Monday, September 16, 2013

Mogadishu 20 Years Later

October 3, 2013 will mark the 20 year anniversary of the battle of the black sea, otherwise known as the battle of Mogadishu. The battle took place during Operation Gothic Serpent, a mission to capture (or kill) Aidid and his Al Q'aeda linked militia in Somalia. The events of that night have been immortalized in the book (and movie) Blackhawk Down.

The fierce fight earned two SFOD-D heroes the Medal of Honor.

Fierce fighting and numerous attacks led up to the operation and continued afterward. Today, Mogadishu is not much better off. It is still one of the most violent cities in the world.

Film makers approached a few of the US Army Rangers who were part of the operation that night. They asked them to travel back to Mogadishu 20 years later. What resulted is the short documentary "Return to Mogadishu".
"In 2000, the Academy Award winning film, Black Hawk Down, told the story of the 160 U.S. Special Operations Forces who were sent to Mogadishu, Somalia and tasked with the fateful mission of capturing war criminal Mohammed Farrah Aidid. Now, 20 years later, Major Jeff Struecker, a former Army Ranger from the battle and a key character in the film, returns to what is still considered the most dangerous place in the world, the lawless streets of Mogadishu, to relive the battle. In this audacious attempt to retrace the exact route the rescue convoy took during the firefight, filmmakers reveal Jeff’s story first hand while driving through the narrow city streets as they identify key landmarks from the film and come within blocks of the original target building. With some of the first footage shot from inside the notorious “Bakaara Market” where the battle took place, Return to Black Hawk Down uncovers the fear, courage, and faith experienced by the special operators during the battle in a way never before experienced as Jeff wrestles with the aftermath of a place that reshaped his own perspectives on life and death."

The former Rangers involved in the film bring you through the spots where some of the most intense fighting took place both during the operation to capture Aidid and some of the precursor battles. Many of the buildings remain pockmarked with bullet holes and scars from explosions.

Photo Courtesy of CRU from the file "Return to Mogadishu"
Copyright 2013 by CRU, Used with Permission.

The imagery needs to be seen to be believed. Military Historians as well as those who support our brave military members will enjoy the movie.