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Operation Gothic Serpent (Black Hawk Down)


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#1 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 07:16 PM

I want to make this a comprehensive topic about Operation Gothic Serpent, discussing the tactics, weapons, gear, vehicles and events related to Gothic Serpent. Please feel free to post any information you have.

 

Operation Gothic Serpent was an operation carried out by Special Operations Forces from the 22nd of August 1993 to the 13th of October 1993, the objective was to capture Muhammad Farrah Aidid and take down the Somali National Alliance. The most famous part of the operation was the events of October 3rd-4th 1993, commonly called "Black Hawk Down' or 'the Battle of Mogadishu".  


Edited by Cap Camouflage Pattern I, 06 July 2016 - 07:16 PM.


#2 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 08:02 PM

1601568930_zpsb37b5e46.jpg

Soldiers from B Company, 3rd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment posing for a photo. Most wear Ranger Body Armor(RBA) which had no hard armor plate in the back. The Soldier in the back left of the group is wearing the T.G. Faust  armor worn by 1st Special Forces Operations Detachment Delta (1st SFOD-D) [Whats the official designation? Does it have one? The T.G. Faust website only calls it "Special Forces"]. His vest has an American Flag on the chest [How were these attached? Velcro or sewn on?] These were worn by Rangers due to a lack of RBA. Other rangers stateside gave their RBA to B Company, I believe only the heavy weapons had RBA the rest only had PASGTs[Can anyone confirm? What units gave up their vests? All of them?] I don't know if the Rangers wore the 1st SFOD-D vests out on missions, in the book Black Hawk Down, it mentions somebody trading in his black vest for RBA to go out on a mission.

 

The same man with the T.G. Faust armor has some sort of machine gun, I cannot tell if it is an m240 of m249. The rest have m16s? Some with scopes[What type?]. The man in the front middle has an m203 with the vest for the 40mm grenades[Whats it called?]



#3 usmcski

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 08:04 PM

The T.G. Faust wearing soldier has an M249 SAW.

Edited by usmcski, 06 July 2016 - 08:05 PM.


#4 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 09:03 PM

8WJl7gW.jpg

Rangers in front of Blackhawk 68 [Were the helis really called "Super-##" like in the black hawk down movie?] All are wearing T.G. Faust armor except for the one who is wearing no armor.

 

The Soldiers have m16s[A2s?] with suppressors[What model?] there is a mix of fixed and retractable stocks. The 2nd fron the right in the group(2nd from left in picture has a shotgun[What model?]. He also has some sort of Smoke Grenade shaped grenade on his left shoulder[What type?]

 

Some of the men have woodland camouflage knee-pads[What type?]. The man on the far right is wearing full "Chocolate Chip" camo, while the rest wear 'Coffee Stain" except all of the helmets are"Chocolate Chip". 

 

Because the man on the far right has the American flag on the velcro section on the vest I believe it is Velcro'd on. The american flag is reversed.[Are these the standard size that would be sewn on the uniform sleeve?]

 

The man in the middle has some sort of circular thing on his left shoulder [what is it?]

 

The soldier on the far right has what looks like a IR strobe pouch on his left sholder, it could also be a 1st aid/compass pouch, but it looks more like a strobe pouch to me.



#5 taucco

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 10:13 PM

that is not TG Faust body armor. atleast not the Delta worn model.



#6 taucco

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 01:00 AM

The most interesting thing of the whole mission are the knee pads. Great idea.

#7 Ealbert

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 02:08 AM

The picture in front of the MH 60 is from the CSAR team by the faces I recognize, ie Ranger's, AF CCT, etc. From memory the far right & 3rd from the right were from B/3/75...2 & 4 from the right were AF CCT (could be wrong but that's what I remember). I was a Ranger at that time and from what I remember on the uniforms - first come first serve based on size. I had what you called "coffee stain" while my friend had chocolate chips. I had the black body armor (I remember calling it Level III body armor?) and my friend had the RBA.  I know commo & medics carried CAR-15's possibly fire support men as well. We always carried an American flag in our patrol cap with a safety pin but I remember there was a box of American flags in the hanger and I think the flag I had was velcro. Callsigns - yes on Super ## for the aircraft. We always used callwords for actions/events for brevity and to help identify what part of the operation/sequence was occurring - which was reinforced during rehearsals. 



#8 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 04:05 AM

_ac1MSgj1d8.jpg

Here are 4 soldiers posing for a photo (and a photo bomber on the right) in the hanger. I know they aren't rangers but they could be Combat Search And Rescue (CSAR) C Squad 1st SFOD-D or possibly even Navy Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDG or DEVGRU [Which one was used in 1993?]) 

 

They all wear watches and black kneepads [What source? Possibly the same as the Pro-Tec helmets?].

 

Their pouches are likely commercially produced.

 

2nd from the left of the picture and far right in the picture look like they have bandages strapped to their vests without any type of pouch.

 

The middle 2 wear holsters[For what pistol?]

They all wear headsets[What type, the look like different models?].

 

It looks like they have an large patch of black velcro the size of the large American flags that I have only seen Delta wearing.

 

It looks like the man on the right of the picture has tan paint on the stock of his rifle but nowhere else[perhaps it came from a different, fully camouflaged rifle?"]

 

The man 2nd from the right in the picture has a large tan piece of velcro on his right sleeve, there is a normal sized American flag on the top half, but the bottom half is bare.

 

The man 2nd from the left of the photo has a pocket sewn to his left sleeve, it looks like he has a large piece of black or dark green velcro on it.

 

The man on the far left of the photo has pocket sewn to his right sleeve, there is a normal size American flag on it, and what looks like infared glint tape below it. The light from the hanger door is too bright to be able to sell how they are attached but my guess is velcro.



#9 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 04:24 AM

1st SFOD somalia 21_zpsfr5p3oju.jpg

Here are 2 Delta? members posing for a photo.

 

The man on the left of the photo has a plastic helmet [I believe a Pro-Tec Classic fullcut?] it looks like it has a NVG mount on it [What model?]

The man the right has a helmet without the ear peices, probably because he is wearing a headset. [I think a pro-tec classic] His helmet has USGI Sun, Wind, and Dust goggles.

 

Both have the overly large flag I was referring to in the last post. The man on the left of the photo has a normal size flag on his left shoulder. The man on the right of the photo has a slightly larger, non reversed flag on his right shoulder.

 

[What guns are they using? CAR-15 Commandos?]

 

[What does the man on the left of the photo have on his legs? his that paper tucked under it?]



#10 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 04:28 AM

The picture in front of the MH 60 is from the CSAR team by the faces I recognize, ie Ranger's, AF CCT, etc. From memory the far right & 3rd from the right were from B/3/75...2 & 4 from the right were AF CCT (could be wrong but that's what I remember). I was a Ranger at that time and from what I remember on the uniforms - first come first serve based on size. I had what you called "coffee stain" while my friend had chocolate chips. I had the black body armor (I remember calling it Level III body armor?) and my friend had the RBA.  I know commo & medics carried CAR-15's possibly fire support men as well. We always carried an American flag in our patrol cap with a safety pin but I remember there was a box of American flags in the hanger and I think the flag I had was velcro. Callsigns - yes on Super ## for the aircraft. We always used callwords for actions/events for brevity and to help identify what part of the operation/sequence was occurring - which was reinforced during rehearsals. 

Wow! I can't believe it, out of ~400 people in Task Force Ranger one of them is with us on the forum! Would Super 68 be pronounced 'Super Six Eight" like in the movie or "Super Sixty Eight"? 



#11 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 05:02 AM

66bf1cb1b7ed50619d3f090d6c811a0f.jpg

 

The man on the far left( of course it doesn't say if that's of the group or the photo) is apparently Sergeant Keni Thomas.

 

The UH-60 BlackHawk is Super 66 "Gun Slinger". It is parked on grass and there is another one visible through the open doors. There is a man back there with a black rectangle on the left shoulder, probably velcro.

 

Again all have "Coffee Stain" While the man in the middle has "Chocolate Chip"{What pouches does he have]

 

The man in the back of the group is holding on to the fast rope.

 

[What guns are being used? I can't tell an m249 from an m240.]

 

Notice the men with belt fed MGs still have m16 ammo pouches.

 

[Does the man on the far right of the photo have a kneepad on his left ankle?]

 

 

 

 



#12 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 05:36 AM

96f92156bfd16f35e8f389df7db41f48.jpg

Not much going on in this picture. Lots of stuff in the background but it's too blurry to see.

 

Notice the book on the cot.



#13 63 RECON

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 05:57 AM

Good thread, I've got copies of pics of some of the Blackhawks all shot up that made it back to base. I'll see if I can dig them out.

#14 Gunslinger

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 09:36 AM



 

Here are 4 soldiers posing for a photo (and a photo bomber on the right) in the hanger. I know they aren't rangers but they could be Combat Search And Rescue (CSAR) C Squad 1st SFOD-D or possibly even Navy Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDG or DEVGRU [Which one was used in 1993?]) 

 

They all wear watches and black kneepads [What source? Possibly the same as the Pro-Tec helmets?].

 

2nd from the left of the picture and far right in the picture look like they have bandages strapped to their vests without any type of pouch.

 

The middle 2 wear holsters[For what pistol?]

They all wear headsets[What type, the look like different models?].

 

It looks like they have an large patch of black velcro the size of the large American flags that I have only seen Delta wearing.

 

It looks like the man on the right of the picture has tan paint on the stock of his rifle but nowhere else[perhaps it came from a different, fully camouflaged rifle?"]

 

The man 2nd from the right in the picture has a large tan piece of velcro on his right sleeve, there is a normal sized American flag on the top half, but the bottom half is bare.

 

The man 2nd from the left of the photo has a pocket sewn to his left sleeve, it looks like he has a large piece of black or dark green velcro on it.

 

The man on the far left of the photo has pocket sewn to his right sleeve, there is a normal size American flag on it, and what looks like infared glint tape below it. The light from the hanger door is too bright to be able to sell how they are attached but my guess is velcro.

 

COMS look like Elite II headsets, these were popular with Special Operation Units.

 

Judging from the loadout kits and weapons platform they are equipped, most likely an Assault team from Delta.

 

CDub



#15 B229

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 11:55 AM


 

Again all have "Coffee Stain" While the man in the middle has "Chocolate Chip"{What pouches does he have]

 

The man in the back of the group is holding on to the fast rope.

 

[What guns are being used? I can't tell an m249 from an m240.]

 

Notice the men with belt fed MGs still have m16 ammo pouches.

 

[Does the man on the far right of the photo have a kneepad on his left ankle?]

 

 

Weapons are, left to right: M16A2, M249 SAW, M249 SAW, M16A2 (presumably with an M203 since he wears a grenadier's vest), M60 GPMG and M16A2/M203. The SAW gunner has the standard nylon cases to hold the SAW ammo box attached to his belt.



#16 B229

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 11:57 AM

Wow! I can't believe it, out of ~400 people in Task Force Ranger one of them is with us on the forum! Would Super 68 be pronounced 'Super Six Eight" like in the movie or "Super Sixty Eight"? 

 

Super Six Eight. You always pronounce each number individually to ensure the listener comprehends what you are saying.



#17 B229

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 12:03 PM



[What guns are they using? CAR-15 Commandos?]

 

They used a mix of Colt Model 653, 723 and 727 Carbines depending on which unit you are talking about. The M4 had yet to be adopted and there was no other standard "shorty" version of the M16A2 in use in the Army. The units bought the various commercial Colt carbines and had them customized. I think they were all colloquially referred to as "CAR-15's", however.



#18 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 02:17 PM

1st SFOD somalia 23_zpsnvoguilq.jpg

5 men [Parajumpers?] and a little bird [what model?]

 

[What body armor are the men on the sides wearing? What uniform, plain tan but not one piece like a flight suit?]

 

The 2nd from each side are have pockets sewn to each sleeve, one with a large black velcro square.

 

[What chest rigs do the 2nd from each side have?]

 

[What does the man 2nd from the left in the photo have on his head?]

 

 



#19 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 02:35 PM

1st SFOD somalia 24_zpsq66qicji.jpg

 

8 men talking about something at least 4 are Delta , 

 

Apparently the delta member 2nd from the left in the photo is Paul Howe.

 

The [Pro-Tec classic skateboarding?] helmets have NVG mounts[What model? For AN PVS 6?]. Googles [Not Sun Wind and Dust, what type?] IR strobes [What type?] on top, probably attached with velcro, NVG google batteries on the back[An PVS 6?] The sides of the far left and far right men have something reflective on them, probably IR glint tape.

 

[What does the man on the right of the photo with his back to us have on his belt, looks like a knife and sheath and some other things?]

 

[What truck is in the background?]


Edited by Cap Camouflage Pattern I, 07 July 2016 - 02:36 PM.


#20 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 02:49 PM

1stSFODsomalia11_zpsc422f942.jpg

Here is a photo of 4 Delta members detaining 4 Somalis with another Delta member sitting in the grass in the background.

 

At least 3 have holsters[What gun?] 

 

All 4 in the forground have pockets sewn to their sleeves with and american flag below the flap on their right shoulder.

 

The man on the far right of the picture has shotgun shells at his waste.

 

3 delta have NVG mounts on their helmets, the man on the far right of the picture has a strobe and glint tape, 2nd from right has NVG batteries and velcro on top of his helmet for the strobe but no strobe, far left has a bare helmet, the velcro for the strobe is visible on top. The 2nd from the left has NVG batteries and strobe so I will assume he has NVG mount even though the area is covered by his goggles.

 

 

 

 

 

 



#21 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 03:55 PM

110accc69d5533ffc01847c06276786d.jpg

 

Rangers, I believe at one of the training ranges mentioned in Mark Bowden's book.

 

UH-60 Blackhawk [What variant?]



#22 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 04:27 PM

769hODX.jpg

(None of this is definite please correct me if I'm wrong)

This is C Squadron 1st SFOD-D.

Far left standing is Kurt J Smith.

Standing in the brown T-Shirt is Gary Gordon.

Randy Shughart is Kneeling 3rd from right.

Norm Hooten and John Macejunas are front row center.

Griz Marten is kneeling 3rd from right.

 

Notice how some have dark nametapes, I think these are green, but they would be velcro a few have pockets on their sleeves and a few have aircrew name tags.

 



#23 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 04:31 PM

Here is an interesting read from Kurt Smith.



#24 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 06:39 PM

After Micheal Durant was captured helicopters flew over the city playing Hell's Bells by AC/DC.


Edited by Cap Camouflage Pattern I, 07 July 2016 - 06:43 PM.


#25 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 06:44 PM

Sold9.jpg

Somalian desert, 1993: Army Rangers wait for helicopters to return them to base after training.
(U.S. Army Rangers / JOE THOMAS)

 




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