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The Battle of Mogadishu - Face of Battle Analysis

A presentation to NZDF CSC JJSC 77 2013
by

Andrew Hill

on 7 March 2013

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Transcript of The Battle of Mogadishu - Face of Battle Analysis

The Battle of Mogadishu Day of the Rangers Planning & Preparation Habr Gidr Clan Loyal to Aidid Task Force Ranger Weapons & Tactics Weapons & Tactics Centre of Gravity Planning & Preparation Centre of Gravity Battle Analysis II Maj. Gen. William F. Garrison Mohamed Farrah Aidid test test Intelligence via Informants & CIA
Signals Intelligence
Templated Ops Plan
-Convoy Raid
-Strong Point Raid
CAS (Little Bird)
C2 Overwatch/P3 ISR (relay via JOC)
Extraction (ground Convoy)
CSAR - Only one Black Hawk Surprise, Speed, Mobility,
Force, Fire Power, CAS,
C2 Over Watch & P3 ISR Mobility & Maneuverability
through Helicopters & Vehicles AK47, RPG, .50 Cal (Technicals), various other small arms.

Flanking, Barricading, Ambush,
Concentration of Force. Bakara Arms Market Area
An SNA Stronghold, Territory completely controlled by Aidid.

Mass of Militia Force Task Force Ranger:
18 Dead
73 Wounded
1 Taken Prisoner Aidid SNA Militia:
315-500 Dead
812-1000 Wounded What Went Down? [61 GOING DOWN]
WE GOT A BLACKHAWK GOING DOWN
WE GOT A BLACKHAWK GOING DOWN
WE GOT A BLACKHAWK CRASHED IN THE CITY
61 "We Just Lost The Initiative" 3-4 October 1993 4 x MH-60L Black Hawk (Blocking Force Insertion)
2 x M60, 2 x M134 Miniguns
2 x MH-60L Black Hawk (Delta Reserve Force)
2 x M60, 2 x M134 Miniguns
1 x MH-60L Black Hawk (On station C2)
2 x M60
1 x MH-60L Black Hawk (CSAR)
2 x M60, 2 x M134 Miniguns
4 x MH-6 Little Bird (Delta Assault)
Slick
4 x AH-6J Little Bird (Gunship CAS)
M134 Miniguns, M260 Rockets, TOW Missile
12 x HMMWV & M939 5 Tonne Truck Convoy (Extraction)
.50 Cal Heavy Machine Gun
Individual Weapons -M16, M4, CAR-15, Hand Grenade
Squad Weapons - M60, M249 Mission: To Capture General Aidid and/or Designated Others, and Turn Over Captives to the United Nations Forces This analysis will look at key facts and decisive points of the battle and make deductions on why the mission succeeded in part but ultimately failed due to the large loss of American and Somali lives. Task Force Ranger:

C Squadron, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta.

Bravo Company, 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.

1st Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne).

Combat Controllers and Para-Rescuemen from the USAF 24th Special Tactics Squadron.

SEAL Team Six (four Navy SEAL operators).

10th Mountain Division The general, unable to control his irritation, will launch his men to the assault like swarming ants, with the result that one-third of his men are slain, while the town remains untaken.
—Sun Tzu Order of Battle "'[Aidid] We had watched those men at the airfield,' -- he called them 'those dangerous men at the airfield' -- and how they operated and he made the determination that the helicopters were the vulnerability, or the center of gravity..." Intelligence
Watching the airfield
Watching operational patterns

Communications
Cellphone
Megaphone
Signal Fires (Burning Tyres)

Instruction to clan members to target the Helicopters with small arms and RPG

Pre-prepared ready barricades "...when they held a meeting Aidid put people on the roofs of the houses around the meeting place with the machine guns and rocket launchers and they were to concentrate all their fire on the helicopters. He really believed if he shot a helicopter down, that would cause them [TFR] to gather around the helicopters, and they [SNA] could fix them and pin them in one area...

...'[Aidid] so we watched where the reaction forces came from [and] we put in an ambush, and it [reaction force] was only activated when we held meetings, so [we] would engage the reaction force or slow it down or stop it'

...He had designed a set of tactics that ended up working...some pretty astute tactical decisions by General Aidid and his militia."
Gen. Anthony Zinni 64 ARE YOU OK
ROGER
GOING IN HARD GOING DOWN [64]... RAY
64 IS GOING DOWN
64 IS DOWN CSAR Bird gets hit with RPG after inserting CSAR Team and limps back to Airfield. Black Hawk Super 64 (Durant) replaces 61 in the low level CAP circuit A second Black Hawk is crashed in the City.
There are now two crash sites to secure.
Two concurrent CSAR OPs.
But no second dedicated CSAR Team.

The TFR are now discombobulated
and the mission is now seriously bogged down. UNIFORM IS MOVING TO THE CRASH SITE AT THIS TIME. WE WERE GOING TO CONSOLIDATE AT THE NORTHERN CRASH SITE.

WE HAD ANOTHER HAWK GO DOWN SOUTH OF THE OLYMPIC HOTEL, WE ARE GETTING A LOT OF RPG FIRE.

THERE'S A LOT OF FIRE.
WE ARE GOING TO TRY TO GET EVERYONE CONSOLIDATED AT THE NORTHERN SITE AND THEN MOVE TO THE SOUTHERN SITE. WE CAN USE MORE GROUND TRANSPORTATION IF YOU CAN GET IT OUT HERE. Convoy makes a wrong turn and begins driving lost through city streets, sustaining heavy casualties by Somali snipers and armed militia.

The Lost Convoy, with more than half of its force wounded or dead, abandons its search for the first downed Black Hawk and begins fighting its way back to the airfield. Maj. Gen. Garrison 1703:

A QRF convoy is dispatched in an attempt to rescue the men stranded at Durant's crash site. It encounters immediate obstacles.

Both convoys, having sustained heavy casualties, link up and abandon the effort to break through to crash site 2.

The remainder of the ground force of Rangers and commandos are converging around the first crash site, sustaining many casualties.

Both convoys return to the base.

99 men remain trapped and surrounded in the city around the first downed Black Hawk 1908:

Black Hawk Super 66 makes a daring re-supply run back into the city, dropping water, ammunition and medical supplies to the trapped force.

It is badly damaged by small arms and RPg and cannot land to evacuate priority casualties.

It limps back to base. 2100:
Joint Task Force Command requests assistance from other Commands.

The Rescue Convoy is formed of two companies of 10th Mt. Division QRF troops along with the remainder of Task Force Ranger, Pakistani tanks and Malaysian armored vehicles.

It forms up at Mogadishu's New Port, and begins planning the rescue. 23:23 — The rescue convoy moves out from New Port.

At Midnight the Rangers & delta are still trapped inside Mogadishu without essential equipment such as night vision devices.

0155 — Rescue convoy reaches the trapped Ranger force.

A second half of the convoy reaches the site of Durant's downed Black Hawk. Durant and his crew are missing.

0300 — Forces still struggling to remove the pinned body of Wolcott, the pilot of downed Super 61.

0530 — Wolcott's body is finally recovered. Vehicles roll out of the city. Some Rangers are left to move from the city on foot and run to a rendezvous point on National Street whilst enduring gunfire during the ex filtration.

The road they take is now known as the "Mogadishu Mile."

0630 — The force returns to the Pakistani Stadium for Delicious Lemonade. 1540: TFR Initiates the Raid
On Code Word "IRENE" 1545: Ranger Perimeter
Secuirty Established

1600: Delta Commandos
Secure Prisoners 1610: 1615: 1620: 1626: What Went Wrong? In the strictest military interpretation, the mission had succeeded. Aidid's Lieutenants had been apprehended and taken prisoner; but the cost had been overwhelming.

18 American Dead and 1 missing, 17 of them from TFR, 84 wounded, 60 from TFR. 1 Malaysian dead and 7 wounded, 2 Pakistanis wounded.

2 Black Hawk helicopters destroyed, 4 others seriously damaged along with multiple vehicles destroyed or severely damaged.

I have deduced a number of significant reasons how Aidid's SNA was able to mount such a devastating attack on the technically and tactically superior US Task Force. 4. The lack of Armoured ground convoy vehicles. Following an earlier September RPG shoot down of a Black Hawk a request to CENTCOM for Armoured QRF Vehicles for CSAR support was not supported for fear of military escalation preventing any chance of a political settlement with Aidid.

5. The decision made by tactical commanders to fight light and not take M203's on weapons, or MK-19 launchers on the HMMWVs meaning they had no wide kill radius weapons .

6. The decision by tactical commanders to not to take water, rations, or NVG due to the mid afternoon raid which was planned to last no longer than 30 minutes.

7. The lack of coordination and sharing of plans with the UN forces meant that it took a long time to gain the necessary reinforcements and armour to assemble the final rescue mission. 3 hours before they new of the raid and 5 hours to assemble the reinforcements. Questions?
Somali SNA Militias:

The size and organizational structure of Somali forces are not known in detail.

In all, between 2000-4000 regular militia members are believed to have participated, almost all of which belonged to Aidid’s Somali National Alliance (SNA), drawing largely from the Habr Gidr clan in the Black Sea District. Order of Battle 1. The TFR repeated the same raiding tactics at least 6 times which gave Aidid important and useful intelligence to plan and enable protection and counter attack tactics.

2. The mission was carried out by day, in a area of the city which was a stronghold of Aidid's territory and he was able to mount a large opposing force very quickly. It was also an arms market in which large volumes of weapons and ammunition could be assembled quickly.

3. The TFR did not have superior air support by way of AC-130 Spectre Gunships which had been used in earlier raids but which had been sent back to a forward base in Italy in an attempt to let Aidid give himself up. Gen. Anthony Zinni
Director of Operations UNITAF
and Assistant to Special Envoy Somali during truce negotiations
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