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Author Topic: Battle of Mogadishu, October 3 & 4 1993 [article]  (Read 3757 times)
Koen
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« on: 3 October 2009, 17:25:33 »
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Operation Provide Relief

Operation Provide Relief in Somalia began in August 1992, when the White House announced US military transports would support the multinational United Nations relief effort in Somalia. Ten C-130s and 400 people deployed to Mombasa, Kenya, during Operation Provide Relief, airlifting aid to remote areas in Somalia to reduce reliance on truck convoys. One member of the 86th Supply Squadron deployed with the ground support contingent, USAFE's only contribution to the operation. The Air Force C-130s delivered 48,000 tons of food and medical supplies in six months to international humanitarian organizations, trying to help over three million starving people. When this proved inadequate to stop the massive death and displacement of Somali people (500,000 dead; 1.5 million refugees or displaced), the U.S. in December 1992 launched a major coalition operation to assist and protect humanitarian activities. The operation was successful in stopping the famine and saving an estimated 200,000 lives, as well as de-escalating the high-intensity civil war into low-level, local skirmishes.

Operation Restore Hope

Expanded peacekeeping in Somalia began after the failure of UNOSOM I accompanied by the specter of 500,000 Somalis dead from famine by the fall of 1992 and hundreds of thousands more in danger of dying. Clan violence in Somalia interfered with international famine relief efforts, and President Bush sent American troops to protect relief workers in a new operation called Restore Hope. The US-led coalition approved by the Security Council in December 1992 had a mandate of protecting humanitarian operations and creating a secure environment for eventual political reconciliation. At the same time, it had the authority to use all necessary means, including military force. A joint and multinational operation, Restore Hope--called UNITAF (unified task force)--was a US-led, UN-sanctioned operation that included protection of humanitarian assistance and other peace-enforcement operations.

While the US failed to acknowledge the political dimensions of the situation at the highest political levels (which would lead to tragic results in the second phase, UNOSOM II), Operation Restore Hope was nevertheless a humanitarian success.

On December 3rd, U.N. Security Resolution 794 authorized the U.S. led intervention "to use all necessary means to establish a secure environment for humanitarian relief operations in Somalia as soon as possible." The US Army participated in Operation Restore Hope in Somalia from 03 December 1992 to 4 May 1993. On 09 December 1992 the United States Marines came shore in Mogadishu and quickly established an expeditionary infrastructure to facilitate security and the delivery of food to the starving Somalis. On December 11th, the Marines established a Civil Military Operations Center (CMOC) and collocated it with the U.N.’s Humanitarian Operations Center (HOC). By doing this, the CMOC quickly became the national focus point for NGO/U.S. military coordination.

During Operation Restore Hope, USCENTCOM was the unified command. It provided guidance and arranged support and resources for the operational commander. The commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF) commanded a JTF/CTF composed of air, naval, Marine, Army, and special operations forces (SOF) components, in addition to the forces provided by countries contributing to the US-led, combined coalition. As the responsible unified command, USCENTCOM performed numerous tasks contributing to the success of Operation Restore Hope. Key areas included shaping a clear, achievable mission statement for the operational commander, shaping an international coalition, and orchestrating the transition to eventual UN control.

In 1992, three Ready Reserve Force vessels were activated to support the United Nation's humanitarian and peacekeeping operations in Somalia. These included two offshore petroleum discharge system (OPDS) tankers, the AMERICAN OSPREY and POTOMAC. The TS EMPIRE STATE, normally used for training students at the New York State Maritime Academy, was activated to repatriate troops from Somalia.

Although Somalia was a US Central Command responsibility, USAFE provided air refueling support at Moron Air Base, Spain, and sent contingents of security police, communicators, and postal specialists to Somalia and Kenya.

The Army force (ARFOR) AO included over 21,000 square miles. Over these distances, units conducted air assault operations, patrols, security operations, cordons and searches, and other combat operations in support of humanitarian agencies. Other ARFOR operations included building or rebuilding over 1,100 kilometers of roads, constructing two Bailey Bridges, escorting hundreds of convoys, confiscating thousands of weapons, and providing theater communications. Due to these efforts, humanitarian agencies declared an end to the food emergency, community elders became empowered, and marketplaces were revitalized and functioning.

Throughout Operation Restore Hope, MP units were in great demand because of their ability to serve as a force multiplier. Marine force (MARFOR) and ARFOR commanders quickly took advantage of the MP's significant firepower, mobility, and communications and used them effectively as a force multiplier conducting security-related missions as one of their combat forces. Doctrinal missions included security of main supply routes (MSRs), military and NGO convoys, critical facilities, and very important persons (VIPs); customs; detention of local civilians suspected of felony crimes against US force or Somali citizens; and criminal investigative division (CID) support as the JTF's executive agency for joint investigations. MPs responded to a significant number of hostile acts taken against US forces, NGOs, and civilians by armed bandits and "technicals" and to factional fighting that threatened US forces or relief efforts. They also supported the JTF weapons confiscation policy by conducting recons and gathering information and intelligence (human intelligence [HUMINT]) about the size, location, and capabilities of factions operating throughout the ARFOR and MARFOR AOs. This information included the location of sizeable weapons caches. MPs also had an expanded role in the actual confiscation of weapons by establishing checkpoints and roadblocks along MSRs, within small villages, and within the congested, confined urban environment of Mogadishu. Serving in both a combat and CS role, MPs also participated in a larger, combined arms show-of-force operation (air assault) in the city of Afgooye.

By March 1993, mass starvation had been overcome, and security was much improved. At its peak, almost 30,000 US military personnel participated in the operation, along with 10,000 personnel from twenty-four other states. Despite the absence of political agreement among the rival forces, periodic provocations, and occasional military responses by UNITAF, the coalition retained its impartiality and avoided open combat with Somali factions--blending its coercive powers with political dialogue, psychological operations, and highly visible humanitarian activities.

Operation Restore Hope demonstrated the usefulness of engineers in operations other than war. Somalia's austere landscape and climate posed challenges similar to or greater than the ones encountered during Operations Desert Shield/Storm, including a harsh desert environment, resupply over great distances limited resources. and a devastated infrastructure. The deployed engineer force was a joint and multinational effort, building on the engineer capabilities found with each service component and coalition partner. Engineers provided standard maps and imagery products, detected and cleared hundreds of land mines and pieces of unexploded ordnance built base camps for US and coalition forces, and drilled water wells. They constructed and improved over 2,000 kilometers of roads, built and repaired several Bailey bridges, upgraded and maintained airfields. and participated in local civic action projects that helped open schools, orphanages, hospitals, and local water supplies.

Operation Restore Hope demonstrated some of the problems that can be experienced as a result of incomplete or ineffective political analysis. Because the operation was purely ‘humanitarian’ with no long-term aims, the CMOC lacked enough Army Civil Affairs personnel. Given their stellar performance during Operation Provide Comfort this at first glance appears strange. While Charlie Company, 96th Civil Affairs Battalion, was sent to Somalia, none of the reserve component (despite receiving call-up orders) were ever activated. Two reasons appear in the literature; activation of such units generally implies a long-term commitment and the Marines (the short-term expeditionary unit first sent to Somalia) thought they did not need them - both reasons fitted in well with the political climate of Washington DC in late 1992.

By early 1993, sector ‘coordination centers’ had been established in eight areas throughout Somalia. They served as focal points for civil-military priorities within that region and provided an ideal way to further the all-important NGO/military dialogue process. While there was a lack of political resolve from many of the major players, the CMOC provided the liaison capability for many of the players at the ‘coal face’ that enabled Operation Support Hope to be the humanitarian success that it was.

On 4 May 1993 the UN-led operation in Somalia (UNOSOM II) assumed responsibility for operations.

Operation Continue Hope

On 4 May 1993 the UN Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM II) assumed responsibility for operations, but the transition was badly managed. Basic U.N. deficiencies in planning, C3I, and political acumen were compounded by an expanded and intrusive mandate; greatly diminished military capabilities; more aggressive Somali opposition; uncertain support from the United States; differences within the coalition; and uncertainty by the Security Council, the Secretariat, and others.

Operation Continue Hope provided support of UNOSOM II to establish a secure environment for humanitarian relief operations by providing personnel, logistical, communications, intelligence support, a quick reaction force, and other elements as required. Over 60 Army aircraft and approximately 1,000 aviation personnel operated in Somalia from 1992 to 1994.

UNOSOM II became a badly flawed peace, with military forces which came to be seen by parties to the local conflict as co-belligerents rather than impartial peacekeepers. In Somalia, peace enforcement was only an implicit element of the original U.N. mandate, which focused on peace-building (disarmament, political reconciliation, and economic rehabilitation). However, after a confrontation between the Somali National Alliance (SNA) and the U.N. led to the killing of twenty-five Pakistani peacekeepers, the Security Council made the operation's peace-enforcement mission explicit. It was executed by both U.N. forces and a 1,000-man U.S. rapid-reaction force under U.S. operational control, with the authority of the United Nations. There was also a 3,000-man U.S. logistics unit under U.N. operational control. A lack of decisiveness, cohesion, and command and control by the undermanned U.N. mission (half the strength of UNITAF, with some 20,000 personnel) and a series of armed clashes between U.S./U.N. forces and the SNA created a virtual state of war and undermined the effectiveness of the U.N. operation. Confusion over the dual-command relationship between the U.S. and UNOSOM II was another complicating factor, with a U.S. general officer serving as both the U.N. deputy forces commander and commander of U.S. forces.

On October 3, 1993 Task Force Ranger raided the Olympic Hotel in Mogadishu to search for Aidid.  This led to a seventeen-hour battle in which eighteen U.S. soldiers were killed and eighty-four were wounded.  Bodies of dead American soldiers were dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, shown on international news reports. Hundreds of Somalis also died, although the official number has never been released.  This was the longest, most bloody battle for U.S troops since the Vietnam War.  On October 7 President Clinton responded by withdrawing U.S. troops from Somalia.  The hunt for Aidid was abandoned, although U.S. representatives were sent to resume negotiations with clan leaders.

The killing of Army Rangers in Somalia provoked a resurgence of a debate that began before the Gulf War: when is it appropriate to use military force -- and, more to the point, can you justify using the military in regions in which Americans either do not see their interests at stake or are willing to help only so long as the costs remain very low? Somalia drove home the reality that the Gulf War experience could not serve as a model for other situations where the diplomatic lineup was more confused, the stakes less clear, and the difference between good guys and bad guys less simple to discern. It was also an early indication of the coming debate on the international community's role in internal strife.

Quote
IN MEMORIAM
To the men of the United States Army B Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment who made the ultimate sacrifice living the Ranger creed in Somalia.

Sgt. James C. Joyce
Sgt. Dominick Pilla
Sgt. Lorenzo Ruiz
Cpl. James Cavaco
Cpl. James Smith
Spc. Richard Kowalewski Jr.



sources:
http://novaonline.nvcc.edu/eli/evans/his135/Events/Somalia93/Somalia93.html
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/provide_relief.htm
http://www.ranger.org/html/somolia.html
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Koen
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« Reply #1 on: 3 October 2009, 17:29:07 »
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B Company, 3/75th, was deployed from August 26, 1993 to October 21, 1993 to assist United Nations Forces in bringing order to a desperately chaotic and starving nation. The Rangers took part in seven missions trying to capture Mohammed Aidid and his top lieutenants in order to end Aidid's guerrilla war against the U.N.'s efforts to feed the Somali people.

The Battle of 3 - 4 October
On 03 OCT 93, (exactly nine years after the reactivation of 3rd Battalion), TF Ranger conducted a raid into an enemy stronghold to seize several key members of Mohamed Aideed's militia. During TF Ranger's exfiltration, one of their extraction aircraft was shot down, killing and wounding several members of the Ranger Task Force, and trapping one of the pilots inside the aircraft.

At 031545C OCT 93, TF 2-14, under the command of LTC David, was alerted to be prepared to secure TF Ranger's exfiltration route. At 031645C OCT 93, TF 2-14 received the order to execute and departed the Mogadishu Airfield with one company via a ground convoy enroute to the downed aircraft site.

Approximately one kilometer from the airfield the convoy was caught in a deliberate ambush resulting in two HMMWV's destroyed, 3 friendly KIA and 4 friendlly WIA. The deliberate ambush resulted in a break in contact between friendly units and a temporary loss in communication between ground maneuver elements. Due to the multiple deliberate ambushes initiated along the primary route to the downed aircraft site, the first attempt to reach the trapped members of TF Ranger was aborted. After consolidating his forces at the airfield, LTC David was informed that the situation at the downed aircraft site was deteriorating rapidly. In addition to the first aircraft being shot down, a second aircraft had been shot down, the TF Ranger Ground Reaction Force had made four unsuccessful attempts to reach the aircraft site, TF Ranger had lost communication with a sniper element inserted to secure the second crash site, and that the 90 Rangers still in the objective area were encircled and were receiving intense direct and indirect enemy fire. The situation appeared to be extremely grave and it became clear that if the trapped Rangers could not be reached by a ground element they would be overwhelmed by superior enemy forces.

At approximately 031945C OCT 93 LTC David was placed in command of an ad hoc task force consisting of two of his rifle companies, two Malaysian mechanized companies (drivers and gunners with APC's no dismounted troops), a composite platoon from TF Ranger, one Pakistani tank platoon and supported by an aerial TF consisting of elements of TF 2-25 Avn and Special Operations aircraft and given what seemed to everyone to be a mission that could not be accomplished.

At 032130C OCT 93 LTC David assessed the situation, developed a simple plan that offered the greatest possibility for success, briefed his subordinate leaders, and prepared an ad hoc organization for a seemingly impossible task.

At 032300C OCT this ad hoc task force departed and moved east around the old port of Mogadishu and then north to National street. As the task force turned west on National street, the enemy once again initiated a deliberate ambush with extremely heavy rocket, mortar, and automatic weapons fire. The subordinate commanders, clearly understanding the gravity of the situation and the commander's intent, immediately returned fire and continued to forge ahead down a gauntlet of fire until they reached their respective release points. For three hours, Alpha company 2-14 Inf fought a pitched battle to finally link up with the encircled ranger detachment at the first crash site. Upon reaching the first downed aircraft site, LTC David was informed by CPT Drew Meyerowich that the remains of one of the aircraft pilots was trapped in the aircraft and that it would be very difficult to dislodge him. Still receiving intensive direct and indirect enemy fire, LTC David informed CPT Meyerowich that we would stay in the objective area until all personnel and remains were recovered. Charlie Company 2-14 Inf was then dispatched to the second crash site to determineif there was anyone or anything to recover. Immediately upon moving to thesecond crash site, Charlie company, under the command of CPT Michael Whetstone, came under extremely heavy rocket and small arms fire, yet continued to press forward to the second crash site. Upon reaching the second crash site, CPT Whetstone informed LTC David that there was nothing to be recovered. Realizing that CPT Whetstone was in close proximity to 2nd Platoon A Co 2-14 Inf, carried in Malaysian APC's, that had been separated from the main body at the outset of the battle, LTC David instructed CPT Whetstone to link up with the platoon to ensure that we did not leave anyone on the battlefield. Upon making radio contact with the separated platoon, CPT Whetsone was informed that two of the Malaysian armored vehicles had been destroyed by rocket fire and that there were numerous Malaysian and American dead and wounded. The Malaysian company commander was informed by his Battalion commander not to attempt to recover the dead and wounded for fear of sustaining additional casualties. LTC David reiterated to the company commanders, "stay the course, we will fight here as long as it takes. We will not leave any of our soldiers on the battlefield." The task force fought on for an additional four hours until all of the Rangers, the wounded, and the dead were recovered.

At the operation's end "Task Force David" had successfully achieved what many believed was impossible. The fact that so few casualties were sustained by this ad hoc organization, in the execution of a near insurmountable task is miraculous. TF David sustained 3 KIA and 29 WIA, including the Malaysian casualties (1 KIA and 7 WIA). TF Ranger after more than 13 hours of intensive fighting sustained 16 KIA, 57 WIA, and 1 MIA. At the outset of the operation, it appeared it had the makings of another Task Force Smith, an ad hoc organization that lacked interoperability between coalition forces, detailed intelligence on the enemy disposition, and time to sufficiently plan a complex operation. The complete success of this operation is directly attributable to dedication, professionalism, and training of each individual soldier that participated in the operation.

The Rangers lost 6 men and had numerous wounded. The Somalis fared far worse- the Rangers delivered devastating firepower at them and killed approximately 300 of their forces, not including wounded. A 3/75 would deploy to Somalia from October 5, 1993 to 23 October 1993 in support of United Nations operations.

America should be proud of her sons, on this day in October they overcame overwhelming odds and embodied the motto that they will never leave a fallen comrade to fall to the hands of the enemy.

source: http://www.ranger.org/html/tf_ranger.html
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« Reply #2 on: 3 October 2009, 22:14:47 »
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...Hundreds of Somalis also died, although the official number has never been released.

There have been estimates out that talk about around 1.700 Somalis, that woud be a 100:1 ratio betwen attacker and defender casualities (some do even mention up to 5.000 Somali soldiers KIA: http://encyclopedia.tfd.com/Battle+of+Mogadishu+%281993%29).

Actually, it is the day today (OCT 3), the 16th anniversary of "Black Hawk Down" (and it finished on OCT 4), so the subject has it wrong.

While I am all for remembering the 18 US troops KIA and their wounded, their effort, bravery and excellence, I am sure there must have been the same excellence, bravery and commitment within such a large number of Somali fighters. I wonder if they ever will get their history told? Their heroes commemorated? I am sure their families tell them, father to son, grandfather to grandson, but in the media that reach us? A movie that shows this (obviously horrendously whacked) struggel in this battle?

The difference of living in a first or a third world country is abysmal, it can even deprive the best soldier, if from the wrong country, of earned battle honor and recognition... Maybe Somalia would be better off today if the world would have recognized these fighters sacrifice?

Just thinking, what if I had been a Somali that day?

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« Reply #3 on: 4 October 2009, 07:26:36 »
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Do you mean the same Somalis that were starving their own people by using food provided by the West as a weapon against other warlords?  Or the same Somalis that advanced against the Rangers behind women?  Or maybe it was the same ones that murdered the Pakistani troops sent there by the UN to help them out?
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« Reply #4 on: 4 October 2009, 09:25:30 »
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Don´t compare apples to peaches, I am talking about that battle and the 10.000 militia men that participated on the Somali side, so of the groups you mentioned only the militia men advancing behind human shields would qualify. Using human shileds is a very common tactics (as abhorrent we might value it), even the Isareli forces used it extensively in Gaza this year.

But I am not talking tactics here, I am talking about not published stories of bravery and military excellence on the milita men side.

BTW, just stumbled over the OOBs:

Non-Somali Forces involved:

Task Force Ranger, including :
- C Squadron, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D) — aka "Delta Force"
- Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
- 1st Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) (a.k.a. "The Night Stalkers") with MH-6J and AH-6 "Little Birds" and MH-60A/L Black Hawks
- Combat Controllers and Pararescuemen from the USAF 24th Special Tactics Squadron
- a Navy DEVGRU detachment

Task Force 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, U.S. 10th Mountain Division, including:
- 1st Platoon, C Company, 41st Engineer Battalion
- One platoon from C Company, 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment

19th Battalion, Royal Malay Regiment of the Malaysian Army

7th Frontier Force Regiment of the Pakistan Army


Somali Forces involved:

The size and organizational structure of Somali forces are not known in detail; in all, between 5,000-10,000 regular militia members are believed to have participated, almost all of which belonged to Aidid's Somali National Alliance, drawing largely from the Habar Gedir clan.

Rattler

Do you mean the same Somalis that were starving their own people by using food provided by the West as a weapon against other warlords?  Or the same Somalis that advanced against the Rangers behind women?  Or maybe it was the same ones that murdered the Pakistani troops sent there by the UN to help them out?

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