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Team Sergeant
02-02-2009, 09:09
You've read about the battle of Shok Valley, now you can view the men that fought it:

ODA-3336

Team Sergeant
02-02-2009, 09:13
10 Green Berets to Receive Silver Star for Afghan Battle

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10 Green Berets to Receive Silver Star for Afghan Battle
By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 12, 2008; Page A01

After jumping out of helicopters at daybreak onto jagged, ice-covered rocks and into water at an altitude of 10,000 feet, the 12-man Special Forces team scrambled up the steep mountainside toward its target -- an insurgent stronghold in northeast Afghanistan.

"Our plan," Capt. Kyle M. Walton recalled in an interview, "was to fight downhill."

But as the soldiers maneuvered toward a cluster of thick-walled mud buildings constructed layer upon layer about 1,000 feet farther up the mountain, insurgents quickly manned fighting positions, readying a barrage of fire for the exposed Green Berets.

A harrowing, nearly seven-hour battle unfolded on that mountainside in Afghanistan's Nuristan province on April 6, as Walton, his team and a few dozen Afghan commandos they had trained took fire from all directions. Outnumbered, the Green Berets fought on even after half of them were wounded -- four critically -- and managed to subdue an estimated 150 to 200 insurgents, according to interviews with several team members and official citations.

Today, Walton and nine of his teammates from Operational Detachment Alpha 3336 of the 3rd Special Forces Group will receive the Silver Star for their heroism in that battle -- the highest number of such awards given to the elite troops for a single engagement since the Vietnam War.

That chilly morning, Walton's mind was on his team's mission: to capture or kill several members of the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) militant group in their stronghold, a village perched in Nuristan's Shok Valley that was accessible only by pack mule and so remote that Walton said he believed that no U.S. troops, or Soviet ones before them, had ever been there.

But as the soldiers, each carrying 60 to 80 pounds of gear, scaled the mountain, they could already spot insurgents running to and fro, they said. As the soldiers drew closer, they saw that many of the mud buildings had holes in the foot-thick walls for snipers. The U.S. troops had maintained an element of surprise until their helicopters turned into the valley, but by now the insurgent leaders entrenched above knew they were the targets, and had alerted their fighters to rally.

Staff Sgt. Luis Morales of Fredericksburg was the first to see an armed insurgent and opened fire, killing him. But at that moment, the insurgents began blasting away at the American and Afghan troops with machine guns, sniper rifles and rocket-propelled grenades -- shooting down on each of the U.S. positions from virtually all sides.



http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...l?hpid=topnews

greenberetTFS
02-02-2009, 11:18
I can't think of a finer bunch of guys as deserving to this honor...........:)

GB TFS

MeC86
02-02-2009, 13:16
Amazing.....

The antihero
02-02-2009, 16:03
Very well done gentlemen!

cornelyj
02-02-2009, 16:30
A lesson in and another great example of Never Quit.

Congratulations on the award and hope they all have a speedy recover from their injuries.

greenberetTFS
02-03-2009, 14:08
10 Green Berets to Receive Silver Star for Afghan Battle

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

10 Green Berets to Receive Silver Star for Afghan Battle
By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 12, 2008; Page A01

After jumping out of helicopters at daybreak onto jagged, ice-covered rocks and into water at an altitude of 10,000 feet, the 12-man Special Forces team scrambled up the steep mountainside toward its target -- an insurgent stronghold in northeast Afghanistan.

"Our plan," Capt. Kyle M. Walton recalled in an interview, "was to fight downhill."

But as the soldiers maneuvered toward a cluster of thick-walled mud buildings constructed layer upon layer about 1,000 feet farther up the mountain, insurgents quickly manned fighting positions, readying a barrage of fire for the exposed Green Berets.

A harrowing, nearly seven-hour battle unfolded on that mountainside in Afghanistan's Nuristan province on April 6, as Walton, his team and a few dozen Afghan commandos they had trained took fire from all directions. Outnumbered, the Green Berets fought on even after half of them were wounded -- four critically -- and managed to subdue an estimated 150 to 200 insurgents, according to interviews with several team members and official citations.

Today, Walton and nine of his teammates from Operational Detachment Alpha 3336 of the 3rd Special Forces Group will receive the Silver Star for their heroism in that battle -- the highest number of such awards given to the elite troops for a single engagement since the Vietnam War.

That chilly morning, Walton's mind was on his team's mission: to capture or kill several members of the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) militant group in their stronghold, a village perched in Nuristan's Shok Valley that was accessible only by pack mule and so remote that Walton said he believed that no U.S. troops, or Soviet ones before them, had ever been there.

But as the soldiers, each carrying 60 to 80 pounds of gear, scaled the mountain, they could already spot insurgents running to and fro, they said. As the soldiers drew closer, they saw that many of the mud buildings had holes in the foot-thick walls for snipers. The U.S. troops had maintained an element of surprise until their helicopters turned into the valley, but by now the insurgent leaders entrenched above knew they were the targets, and had alerted their fighters to rally.

Staff Sgt. Luis Morales of Fredericksburg was the first to see an armed insurgent and opened fire, killing him. But at that moment, the insurgents began blasting away at the American and Afghan troops with machine guns, sniper rifles and rocket-propelled grenades -- shooting down on each of the U.S. positions from virtually all sides.



http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...l?hpid=topnews

You know guys this may sound a bit "corny". But,when you think about what these men did,don't it make you PROUD to be called a "Green Beret"..........:)

GB TFS

SF_BHT
02-03-2009, 17:18
Outstanding Men and they deserve all they get.

Keep up the fight and never waver.......

Warrior-Mentor
02-03-2009, 18:58
Studs. Great stuff.

JJ_BPK
02-04-2009, 05:13
Heroes, ALL :D:lifter:D:lifter

dennisw
02-04-2009, 18:05
I heard through the grapevine that the 18A in this engagement was pulling a wounded comrade back to cover when he had a couple of AK47 rounds ping off his steel stetson. :lifter I guess that's about as close as it gets.

LR27
02-06-2009, 12:49
“I’ll do whatever needs to be done to make sure I don’t let my teammates down."

http://news.soc.mil/releases/News%20Archive/2009/February/090206-01.html

(I posted the whole thing, great read! Team Sergeant)

RELEASE NUMBER:090206-01
DATE POSTED: FEBRUARY 6, 2009

SF Silver Star recipient NCOs share leadership insight
By Spc. Tony Hawkins
USASOC PAO

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (USASOC News Service, Feb. 6, 2009) - It is a lead-by-example attitude which has been the foundation of the Army’s NCO Corps since its beginning. Throughout its history, NCOs have provided critical leadership under the most austere conditions.

“My leadership style really comes from previous NCOs,” said Sgt. 1st Class Luis Morales, a Special Forces intelligence sergeant from Operational Detachment-Alpha 3336, C Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne). “When I was growing up as a private, I looked up to my squad leader and emulated him as, almost a fatherly-figure, someone who’s going to take care of you. “

It was that quality of leadership which surfaced for Morales and his teammates, including Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Plants, a Special Forces engineer sergeant, on April 6, 2008. During a bold raid on enemy forces in the Shok Valley of Afghanistan, ODA 3336 and their Afghan Commando counterparts faced hundreds in a six-and-a-half hour firefight. The operation was known as Commando Wrath, and the team members were awarded 10 Silver Stars for their actions that day.

“Some people are naturally born with outstanding leadership,” Plants said. “Some people are just born leaders, and other people have to grow into it. But I think everybody can be a leader.”

Plants said ultimately, his motivation during his “baptism by fire” was those on his left and his right.

“I’ll do whatever needs to be done to make sure I don’t let my teammates down,” he said. “I was new to the team, so I was drawing on that mentality. With the excellent amount of training I received, everything just kicked into gear.”

The firefight was Plants’ first since joining Special Forces, after serving more than nine years as a mechanic. He credits his leaders throughout his decade in the Army for preparing him for the moment.

“Everything I learned, I learned from my (earlier) mentors,” he said. “I think anybody could do what we did, with training.”

Morales agreed that, with the proper training, any NCO could do the same.

“Other NCOs are more than capable of doing what we did,” Morales said. “A lot of it is just going back (to the basics), like combat lifesaver and first aid training. A lot of it is reaction; we’ve done it so many times in training.”

It is up to the NCOs to provide that training to those they lead, Plants said.

“NCOs today, more than ever, need to take more initiative in training their Soldiers,” he said. “A problem today is many NCOs are kind of waiting for someone to tell them what to do. I’ve learned over the years that no one is going to tell you to do everything. You have to take that initiative to train your Soldiers up, because no one is going to do it for you.”

In addition to initiative, NCOs are also responsible for creating the proper setting for Soldiers to excel, said Staff Sgt. Raymond Ysasaga, a Special Forces communication sergeant for ODA 3336. Ysasaga recently joined the team after their battle in April 2008.

“It just depends on your environment,” Ysasaga said. “Good leaders are going to breed good Soldiers. I like to think I looked at all the good qualities from the leaders around me, and try to base my style on that.”

Ysasaga, who is new to Special Forces, said being in the community is quite different from his time in the conventional Army, though the values remain the same.

“Integrity is the baseline for great leadership,” he said. “Soldiers are always watching you; you always have a reputation, whether you know it or not. When it comes down to it, your integrity is all you have. Do the right thing even when no one is looking.”

--usasoc--

Saoirse
02-06-2009, 13:08
Anytime I read about men like these guys, it makes me proud and honored to know the QPs that I do know. It makes me proud to be an American as well. Not to sound like a big baby but I get a little choked up. Thank you for your service!

Dan
10-07-2009, 06:56
http://www.armytimes.com/news/2009/10/army_ausa_specialforces_afghanistan_100609w/#

SF team sgt. lauds Afghan aid in Shok Valley

By Sean D. Naylor - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Oct 7, 2009 7:28:14 EDT

A Special Forces team sergeant paid tribute to his Afghan counterparts and their role in a now legendary battle high in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan during a talk at the annual Association of the U.S. Army symposium in Washington, D.C.

The soldiers from the 201st Afghan Commando Battalion “did an excellent job” in the April 6, 2008, battle in Shok Valley, said Master Sgt. Scott Ford, the team sergeant of Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 3336 at the time of the battle, in which one Afghan commando and one Afghan interpreter were killed and several Special Forces soldiers, including Ford, were seriously wounded.

“They stayed with us all day,” said Ford, who is now the noncommissioned officer in charge of 3rd Special Forces Group’s sniper detachment. “They helped carry our wounded. They helped each other. Continually, they stepped up to the plate doing numerous heroic acts themselves.”

Ford’s 15-man A-team — ODA 3336 — was deployed to Afghanistan from October 2007 to May 2008, and was the second A-team to partner with the 680-man 201st, which was the first Afghan commando battalion U.S. forces had trained up to “combat operational” status, he said. Five similar battalions have since become combat operational, he added.

“Each of these battalions is partnered with a Special Forces ODA throughout the most dangerous regions in Afghanistan,” Ford said. “Since the inception of the commandos, Special Forces has been their partnered force and will remain with them throughout the war.”

The commando battalions are “elite infantry battalions equivalent to U.S. Ranger battalions with additional special operations capabilities,” Ford said. “Our focus was to train, mentor, advise and fight alongside the commandoes, going with them wherever they went, and in return, they always were willing to go with us wherever we went.”

By the time ODA 3336 began working with the 201st, the Afghan troops had already been through the commando training course and conducted what Ford described as a “confidence target” mission. Ford’s team then conducted more advanced training with the Afghans.

The entire story will be in Monday’s print edition of Army Times.

LarryW
10-07-2009, 10:38
Rear Admiral Hopper (lady computer scientist for USN) once remarked to a bunch of Academy students that when you get into a fight you cannot manage your troops to win, you have to lead them; leadership trumps all. This was a perfect example of functional, effective leadership. Well done to all involved and well deserved awards!

Warrior-Mentor
10-07-2009, 11:57
Met MSG Scott Ford and SSG John Walding when they were up here briefing the Senator a lunch in the Capitol. Instigated getting this put into the Congressional Record and had them printed up and sent to the Fellas (see enclosed).

Just saw them again yesterday at the AUSA Convention. Great people.

Link:
http://frwebgate4.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/PDFgate.cgi?WAISdocID=933825115279+6+2+0&WAISaction=retrieve

Knight
10-08-2009, 07:19
Picked up a magazine at the grocery store the other day: "The Year In Special Operations" 2009 Edition. First time I have seen it. There is an article in there titled, "Danger Close", about the fight in the Shok Valley. It was written by Patrick Jennings, PH.D. Very good story. God Bless the men of ODA 3336 for their stamina and courage under fire. God Speed Gentlemen!;)

Lan
07-28-2016, 19:44
The story of what happened before, during, and after The Battle of Shok Valley has been re-told by Green Berets Scott Ford and Dillon Behr on an episode of No Man Left Behind titled "To Hell and Back" on National Geographic.

Link to full video (http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/no-man-left-behind/videos/to-hell-and-back/)