The Chief of Staff of the Army asked
his Sergeant Major, who was both Ranger and Special Forces qualified, which
organization he would recommend to form a new anti-terrorist unit. The Sergeant
Major responded to the General's question with this parable: If there were a
hijacked Boeing 747 being held by terrorists along with its passengers and crew
and an anti-terrorist unit formed either by the Rangers or the Special Forces
was given a Rescue/Recovery Mission; what would you expect to happen?
Forces/Equipment Committed: If the
Rangers went in, they would send a Ranger company of 120 men with standard army
Mission Preparation: The Ranger
Company First Sergeant would conduct a Hair Cut and Boots Inspection, while the
officers consulted SOPs and held sand table exercises.
Infiltration Technique: They would
insist on double timing, in company formation, wearing their combat equipment,
and singing cadence all the way to the site of the hijacked aircraft.
Actions in the Objective Area: Once
they arrived, the Ranger company would establish their ORP, put out security
elements, conduct a leaders recon, reapply their camouflage, and conduct final
preparations for Actions on the OBJ.
Results of Operation: The
Rescue/Recovery Operation would be completed within one hour; all of the
terrorists and most of the passengers would have been killed, the Rangers would
have sustained light casualties and the 747 would be worthless to anyone except
a scrap dealer.
Special Forces Option
Forces/Equipment Committed: If
Special Forces went in, they would send only a 12 man team (all SF units are
divisible by 12 for some arcane historical reason) however, due to the exotic
nature of their equipment the SF Team would cost the same amount to deploy as
the Ranger Company.
Mission Preparation: The SF Team
Sergeant would request relaxe