Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Osama bin Laden gets his just rewards in Mark Owen's – No Easy Day

Matt Bissonnette, aka Mark Owen, one of 24 hand-picked men who carried out the raid on a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, that housed Al Qadea leader Osama bin Laden, pens his firsthand description of the event.  Known formally as Operation Neptune Spear, this account of SEAL Team Six’s assault on the compound, in coordination with the 160th SOAR (“Night Stalkers”) helicopters, gives a step-by-step iteration of the events from boarding the transport buses in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, on their way to the air-strip and the waiting helos, to the missions conclusion, as the transports touched down in Virginia.
Autobiographical in nature, Bissonnette recalls what drove him to become an elite fighter, a Navy SEAL, from a young age, through his training, and deployments, culminating with selection to DEVGRU (SEAL Team Six).  He recounts several missions he performed in his years as a team member and the fast friendships he made with fellow SEALs.  A notable mission he recounts was the rescue of Richard Phillips, Captain of the MV Maersk Alabama, taken hostage by Somali pirates in April 2009.
No Easy Day provides detailed diagrams of the compound and timelines the events of the Navy SEAL raid to capture or kill bin Laden.  It goes into details of the killing of not only bin Laden, but also of his son, Kahlid, as well as the al Kuwaiti brothers during the raid.  The book shows that regardless of how well planned and rehearsed an action can be, things can and will go wrong, like the crash landing of the helicopter transporting half of the raiding party. 
Bissonnette downplays the individual contributions to the success of this raid leading one to believe that any section in the SEAL unit could have completed the raid successfully, that the SEALs that participated just happened to be in the right place at the right time.  A good read.  I recommend it to anyone interested in military history or current events.