Sad and chilling news from Afghanistan this afternoon of the possibility that two US Navy Sailors may be in the hands of the savage Taliban enemy.

From The Associated Press:

KABUL β€” Two U.S. Navy service members disappeared in a dangerous area of eastern Afghanistan, prompting a massive air and ground search and appeals on local radio stations for their safe return, NATO and Afghan officials said Saturday.

The two left their compound in the Afghan capital, Kabul, in a vehicle Friday afternoon, but never returned, NATO said in a statement. Vehicles and helicopters were dispatched to search for the two, who may have been killed or captured by the Taliban in Charkh district of southern Logar province β€” about a two-hour drive south of Kabul, said district chief Samer Gul.

But U.S. military officials said the sailors’ vehicle was found in Logar Province, just south of Kabul, with no immediate indication that either was killed β€” no bullet holes or blood inside. The vehicle had been stripped of all of its equipment.

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If ever there was a time for prayer it is now, for these two Sailors and their families. There is no need to go into detail about how the Taliban or its Al Qaeda brethren treat their captives. I know that in my time in Iraq there was a promise made among each of us who left the wire every day that we would risk EVERYTHING to find someone who went missing in action there. And likely in the heads of all of us just what we would do to avoid capture.

Though they defend freedom well away from the waters of the ocean, the words of the Hymn are appropriate.

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea.



Posted by UltimaRatioReg in Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Foreign Policy, Marine Corps, Maritime Security, Navy, Uncategorized


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  • Byron

    Prayers said, it’s in His hands now.

  • http://snafu-solomon.blogspot.com/ solomon

    If this question is inappropriate please delete.

    Why were they outside the wire in the first place?

    Again, if this is outside the lines then please delete, but this keeps happening…what gives?

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Solomon,

    We don’t yet know who they are and what their jobs were, but in COIN, engaging the populace means being outside the wire (where there is any wire) a LOT.

    We were outside a lot doing CA and CMO in Al Anbar. The infantry guys were out EVERY DAY patrolling. God bless ‘em. I am certain the same applies in AFG.

  • http://snafu-solomon.blogspot.com/ solomon

    I’m WELL aware of that. Well aware.

    However, from initial reports we’re talking about two people outside the wire…by themselves.

    I don’t know of any unit that operates that way.

    NONE.

    And this isn’t the first time that people have found themselves in this situation. And to be able to take a vehicle out…it just raises questions for me.

    If you have one soldier that is just misguided and decides to head out…that can be understood. Its unfortunate but at least how it can happen is understandable.

    But to be able to drive a vehicle out of a compound and not be questioned is…weird.

    But enough questions on my part, I’ll simply wait and see what gives.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Solomon,

    Yes, please let’s not assume misbehavior or mistakes prematurely. Some units do operate in small teams for a variety of purposes.

    Let us find out the story first.

  • Byron

    Solomon, even if they did something foolish, they are still in grave danger. They are OUR boys, and deserving of our prayer. The recriminations and questions can wait till their loved ones are certain of their fate.

  • http://snafu-solomon.blogspot.com/ solomon

    Byron,

    I can guarantee everyone is asking those questions. Even you and UltimateRatioReg.

    I only asked them out loud.

    But saying that a unit operates outside the wire in a two man team is …. not even close to reality.

    Something went wrong here and I can also confidently add that those searching for them are also asking the same questions.

    That’s all.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    “But saying that a unit operates outside the wire in a two man team is …. not even close to reality.”

    That all depends on the mission, Solomon. A good deal of which is not for discussion here.

    But if you want to go to where those things are done and observe for a while, go right ahead.

  • YN2(SW) H. Lucien Gauthier III

    Solomon,

    Many Sailors go outside the wire. Seabees, Corpsmen, members of the PRT teams, ect. Suffice it to say, we are not allowed out there without tons of training.

    Those looking for my Shipmates don’t give a rat’s ass right now why it happened, it is not their question to ask, it is their job to find them. No one cares ‘why’ until it is over. Once it is over, you start asking questions.

  • http://snafu-solomon.blogspot.com/ solomon

    Suck it up guys. Tragedies happen everyday. How many service men died this week in Afghanistan? Do you know?

    These questions have been asked. These questions are being asked. I guarantee that when an airplane is lost, the decision making process is questioned.

    That’s what I’m doing here.

    And for the millionth time…I’m aware that Sailors operate outside the wire! Just name one unit that does it in two man teams?

    Force Recon? NO.
    SEALs? NO.
    Special Forces? NO.
    Rangers? NO.
    Air Force CCT? NO.
    Air Force Pararescue? NO.
    Marine Corps Snipers? NO.
    Army Snipers? NO.
    PRTs? NO.
    Foreign Special Ops? NO.

    So again. Why were these guys out there? To say that its mission dependent on whether this is allowed is rubbish. Everyone that reads that line knows better or should.

    It amazes that asking basic questions results in the military community self-censoring.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Solomon,

    You seem to know it all, so you should probably answer the questions.

  • YN2(SW) H. Lucien Gauthier III

    Solomon, I do know. As my office oversees the processing of their remains. I attend the ramp ceremonies and have processed the posthumous awards for many.

    I’d continue to talk about this with you, except for your flippant opinion of this.

    Maybe there are some things you’re not supposed to know until it has been cleared as not being an OPSEC/INFOSEC risk. Maybe at times, flippant musings of the blogosphere belittle a persons sacrifice and calls into question why some people are even interested in military issues.

    This is real out here, ok? To you it is just something interesting, to me, this happened down the d@mn road. Your insights will not make me or anyone else safer, so I could care less of what you wish to know.

  • Byron

    What the YN2 said…In spades. We’ve got two sailors in danger now, and you want to talk crap. It’s not censorship. It’s common decency. Keep all that bilge trash to yourself till they are found, one way or another. Doing otherwise is the same as spitting on them…and their families memories of those who were over there serving. More to the point, open up a box of shut the hell up and start eating.

  • http://snafu-solomon.blogspot.com/ solomon

    Yeah Byron. I look forward to meeting you so we can dine together.

  • Byron

    Filched from The Stupid Shall Be Punished:

    NPR July 24, 2010 AP – “U.S. and NATO officials confirmed two American Navy personnel went missing Friday in the eastern province of Logar, after an armored sport utility vehicle was seen driving into a Taliban-held area.”

    The two “sailors” (unless one is female) were possibly SEALs, one perhaps an officer. If a full story ever emerges, the meeting they were going to attend was betrayed on the other side.

    In addition to prayers for the missing and their families, my profound grattitude goes out to all of our special operations forces.

  • http://www.usni.org admin

    @Solomon:

    How is your discourse helping this conversation?

    “Tragedies happen everyday.” how on earth does that mitigate the situation here.

    Does the circumstance of the the rank or particulars of death mitigate one death above another?

    We are speaking about two REAL PEOPLE, in peril, possibly dead.

    If…as you say..it is unlikely (following your line of logic, for the benefit of the doubt) that two individuals would leave the wire in such a way….for right or wrong reasons…now is not the time for supposition

    Wait for hindsight, which I’m sure, for those who consume the spoils, sadly, will be 20/20

    In the meantime, let us have hope in humanity and pray for these sailors.

    If you prove me wrong, if they are somehow culpable of some heinous crime, then I will pray for them just the same. Because they are sailors, because we are better than our enemy who is unforgiving and close-minded.

  • Solomon

    How many Soldiers or Marines died last week?

    Yet somehow, because these guys wandered off base, were on a mission or went UA that makes this zoom up to the top of the importance factor?

    Tell that to the aircrew that lost their lives in the crash in Afghanistan.

    That’s what I meant by tragedies happen everyday.

    You’re all suspect, have an inflated sense of self worth and are beyond arrogant.

    Oh and you’re a little late to the game admin.

  • Jay

    Early Bird confirms today via the Denver Post:
    “A Navy sailor killed in a dangerous region of Afghanistan was 30-year-old Justin McNeley, according to his uncle, state Rep. Jim Kerr, and an e-mail McNeley’s father sent to work colleagues.

    McNeley, a noncommissioned officer and father of two, was due to return to the U.S. in August, Kerr said.”

    Let’s hope the second Sailor is rescued.

  • Derrick

    So, to summarize, a 2-man team of Navy SEALS went missing July 24 for a possible meeting with subjects in a Taliban-held area. 1 of them has been recovered, but is deceased. Are these the facts?

  • Jay

    Early Bird has more today on the ID of the other missing Sailor, you can also find on-line in other areas.

    Speculation as to whether or not they were Seals isn’t necessary.

  • Derrick

    Is it public information as to the purpose of their meeting?

    I guess neither soldier was able to activate some sort of homing signal for search and rescue crews to follow, correct? Did either radio back to their base for assistance?

    Is there a policy/procedure where soldiers off-base have to radio in at regular intervals to confirm their safety?

  • Rick Wilmes

    According to the LATimes.

    “The Pentagon on Tuesday identified the second man as Petty Officer 3rd Class Jarod Newlove, 25, of Renton, Wash. He is a recalled reservist serving as a culinary specialist, officials said. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization “holds the captors accountable” for his safety and proper treatment, officials said.”

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-afghan-death-20100728,0,48364.story

  • Derrick

    Just heard on the news today the other sailor has been found, apparently murdered in a shoot-out with the Taliban.

    Is it possible these soldiers were sent into a trap? For example, perhaps the Taliban sent some false info telling their commanding officers that an informant had some info on the location of some Taliban leadership, in order to draw some soldiers away from the safety of the base, so they could be ambushed enroute?

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