Operation Urgent Fury

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Operation Urgent Fury

Mensaje por doc_breacher el Lun 20 Jun 2011 - 2:46

Grenada, one of the smallest independent nations in the Western Hemisphere and one of the southernmost Caribbean islands in the Windward chain, has an area of only 133 square miles. The population is 110,000. But size is not necessarily the determining factor when governments consider strategic military locations. The Cuban government knew the value of Grenada's location when it decided to utilize the former British colony as a holding place for arms and military equipment, complete with a major airport. Eastern Caribbean nations fully understood the implication of the communist threat and called upon the United States for help. The response was Urgent Fury, a multinational, multiservice effort.

On March 13, 1979, the New Joint Endeavor for Welfare, Education, and Liberation (New Jewel) movement ousted Sir Eric Gairy, Grenada's first prime minister, in a nearly bloodless coup and established a people's revolutionary government (PRG), headed by Maurice Bishop, who became prime minister. His Marxist-Leninist Government established close ties with Cuba, the Soviet Union, and other communist-bloc countries. In October 1983, a power struggle within the government resulted in the arrest and subsequent murder of Bishop and several members of his cabinet by elements of the people's revolutionary army.

Following a breakdown in civil order, U.S. forces, in conjunction with contingents of the security forces of several neighboring Caribbean states, invaded the independent state of Grenada on October 25 in response to an appeal from the governor general and to a request for assistance from the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States. The mission was to oust the People's Revolutionary Government, to protect U.S. citizens and restore the lawful government.

Not until about 40 hours before H-hour were commanding officers of the US Navy ships told what the mission in Grenada would be--to evacuate U.S. citizens, neutralize any resistance, stabilize the situation and maintain the peace. That didn't leave much time to get the ships ready. On board USS Guam (LPH-9), flag ship of Amphibious Squadron Four, Aviation Ordnanceman Third Class George Boucher Jr. staged ammunition for vertical replenishment to the other four ships of the Marine amphibious group--USS Barnstable County (LST-1197), USS Manitowoc (LST-1180), USS Fort Snelling (LSD-30) and USS Trenton (LPD-14). He wondered why Marine CH-46 pilots were flying in unfavorable winds on that dark night of Oct. 24; the helicopters had trouble lifting the pallets as the ships rushed through the water.

Stateside, Army Rangers and 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers assembled and prepared for departure to Grenada. Out of sight in the darkness, the USS Independence (CV-62) task group, including USS Richmond K. Turner (CO-20), USS Coontz (DDG-40), USS Caron (DD-970), USS Moosbrugger (DD-980), USS Clifton Sprague (FFG-16) and USS Suribachi (AE-21), steamed into position off the coast of Grenada.

To secure objectives in Grenada and to facilitate operations, the island was operationally split in half. The Marines covered the northern half of the island while Army rangers covered the south. The invasion in the south focused on an unfinished runway at Point Salines.

The 22d Marine Amphibious Unit was diverted to Grenada while en route to Lebanon. The Marine amphibious unit conducted landings as part of Operation Urgent Fury at Grenada on 25 October and at Carriacou on 1 November.

The first heliborne landing force launched before dawn from Guam's flight deck. When the helicopters touched down at Pearls Airport at 5 a.m. on 25 Oct., the PRA--People's Revolutionary Army--greeted the Marines with bursts from small arms and machine guns. In pairs, the Marines scrambled out of the helos and immediately dug in, waiting for the choppers to leave. Three Soviet-made 12.7mm guns on a nearby hill fired at helicopters bringing in the second assault--Marines of Fox Company--to the town of Grenville, just south of Pearls, at 6 a.m. Sea- Cobra [two-bladed, single turbine engine] attack helicopters were called in to silence the guns and Fox Company landed amid light mortar fire. Echo and Fox companies moved slowly and cautiously after their landings; after a couple of hours, most of the resistance at Pearls and Grenville was beaten down.

Preceding the operations in the north and south, Navy seal teams were airdropped near St. Georges to secure the safety of the Grenadian Governor General who was being held under house arrest by opposing forces in the governor’s mansion and to capture the government radio station at St. Georges. A Navy SEAL team which was to have provided intelligence on the airfield at Salines was unable to get ashore.

At 0534 the first Rangers began dropping at Salines, and less than two hours elapsed from the first drop until the last unit was on the ground, shortly after seven in the morning. Army Rangers, arriving in four-engine turboprop C-130 Hercules aircraft, met much stiffer resistance than the Marines encountered at Pearls. To avoid the anti-aircraft fire, the Rangers jumped from a very low altitude--500 feet. Machine-gun fire blasted at aircraft and Rangers on the ground. But US Air Force four-engine turboprop AC-130 Spectre gunships silenced the hostile fire with devastatingly accurate blasts.

After the rangers had secured the runway, 800 more troops would land, freeing the rangers to press northward where they were to secure the safety of American medical students and bring under control the capital of St. Georges. At the end of the first day in Grenada, the Rangers had secured the airfield and True Blue Campus at a cost of five dead and six wounded. Once the Rangers had secured the runway, elements of the 82nd Airborne Division landed, and late in the evening of the 26th the 82d Division's 3d Brigade began to deploy across the island. In the north, 400 Marines would land and rescue the small airport at Pearls.

Even before securing Point Salines airfield on the first day, Rangers had moved to evacuate American students at the True Blue campus of St. George's Medical Center. The campus, located at one end of the 10,000-foot runway the Cubans had been building, was reached easily and the students were rescued. A second campus at Grand Anse was farther away, and retreating Cubans and PRA units blocked the Rangers from the students. By afternoon the Point Salines air field was secured from all but sporadic mortar and small arms fire, and Rangers were moving against PRA positions near St. George's, the capital. Other Rangers removed obstacles on the Point Salines runway, and elements of the 82nd Airborne Division flew in to add more people and heavier weapons to the assault.

During the evening, Marines of Golf Company, from the tank landing ships Manitowoc and Barnstable County, landed at Grand Mal beach, just north of St. George's, with 13 amphibious vehicles and five tanks. Throughout the first night, a constant stream of logistics aircraft landed and took off from the partially completed runway at Point Salines. Gunfire roared from ships and aircraft. At first light on the second day, Marine armor supporting the Rangers and 82nd Airborne began final assaults on Cuban and PRA positions around St. George's. With close air support from Navy attack aircraft from Independence, Golf Company captured the governor's residence at 7:12 a.m., freeing several civilians and Sir Paul Scoon, governor-general of Grenada and representative of Queen Elizabeth.

On the morning of the third day of operations, Rangers and Marines, with close air support from the carrier Independence, attacked heavily fortified positions at Fort Adolphus, Fort Matthew and Richmond Hill prison above St. George's. U.S. aircraft flying in the vicinity during the first two days had met a torrent of anti-aircraft fire; three helicopters had been shot down. One of the heavily defended positions in the area later turned out to be a hospital.

The 82nd Airborne, with close air and naval gunfire support, moved against the Calivigny military barracks east of Point Salines. The assault completed the last major objective for the peacekeeping forces. After wards, the Rangers were airlifted out of Grenada.

The next day--Oct. 28--the 82nd Airborne and Marines linked forces at Ross Beach. They secured St. George's and began mopping up the last few pockets of resistance scattered around the island.

From 22 October–4 November 1983, Eighth Air Force sent its KC-135 and KC-10 tankers to provide refueling support for the US assault on Grenada. Eighth Air Force tankers, operating from several stateside locations, refueled various fighters, reconnaissance planes, and other aircraft for URGENT FURY. They completing all assigned missions without degrading their ability to perform their strategic mission. General Charles A. Gabriel, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, recognized all participating units for their efforts.

By Nov. 2, all military objectives had been secured. Next day, hostilities were declared to be at an end. Grenadians went about putting their country back in order--schools and businesses reopened for the first time in two weeks or more.

By 3 November, the Marine amphibious unit was reembarked aboard its amphibious shipping and had resumed its passage to Lebanon.

Urgent Fury was a success, but not without the inevitable tragedies of battle. People did get hurt and die. At the end of the operation, 18 American men had died and 116 were wound ed. Guam had treated 77 wounded, and many others had been sent to Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, Puerto Rico.

In total, an invasion force of 1,900 U.S. troops, reaching a high of about 5,000 in five days, and 300 troops from the assisting neighboring islands encountered about 1,200 Grenadians, 780 Cubans, 49 Soviets, 24 North Koreans, 16 East Germans, 14 Bulgarians, and 3 or 4 Libyans. Within three days all main objectives were accomplished. Five hundred ninety-nine (599) Americans and 80 foreign nationals were evacuated, and U.S. forces were successful in the eventual reestablishment of a representative form of government in Grenada.

That is not to say, however, that the invasion went without challenge. The first challenge was the lack of good intelligence data. For example, at Point Salines operations bogged down because resistance was much greater than expected. In attempting to rescue the Governor General, American forces were stymied by larger Cuban and Grenadian forces than anticipated. By listening to Cuban radio broadcasts, it seemed that the resistance was being directed from a place called Fort Frederick. As it turned out, but not previously known, Fort Frederick was the nerve center for the Cuban and Grenadian forces and once it was destroyed resistance simply melted away.

The invasion force lacked precise data on the location of the American medical students they were to rescue. One account noted that attack planners did not realize that the American medical students were spread out over three locations.

The final challenge to invading forces was the lack of a fully integrated, interoperable communications system. Unlike the fighting elements which were organized to conduct operations independent of one another, communications systems were not allowed such freedom. Communications was to have been the glue that would tie together the operation of the four independent United States military service elements. Unfortunately, communications support failed in meeting certain aspects of that mission. It cannot be said that communications capability itself was abundant. Several participants cite shortages of communications.

Shortages were not the only communications problems found during the invasion of Grenada; interoperability was another. For example, uncoordinated use of radio frequencies prevented radio communications between Marines in the north and Army Rangers in the south. As such, interservice communication was prevented, except through offshore relay stations, and kept Marine commanders unaware for too long that Rangers were pinned down without adequate armor. In a second incident, it was reported that one member of the invasion force placed a long distance, commercial telephone call to Fort Bragg, N.C. to obtain C-130 gunship support for his unit which was under fire. His message was relayed via satellite and the gunship responded.

Several factors have been cited as the cause of the communications problems which were confronted in Grenada. Among them were insufficient planning for the operation, lack of training, inadequate procedures, maldeployment of communications security keying material for the different radio networks, and lack of preparation through exercise realism.

One of the more noted intelligence shortcomings of the operation was the lack of up to date topographical information (maps) on Grenada. When adequate maps were found, they apparently had to be flown to the Grenada task force rather than being sent by electrical transmission.

No journalists were on the island of Grenada to provide live reporting on the invasion, nor had any been taken along with the invading force. Vice Admiral Joseph Metcalf, in charge of the operation, had originally planned to exclude the media completely from the operation until he was convinced that they could do no harm. As word of the imminent invasion spread, hundreds of journalists moved into the area but were blocked from proceeding to Grenada. Indeed, there were no first-hand reports from Grenada until 2½ days after the operation began. The media, citing the American people's right to know, and frustrated at their inability to provide the current reporting that they would have liked, protested loudly about the military's gross oversight in failure to permit journalists to accompany the operation.

An advisory council, named by the governor general, administered the country until general elections were held in December 1984. The New National Party (NNP), led by Herbert Blaize, won 14 out of 15 seats in free and fair elections and formed a democratic government. Grenada's constitution had been suspended in 1979 by the PRG, but it was restored after the 1984 elections.

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Re: Operation Urgent Fury

Mensaje por doc_breacher el Lun 20 Jun 2011 - 2:52

First Mishaps
US units involved in Urgent Fury started moving on the evening of 23 October. The plan for operation called for a combined initial attacks by rangers, marines, and paras, partially deployed from the air, and in part by amphibious landings. They were first to capture both airfields, and then neuralgic points around Grenada.

Of course, the first wave was to a large degree to consist of units trained for special purposes, like USN SEALs and US Army DELTA Force operators. Both were deployed to Grenada during the night to 24 October, with the help of Lockheed MC-130 Combat Talons of the 8th SOS, using the HALO-jump technique. The SEALs and DELTAs first took positions from which they could observe the situation on the two airfields, as the US commanders realized that they were lacking proper intelligence, and even the SR-71-overflights could not properly help.

Right from the start, the special troops encountered severe problems: for example, a group of SEALs jumped too far from the coast and fell into the water. Four operators did not manage to get free of their chutes and heavy equipment, and drowned. All of the survivors lacked good maps of Grenada: in fact, most of the US troops went into the battle using tourist maps! Time and again the SEALs and DELTA-operators stumbled over completely unknown enemy positions. Nevertheless, their insertions remained completely undetected by the opposition.

On the other side, on the morning of 24 October a Cuban Antonov An-24 transport landed at Pearl, bringing Col. Comaz to the island. Comaz was to take over the command of 53 Cuban instructors and 636 workers and lead them into the fight against the Americans. He could not do much, however, as there was simply not enough time. In the night from 24 to 25 October, around 2200hrs local time, additional SEALs were deployed to the northern coast of Grenada, where they were to do reconnaissance of the eventual defenses on local beaches. Their reports – exactly like those from the troops deployed the night before – brought no good news: the beaches were surrounded by coral reefs, and no amphibious landings were possible.

On the first view, it appeared as if the whole operation would have to be cancelled. Clearly, this was not possible any more, as at the same time as the additional SEALs were deployed to Grenada, already the first Lockheed C-130E Hercules transports of the 314th 317th, 459th, and 463rd TAW USAF, as well as the C-130Es of the 913rd TAW were starting from their bases in the USA, loaded with rangers of 82nd Airborne. The Hercules‘ were escorted by five MC-130Es, carrying rangers of the 75th Regiment, and a single Lockheed AC-130H Spectre-gunship of the 16th SOS/1st SOW that were to lead the attack against Point Salines. During their ten-hours long flight, the transports had to be refueled two times in the air from Boeing KC-135s.

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Re: Operation Urgent Fury

Mensaje por doc_breacher el Lun 20 Jun 2011 - 2:53

SEALs in Trouble
While the Marines and Rangers managed to secure their first targets despite considerable enemy resistance and bad weather, the special operations run into one problem after the other. A platoon of SEALs captured the radio-station „Free Grenada“, but managed to put it off the air only after it reported the start of the US attack - and issued a call for general mobilization.

The DELTA troops were inserted to Richmond Hill with the help of Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawk helicopters of the 101st Airborne Division – that refuelled aboard the USS Guam – but, contrary to the Marines, they came 45 minutes late due to the bad weather, and found defenders alerted and ready. Fierce anti-aircraft fire immediately hit and shot down one UH-60A, and at least a single Hughes MH-6, killing a pilot and injuring six crewmembers. The attack had to be called off – that is, as soon as the crews of downed helicopters could be evacuated.



Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters of the US Army saw their premiere in combat operations during the intervention on Grenada. Seven can be seen landing US Army troops on one of the two airfields on Grenada, early during this short intervention. An AH-1 can be seen in the background, monitoring the development and ready to surpress any defensive fire if needed. (US DoD)

The third operation of the special forces was undertaken by the SEALs, and was planned to free the British Governor: the representative of the British Commonwealth - still a highly important and influential figure on Grenada - was held captive by the PRA in his house. The 22 SEALs were highly successful in entering the house, but then fell into a well-set-up trap, being encircled by numerically superior enemy. Admiral Metcalf immediately ordered the AC-130Hs to support them, and dispatched additional Marines aboard helicopters from USS Guam: what he and his officers oversaw, however, was the fact that the Governor's House was inside the range of Grenadese flaks positioned around Forts Frederick and Ruppert.

As the first two AH-1Ts approached the Governor's House, the Grenadese (and few Cubans) opened withering fire from their ZPU-14s, ZSU-23s, and BTR-60 APCs. The Cobras tried to take cover behind the vegetation: as one of them climbed slightly in order to fire a TOW ATGM, however, it was hit and the pilot injured. The crew survived the crash of the helicopter, but as the gunner tried to extract the pilot out of the wreckage he was shot by small-arms fire. The second Cobra called for help, and – together with an AC-130H – then supported a CH-46E that landed in order to evacuate the downed crew. As the Sea Knight started back into the air the second Cobra was simultaneously hit from several sides and shot down. The crew was immediately killed.

The situation of the SEALs now became precarious, as minutes later the Cubans started a vigorous attack against the Government House. This was stopped only with the help of the Specters, and precise fire of the SEALs: the last, however, lacked anti-tank weapons, and were slowly running out of ammunition. The troubles of the SEALs finally forced the American commanders to order AC-130s into more attacks. As the Spectres were delivering one salvo after the other, also additional A-7Es were called in, and the fierce air attacks finally forced the Cubans to pull back. There was no respite, however, as the SEALs were still surrounded. Additional air strikes simultaneously forced the Grenadese and Cubans also out of Pearls, and as the perimeter around that airfield was thus enlargened, in the evening also six 105mm guns were flown in.

After the war, there was severe criticism for the SEALs, which were blamed for poor preparation of their operations – especially the attack on the Governor House. However, the fact was that the main reason for the mishaps and casualties suffered during this attack was the poor intelligence: the US commanders simply lacked exact reports about the enemy positions and strength.


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Re: Operation Urgent Fury

Mensaje por doc_breacher el Lun 20 Jun 2011 - 2:55




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Re: Operation Urgent Fury

Mensaje por doc_breacher el Lun 20 Jun 2011 - 2:59

Both SEAL Team 4 and SEAL Team 6, the predecessor to DEVGRU, participated in the US invasion of Grenada. The SEALs' two primary missions were the extraction of Grenada's Governor-General and the capture of Grenada's only radio tower. Neither mission was well briefed or sufficiently supported with timely intelligence and the SEALs ran into trouble from the very beginning. One of their two transport planes missed its drop zone, and four SEALs drowned in a rain squall while making an airborne insertion with their boats off the island's coast. Their bodies were never recovered.

After regrouping from their initial insertion the SEALs split into two teams and proceeded to their objectives. After digging in at the Governor's mansion, the SEALs realized they had forgotten their SATCOM gear on the helicopter. As Grenadian and Cuban troops surrounded the team, the SEALs' only radio ran out of battery power, and they used the mansion's land line telephone to call in AC-130 fire support. The SEALs were pinned in the mansion overnight and were relieved and extracted by a group of Force Recon Marines the following morning.

The team sent to the radio station also ran into communication problems. As soon as the SEALs reached the radio facility they found themselves unable to raise their command post. After beating back several waves of Grenadian and Cuban troops supported by BTR-60s, the SEALs decided that their position at the radio tower was untenable. They destroyed the station and fought their way to the water where they hid from patrolling enemy forces. After the enemy had given up their search the SEALs, some wounded, swam into the open sea where they were extracted several hours later after being spotted by a reconnaissance plane.






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Re: Operation Urgent Fury

Mensaje por doc_breacher el Lun 20 Jun 2011 - 2:59

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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Re: Operation Urgent Fury

Mensaje por doc_breacher el Lun 20 Jun 2011 - 3:01

http://military.discovery.com/videos/navy-seals-untold-stories-ambushed-in-grenada.html

Video!

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Re: Operation Urgent Fury

Mensaje por SiX el Lun 20 Jun 2011 - 6:35

De PM! Vaya pedazo de post!! Gracias!







...............................
"Que le den por culo al Pato Mickey"

http://www.facebook.com/pages/SEAL-Team-Spartan/216455738374002

Keep Low. Move Fast. Kill First. Die Last. One Shot. One Kill. No Luck. Pure Skill.

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Re: Operation Urgent Fury

Mensaje por doc_breacher el Lun 20 Jun 2011 - 6:36

Nada tio!

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Re: Operation Urgent Fury

Mensaje por Contenido patrocinado Hoy a las 2:31


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