives So That Others May Live!

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Four Warriors Who Gave Their Lives So That Others May Live!

The Naval Special Warfare Development Group, formerly known as SEAL Team SIX and based in Dam Neck, Virginia, is responsible for US counterterrorist operations in the maritime environment. SIX participated in a number of operations, both overt and covert, throughout the 1980's.

In 1983, SEAL Team SIX members were also responsible for the rescue and evacuation of Governor Sir Paul Scoon from Grenada during Operation Urgent Fury. Four SEALs were lost to drowning during helicopter insertion off shore. Other aspects of the operation included the securing of a radio transmitter which resulted in heavy contact with Grenadian forces.

The first and most controversial SEAL mission in Grenada was the Salinas Airfield Operation.

During the predawn hours of October 24, 1983, in high winds, with little intel, 12 operators from SEAL Team SIX and 4 Air Force Combat Control Team members(CCT), were assigned to perform a night combat equipment water jump in the ocean about 40 kilometers off the north-northwest tip of Port Salinas, Grenada.

The SEAL/CCT team was to perform LAPES (Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System) to enter the water DropZone with 2 Zodiac inflatable rubber boats. They were to do an Over the Horizon (OTH) transit approximately 40 kilometers to the vicinity of Port Salinas. Once there they were to scout out a suitable Beach Landing Site and send swimmer scouts ashore, infiltrate the island and cache the boats. They were to patrol the airfield, emplace the beacons and find a suitable hiding place and wait for the Ranger's airdrop. All the time sending intel reports back to the USS Guam.

Four SEALs were lost during the jump. It is not clear why they drowned during the drop, but the hazards of jumping into the sea with a heavy combat load in high winds could have been overwhelming. These men were well trained for this type of operation, but even the best laid plans sometimes go wrong.

The remaining SEALs searched in vain for their teammates, dis-hearted they continued with their primary mission, however, half-way to the shore they had to take evasive measures due to an approaching Grenadan Patrol boat. As they cut their engines, the Zodiacs' motors were swamped by the Patrol boat's wake and would not restart.

The SEAL/CCT team then drifted out to sea and made contact with the USS Caron (DD970). The operation was aborted.


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