Saturday, October 25, 2008
Operation Urgent Fury
25 years ago today Marines from the 22nd Marine Amphibious unit, Soldiers from 82nd Airborne Division, 75th Ranger Regiment, Delta, and the 160th SOAR Seals from Teams 5and 6, Airman from the 21st TASS landed on Grenada. In addition numerous USN combat ships and USAF AC-130 Gunships supported them.
The invasion occurred on this date after an appeal by the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Jamaica and Barbados that occurred when the former Prime Minister Maurice Bishop was murdered by the ruling military junta. This request was coupled with the fact there were over 700 Cuban soldiers and construction battalion personal along with Soviet, North Korean, East German Bulgarian and Lybian military advisors who were hand in hand with the junta in building an enormous new runway on the island. There were also numerous American college students attending St Georges University.
The invasion started at dawn with a classic airborne assault on the new airport which was followed up by amphibious and heliborne assault by the Marines and special operation forces. The island was secured with minimal casualties . Sir Paul Scoon took over the government and reinstated the constitution and appointed a new government.
Reaction was typical, the lefties in Congress including Louis Stokes and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus condemned the action. Congressman Ted Weiss and other Democrats attempted to impeach Reagan and the useful idiots at the UN voted also to condemn the invasion.
Valuable lesson were learned included the need for better intelligence in both gathering and dissemination, better communication gear and the need for more interoperability among the different branches of the armed forces. The lessons learned directly lead to the formation of US Special Operations Command.