The Chief of Staff of the
Army asked his Sergeant Major, who was both Ranger and Special Forces qualified,
which organization he would recommend to form a new anti-terrorist unit. The
Sergeant Major responded to the General's question with this parable: If there
were a hijacked Boeing 747 being held by terrorists along with its passengers
and crew and an anti-terrorist unit formed either by the Rangers or the Special
Forces was given a Rescue/Recovery Mission; what would you expect to happen?
If the Rangers went in, they would send a Ranger company of 120 men with
standard army issue equipment.
Mission Preparation: The
Ranger Company First Sergeant would conduct a Hair Cut and Boots Inspection,
while the officers consulted SOPs and held sand table exercises.
They would insist on double timing, in company formation, wearing their combat
equipment, and singing cadence all the way to the site of the hijacked aircraft.
Actions in the Objective
Area: Once they arrived, the Ranger company would establish their ORP, put out
security elements, conduct a leaders recon, reapply their camouflage, and
conduct final preparations for Actions on the OBJ.
Results of Operation: The
Rescue/Recovery Operation would be completed within one hour; all of the
terrorists and most of the passengers would have been killed, the Rangers would
have sustained light casualties and the 747 would be worthless to anyone except
a scrap dealer.
Special Forces Option
If Special Forces went in, they would send only a 12 man team (all SF units are
divisible by 12 for some arcane historical reason) however, due to the exotic
nature of their equipment the SF Team would cost the same amount to deploy as
the Ranger Company.
Mission Preparation: The SF
Team Sergeant would request relaxed grooming standards for the team.
All members of the team would spend a grueling afternoon at a quality spa
ensuring physical abilities would be honed.
All members of the team would spend a grueling afternoon at a quality spa ensuring physical abilities would be honed.
Infiltration Technique: The
team would insist on separate travel orders with Max Per Diem, and each would
get to the site of the hijacking by his own means. At least one third of the
team would insist on jumping in HALO.
Actions in the Objective
Area: Once they arrived , the SF Team would cache their military uniforms,
establish a Team Room at the best hotel in the area, use their illegal Team Fund to stock the unauthorized
Team Room Bar, check out the situation by talking to the locals, and have a Team
Meeting to discuss the merits of the terrorists' cause.
Results of Operation: The Rescue/Recovery Operation would take two weeks to complete and by that time all of the terrorists would have been killed, (and would have left signed confessions); the passengers would be ruined psychologically for the remainder of their lives; and all of the women passengers would be pregnant. The 747 would be essentially unharmed, the team would have taken no casualties but would have used up, lost, or stolen all the "high speed" equipment issued to them.