Pundit Review - Someone You Should Know, Major Mark Mitchell, U.S. Army
Sun, 15 Apr 2012|
In November 2001, after Taliban and al Qaeda prisoners attempted to seize control of the prison at Mazer-e-Sharif in Afghanistan, the Army Special Forces Major led an effort to quell the revolt and rescue two CIA operatives caught inside the prison. According to an account in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Mitchell moved in to the prison "with no body army or helmet and vastly outnumbered....From a vulnerable position on the wall, he directed air strikes that proved vital in defeating the Taliban fighters at the fortress....Even when an errant bomb injured nine of his men - more than half - he was able to evacuate the injured and direct the remaining soldiers as they repelled the Taliban attacks." The first recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross in nearly 30 years, Mitchell at the Nov. 13, 2003 award ceremony told his wife and daughters, "You're the only people I ever hoped would consider me a hero."
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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
Welcome back under review radio Kevin Whelan. A different Stephanie M Davis is with us in studio she's been with -- -- nine it's great to have her back here in the WRKO. World headquarters. On the line joining us from Atlanta Georgia as he does every sending -- 7 o'clock hour mister Bruce McQueen. We spent when he uses like the united states army veteran of Vietnam War and the man behind someone you should know our weekly tribute to the troops. That started on the number one of military blog black five dot net. Check it out of black five it's fabulous has tons of stories in check it out at pundit review dot com. Where you can listen to every one we overdone here on WRKO for. Six plus years at least. Which total -- up it's hundreds and hundreds of incredible stories of the men and women. In uniform what they do for -- around the world. So -- that out of the way. Let's welcome Bruce Beck and Bruce who you gonna tell us about this week. Well well I almost feel like I'm going to -- the way back machine business was all the way back in 2001. And that gives you an idea how long -- been in Afghanistan. And it actually hit. Happened in the very beginning stages of our involvement there. Back I'm sure many of you remember the depth of curiosity yeah IA officer Johnny Mike -- and November 2001. It acknowledged as the first US casualty in war in Afghanistan. Spann was killed by members of the Taliban and -- dad when they revolted -- prison fortress which they were being held. The prisoners have been captured by the northern alliance members the day before as they were in a convoy moving towards battle. And Mike -- had shown up at the fortress where there were being held her prisoner. Also if these giant fortress of -- Gandhi were members of US army special operations forces including major Mark Mitchell. Because of the influx of large numbers of prisoners Mitchell had been forced to relocate its holders about fifteen miles from port. Revolt reflected a cultural problem that you -- the northern alliance hadn't taken into consideration. They had expected the prisoners to abide by their Afghan culture heritage that is. Man's work is his bond and once he surrenders to rent. -- this group also had al-Qaeda foreign fighters and and they had no problem right there. Major ritual was notified by -- northern alliance member after the revolt -- these guys. -- time was critical. Most of the rest of the officers and men in the US military contingent traveled. To the battle site at home do and they had left Mitchell only a few special operators behind. Upon notification. Mitchell -- six army special forces soldier. One navy seal and seven British SAS -- The brits had just arrived the night before. But were eager to join this ad -- -- All grabbed a year and hustled to their four vehicles. Re range rovers and a Green Toyota suvs. At the fortress -- under national alliance soldiers into your area concert when being my expand. Also with reporters. We're two huge weapons caches. It prisoners got to an entire situation when and a badly. Mitchell approach the main gate and got through them somehow without incident. Course having lived there he knew the lay out port as well and moved to contagion to decide in which the northern alliance still help. I remember none of the special operators have helmets or body -- they went in without any of that. Anyway they moved around the -- to your wall and at a point literally and Klein a thirty foot wall. Until they got with a final six with in the final six feet. And there they couldn't quite get up about that one in the northern alliance soldiers literally unwrapped his turbine. And lowered it down to them to pull them up up up to the top of that that wall. At the top small arms and -- -- program around -- import them as they hunkered down behind two and a half that led. What -- saw was a wave of prisoners -- you know national alliance. Soldiers very quickly it was clear that it's gotten to the two -- care. That you knew you had to do something be -- in dispute quickly millionaire fifteen guys. But what he decided to do was -- it's dangerous it's anything you could. He was gonna try and 2000 pound -- -- that -- Taliban and opt out of prison. Now that meant the bombs were gonna drop almost right on top. You -- slide here would mean there. But Mitchell took a look at the situation. Be considered the options. And he gave you work. The bomb dropped from an FA eighteen hit the ground at about 300 miles per hour creating a huge mushroom cloud shot up. Hundreds of people here. All Mitchell could -- was -- -- just. But if you had the desired effect. It had pushed the enemy back. In all that day. Mitchell did that eight time -- eight. What they called. Al-Qaeda fighters. During one of the bombs strikes Mitchell and another soldier used its cover to scale another wall and -- -- heavily damaged building. That one of the -- -- -- officers to it and but apparently that Austria has escaped and have as we found out later he actually escaped and because he wrote or spoke the language. Hailed a taxi cab and left -- -- that's how. How interesting this part of the warrior. The riot has seemed at that point that would be well I mean after -- between his group withdrew refit and gets some rest. Arriving the next morning after the fighting again renewed with the northern alliance troops fighting well armed Taliban and -- kind of troops. Mitchell says he was amazed they were going to -- -- being hit by the victory there and they -- You initially groups snuck back into the fortress lenient two groups of positioning themselves on opposite sides of the work. It called an air strike -- but finally and unfortunately something went horribly wrong. Strikes severely wounded the team opposite Mitchell proposal for a say yes or special forces soldiers in an airport come -- control. It took three hours to get helicopters in there do evacuate these men. But an asset Medicare and and the doctor and join the group were able to treat stabilize wounded no. Mitchell called off any further airstrikes. Regrouping and -- filtering report that night with the remaining six soldiers and trust that Afghan. Their position was discovered they began taking heavy mortar -- But available to middlemen in the -- two and 130 Specter gunships. Picking up to -- -- -- we attacked test but inspectors aren't we done. They also hit an ammunition cache which began exploding with no hitters ignition. It was direction of the year assets -- read that element again and save the northern alliance troops do remain. The -- wasn't done. He'd heard that might -- Spann had been -- You refused to leave the workers recovered -- Among our soldiers its support of -- never leave a fallen comrade. Fighting continued although not as heavily. Reporters and shown up on the same. Mitchell wanted to fines and Claudia and remove it have reporters snapping pictures but yet he. CIA officer. Like that happened in Mogadishu's. I think this way his -- route where spans body was reported to be mutual ground. And he -- team recovered. Reverently placed it in the body back and moved it outside of the reporters awaiting -- And has been shut. Fight before Christmas finally ended there so. Mark Mitchell or bravery. Or -- initiative and for his leadership. Was awarded the first distinguished service crop. Second highest award for valor in Vietnam. In reality. He could have avoided the fight truthfully claiming insufficient forces to address the situation. That's just not how special operators from me. And then CIA director George Tenet. In a world where most sleep from. Major Mark Mitchell. Along the -- ago. But then. That's what we expect and I admire so. And that's one meter Mark Mitchell. US special force. Awarded the distinguished service -- Valor above and beyond the call of duty. Your -- Al Sharif Afghanistan. Someone.