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December 29, 2002 | David Zucchino, Times Staff Writer
With machine guns rocking in their turrets, a convoy of Special Forces soldiers plowed into this mountain town in pursuit of enemy fighters one cold winter afternoon. What they found instead was a knot of rumors and contradictions. The local police intelligence chief, squatting on the dirt floor of his compound, told the Americans intriguing tales of armed Taliban and Al Qaeda supporters massed in a nearby valley. The soldiers braced for battle.
October 10, 2010 | By Aimal Yaqubi and Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times
A British aid worker was killed by her captors after a failed rescue attempt by NATO forces in eastern Afghanistan, the British government said Saturday. Linda Norgrove, 36, was taken hostage along with three of her Afghan co-workers in an ambush two weeks ago while visiting a project in Kunar province along the border with Pakistan. Her colleagues had already been released. The British government gave few details on the Friday night rescue attempt, a former United Nations worker who headed a $150-million project attempting to strengthen local economies for the U.S. aid group Development Alternatives Inc. NATO allies received a tip on Norgrove's whereabouts, and a decision was reportedly reached that her best chance, given the danger she faced, was to send in U.S. special forces.
Faces painted black, Israeli soldiers crept into this hillside Palestinian village in the middle of the night. At one house, they did battle with an Islamic militant wanted in the 1998 killing of two Jews, shooting him to death as his gun blazed. Over the next 12 hours, they rounded up 45 villagers, strip-searched men and boys and confiscated a handful of weapons.
February 3, 2003 | Benedict Carey, Times Staff Writer
During a routine military training exercise some years ago, two skydivers collided about 1,000 feet above the desert floor east of San Diego. One of the parachutes shuddered, and held. The other one collapsed, sending a Navy commando named Mark Divine into free fall. In the next few moments, which promised to be his last, Divine's training took over. He worked his parachute lines up and down, to try to catch air.
March 22, 2003 | From Staff and Wire Reports
Col. Edson Raff, who bucked higher-ups in the Army to outfit Special Forces units with what would become their trademark green berets, died March 11 in Garnett, Kan. He was 95. Raff came up with the distinctive beret in 1954 as a way to boost the flagging morale of a Special Forces unit of which he had been given command. Officers of the 77th Special Forces Group at Ft. Bragg, N.C., adopted the beret and picked a green color similar to that of British Royal Marine commandos.
January 21, 2011 | By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
South Korean special forces launched a dramatic high-seas rescue of 21 seamen hijacked by pirates last week aboard their South Korean-operated freighter in a top-secret operation that killed eight Somali abductors, officials here announced Friday. The skipper of the South Korea chemical carrier Samho Jewelry was also shot in the stomach during the melee in the Arabian Sea but his wounds were not life-threatening, officials said. Five pirates were captured in the predawn military raid.
Although retired Army Col. Aaron Bank never completed his most important mission--a top secret 1945 assignment to kidnap Adolf Hitler in Austria--today the 94-year-old founder of the famed Green Berets is still a hero among members of the Army Special Forces Command. "Col. Bank is the father of the Special Forces," said Carol Jones, a spokeswoman for the Army Special Operations Command at Ft. Bragg, N.C. "He is the cornerstone of our Special Forces heritage."
October 13, 2002 | From Associated Press
Faced with a critical shortage of native Arabic speakers, the Army is considering recruiting Middle Easterners into the ranks of its elite Special Forces, defense officials say. The proposal, which would require congressional approval, has not yet been endorsed by top Army leaders or the Pentagon. The Army's interest reflects the seriousness of a problem that looms large in the global war on terrorism: The Special Forces are stretched thin, particularly in Arab linguists.
May 12, 2012 | By Laura King and Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times
KABUL, Afghanistan - In many ways, the two young soldiers were not so different from each other. Each was tough-minded and physically powerful. Each worked hard to win a place in an elite military unit, and spoke with pride of serving his country. They were 25 years old, these two: one newly married, the other planning a wedding this year. Their upbringings were as disparate as their homelands were distant, but religious faith was entwined with the family lives of both.
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