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Word Count: 1,091
It was early on Sunday morning Oct 3 1993 Most Americans were relaxing in the comfort of our homes enjoying the weekend and preparing for religious services later that morning Half way around the world though some Americans were not relaxing All hell was breaking loose in the streets of Mogadishu Somalia as US Military forces were engaged in one of the most intensive and costly firefights since the Vietnam War By the end of the day eighteen Americans would lie dead and eighty more would be wounded This event on that day still puzzles US global policy planners and has had lasting effects on our cautious foreign military policy towards Serbia Kosovo and Bosnia It was mid afternoon in Somalia a helicopter assault force of 17 choppers which included about 75 US Army Rangers and 40 US Army Delta Force the nations elite commando unit were awaiting the code word to launch which was Irene Idling also at the airport was a ground convoy of 12 vehicles with soldiers who would ride three miles to the target building and escort Somali prisoners and the assault team back to base They were to descend on a gathering of Habr Gidr clan leaders in the heart of Mogadishu This ragtag clan led by warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid had challenged the United States of America The targets that afternoon were two top Aidid lieutenants Delta Force would storm the target house and capture them Then four helicopter loads of Rangers would fastrope down to all four corners of the target block and form a perimeter No one would be allowed in or out It was 332 pm when the lead Blackhawk pilot Chief Warrant Officer Michael Durant announced F-ing Irene The roar of the revving engines made the earth tremble The Rangers were eager for action Loaded with grenades and ammo gripping their weapons their hearts began to race
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