wake of September 11, 2001, the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne),
also known as the Legion, was called upon to play a major role in our
Nation's defense. Within hours of the terrorist attacks, Soldiers from
the Group were deployed in support of the Global War on Terror.
through April 2002, Special Forces Operational Detachments –
Alpha (SFOD-A), or A- teams, from the 5th SFG (A) conducted
Unconventional Warfare against Taliban and Al Qaeda forces.
these Green Beret A-teams have been recognized as "Horse Soldiers" due
to their requirement to advise and assist their Afghan counterparts,
formed under the moniker of the Northern Alliance, while riding
horseback, a form of transport not used in the U.S. military since the
cavalry of old.
In less than
months the 5th SFG (A), a regimental-sized force, effectively destroyed
the popular base of the Taliban government and toppled the
terrorist-sponsoring state of Afghanistan.
Combat Controller, Mike Scorintino
contribution to the American response will be commemorated with a
statue near Ground Zero in Manhattan, complete with a parade to its
During the 2011
Veterans Day Parade on November 11, a new
monument to these men — and to all Americans in uniform
— will make its way down New York City’s famed
Fifth Avenue on the way to its final home, a stone’s throw
from Ground Zero.
Military men and women, along with New York City
firefighters, policemen, emergency responders and other marchers,
50,000 in all, will escort the monument on its televised journey. The
spectacle will feature members of the three original Special Operations
teams — some on horseback, others walking alongside surviving
spouses of fallen heroes.
sounds like a movie script, well, it shortly will be: Retired
Army general and current CIA director David Petraeus
will be among the parade marshals. Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer
is producing a future movie about America’s “Horse
Their Air Force Combat Controller
— Master Sgt. Bart Decker, now retired — radioed
for airstrikes, calling in bombing coordinates to a female navigator on
an AC-130 gunship nicknamed “the Angel of Death.”
warlord we were advising heard her on my radio and broadcast to the
enemy: ‘Female up in this airplane is wreaking havoc on
you,’ ” Sgt. Decker recalled.
“That’s an insult, obviously, to the Taliban, who used to beat down their
statue, a 16-foot-tall bronze of a Special Forces soldier on horseback,
may wind up in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan once the protesters
camped there depart. But for now, it is bound for a temporary spot in a
building a block from the World Trade Center site.
“De Oppresso Liber,” a motto of the Army Special
Forces, the statue memorializes the soldiers who rode into battle in
Afghanistan after 9/11. Sculptured by Douwe Blumberg, it now belongs to
the United War Veterans Council, the organization that manages the
$500,000 to build the statue was raised from wealthy private donors,
but the sponsors have not yet found a final resting place for the
making its public debut riding on a float up Fifth Avenue, it will be
hauled to Battery Park City. It is to be dedicated Friday night by Vice
President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Lt. Gen. John Mulholland in the
Winter Garden of the World Financial Center.
there, it will go to a lobby of 1 World Financial Center, a building
owned by Brookfield Office Properties, the company that owns Zuccotti
Park. Brookfield had considered placing the statue in the park, before
the Occupy Wall Street crowd descended on that plaza in mid-September,
said Bill White, who helped arrange the creation of the statue. But
that idea would have required approval by city officials. Melissa
Coley, a spokeswoman for Brookfield, said, “We’re
pleased to provide a temporary home” for the statue.
White said the statue’s sponsors hoped it would eventually
reside at the World Trade Center, but Patrick Foye, the executive
director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said no
decision had been made. Mr. Foye, who helped clear the way for the
statue to travel to the Winter Garden, said that because it
“memorializes the sacrifices of a lot of people after the
attack on the trade center, a downtown location would be
possibility we’d be happy to entertain,” he added.
Task Force Dagger Memorialized in Stone
Thursday, November 14, 2013 6:00 pm by
Staff Sgt. Marcus Butler, U.S.Army Special Forces Command
BRAGG, N.C. – Family, friends, and Soldiers both past and
present, gathered at Meadows Memorial Plaza, Nov. 7, to commemorate the
sacrifice, patriotism, and heroism of the service members of Task Force
Dagger, during a memorial stone dedication ceremony.
It is because of the
actions of the men of Task Force Dagger in Afghanistan from October
2001 to April 2002, which led to the fall of a terrorist government in
Central Asia and eviction of al Qaeda leadership from Afghanistan, that
they are being memorialized in stone.
“I would like
to thank each and every one of you who made it out here today to honor
this great event in honor of some great men,” said Lt. Gen. John
F. Mulholland, deputy commanding general, U.S. Special Operations
Command. “This day, the men of Task Force Dagger are truly
walking in the footsteps of giants as we are recognized with the other
members of Special Operation Forces in this memorial plaza.”
Soon after the
terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Task Force Dagger was directed to
conduct Special Operations missions in support of a number of Northern
Alliance commanders in Afghanistan, and to work with them to gain their
active assistance in overthrowing the Taliban regime.
“As we rolled
that task into one machine it was absolutely phenomenal. All of our
joint brothers-in-arms were absolutely amazing,” said Mulholland.
chronologically described each and every moment of emphasis that
changed the outcome of the task force and the importance of each of
them. One point made was that of the role of the Families.
“We are 12
years into this and we have a very solid process and great support.
But, that was not the way it was when we had our first casualties
– it was all starting from scratch,” said Mulholland.
“The ladies of 5th Special Forces Group had to figure that out,
all of whom were exceptional, and figured it out is just what they did.
For the exceptional job that they accomplished, I would like to say
“This day is
about the commemoration of Task Force Dagger. This represents our place
in history. We have extraordinary men who took on our Nation’s
most difficult and dangerous enemies,” said Mulholland. “It
was the men on those alpha-teams and their interagency counterparts
figuring it out on the ground – guiding us, informing us, and
letting us shape and bring things together when we saw
For its actions,
Task Force Dagger earned the Joint Meritorious Unit Award while its
subordinate units earned six Presidential Unit Citations and four
Valorous Unit Awards.
“The Nation is
truly in debt to these men, to 5th Special Forces Group, and the Night
Stalkers who flew incredibly perilous missions; to our AFSOC [Air Force
Special Operations Command] brothers in the fixed wing world, Combat
Controllers, Para Jumpers and weathermen, and all of this coming
together with our interagency partners to get the job done on behalf of
our country,” said Mulholland. “If there is one strategic
lesson to take away from this is when the United States brings all of
the elements and capability powers together there is nothing that can
stop us – nothing can stand in our way.”