The same thing happened to 5th Green Berets and some British Special Boat Service pipe hitters on the first night of the war; both were hit and both retreated. The terrain grew more treacherous as they neared the dam, with barren desert giving way to scrub-covered hills and dry wadis (gravel streambeds). In the course of the hour-long firefight, the Rangers killed or wounded several guards, and forced five to surrender.10, During the clash, two of the wounded Iraqis jumped the concrete barrier and tried to escape down the steep embankment. But the Iraqi forces at Haditha Dam were defeated by then. On our route back we stopped again in the vicinity of Haditha dam and conducted a 21-Gun Salute in Georges honor. down I could see that I had been hit, but that the round had hit the last chance plate on the back of my body armor. The cost of the line was US$56.7 million and was paid by Iraq's oil revenues. Brad Thompson ordered the platoon to regroup before renewing the assault. George was hit in the side where he had no plate, and an Air Force CCT man was hit in the jaw. Located northwest of Baghdad, the dam was built during the Cold War to provide hydroelectric power for central Iraq, including Baghdad. The Battle of Haditha Dam took place in 2003. Actors would then improvise much of the dialogue based on director. I thought about the Ranger creed and all the other guys on the dam, and slowly started getting back in the fight. CPT Doyle soon figured out that his mission was expanding by the minute, because at the DLS his company was supplemented by a platoon from C Company and attachments from 3rd Battalions tactical operations center (TOC) II: an Air Force enlisted terminal attack controller (ETAC), a physician assistant (PA), the Command Sergeant Major (CSM), and the battalions executive officer (XO). A Battle for Haditha Dam Episode aired Jan 24, 2016 YOUR RATING Rate Drama Iraq 2003: A group of U.S. Army Rangers fights to take control of Haditha Dam when they realize they are outnumbered. Rangers have put up their own welcome sign to follow-on forces. However, the Rangers proved their effectiveness as a strike force by fighting and winning a fierce week-long battle to prevent any such strategic delay, or humanitarian or environmental disaster. By April 6, 2003, reinforcements, including a brace of Abrams main battle tanks, began to arrive. RLTW! The battle started on 24 March 2003 when Rangers from 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, conducted a combat parachute drop onto H-1 Air Base, securing the site as a staging area for operations in the west. Bonaparte the Bookworm Napoleon Was An Avid Reader; So What Were His Favourite Books? positions. By the end of their deploymentafter 23 of their ranks had died and 177 having sustained serious woundsAQI forces in the area were finally defeated. A hidden battery of Iraqi 155 mm howitzers also pounded the beleaguered Rangers for hours, prompting brief memories of the artillery barrages of World War I. Chief came to be friends with the Fire Support Officer (FSO) of Company A, Captain Russ Rippetoe, in the time they spent working together to bring effective fire support to the Rangers. The numbers in that fight were calculated out to be 1:22. The explosion had sent an artillery fragment into SPC Jeremy Feldbuschs face, penetrating the right orbital lobe. The assault went as planned, with the Rangers quickly securing the dam and setting blocking positions on the east and west entries of the structure, while Delta operators breached the facility to clear any explosive devices that Iraqis might have planted. Combined with Company As seizure of the Ramadi Highway Bridge to the south, the Rangers had taken control of all the Euphrates River crossings of importance in western Iraq. Called the Ramadan Offensive, it was more of a call-to-arms than a well coordinated military campaign. In Haditha, the center of gravity of the battalions fight, Echo Company worked hand-in-hand with Farouk and his fledgling police force. stay. The pace of the combat was surprising. Mo reported that all was quiet at the dam, sounding like he had not slept in a hot minute. Regrettably, another artillery round did explode, this time directly on a Ranger mortar position.17, SFC Lauder raced to the impact area with medics and his driver. What You Need To Know About The HADITHA DAM And The FALLEN WoodwardTV 467K subscribers Subscribe 152K views 3 years ago What lies beneath the Haditha Dam in Iraq? [My] Rangers learned that they could survive under constant enemy direct and indirect fire if they used their training and listened to their leaders. On that first day alone, the three Little Birds expended an astounding 231 rockets, 66,000 rounds of 7.62 mm mini-gun ammunition, and 8,000 rounds of .50-caliber ammunition. RecPak is a meal replacement for the outdoors that saves you weight, space and time in the most challenging environments, just add water. Later the Rangers captured an Iraqi forward observer dressed as a civilian after sinking his kayak with .50 caliber machine gun fire, the observer had maps of all of the Rangers positions in and around the dam. With permission granted, Birch and Duncan sprinted down the hill, under antiaircraft artillery fire (firing in a direct fire mode) from the south. In 2005, in response to a U.S. and coalition attempt to establish order in the area, AQI decapitated a number of local Iraqi police officers and members of their families, placing their victims heads atop stakes at major intersections in the city of Haditha. Sergeant First Class James Lauder (pseudonym), B Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, interview by David Jenkins, 23 October 2003, Fort Benning, GA, tape recording, USASOC History Office Classified Files, Fort Bragg, NC. 2nd Platoon took the time to fortify its positions on the east side of the dam. . The Iraqis counterattacked with infantry, tanks, and artillery, pressuring the Rangers to their limits. Language links are at the top of the page across from the title. Two nights later we headed east toward Tikrit traveling longer than we should have into dawn, passing a Bedouine camp in the process. Captain David Doyle, B Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, interview by David Jenkins, 23 October 2003, Fort Benning, GA, tape recording, USASOC History Office Classified Files, Fort Bragg, NC. Before the invasion, US planners feared that Saddam might intentionally destroy the dam and flood the area in order to protect Baghdad's northwestern flank from Coalition forces. The three Iraqis were similarly dealt with. Dividing 2nd Platoon into two elements, 1LT White led one section toward the western administrative tower, and his platoon sergeant, Sergeant First Class (SFC) Jeffrey Duncan, led the other eastward across the causeway. Later, the Iraqis tried to infiltrate some personnel near the bridge in a kayak and several small boats, which were promptly sunk. Despite their gains, tragedy would continue to befall the battalion, including the loss of their operations officer, who was key to the Three Bs plan in a helicopter accident. Feb 29. While 2nd Platoon began its assault, 3rd Platoon focused on seizing Objective Cobalt, which consisted of an entry control point to the power station, the power station itself, and the transformer yard south of the earthen dam. They were augmented with a Delta Force sniper/reconnaissance team from C Squadron, while the elite pilots of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, the "Night Stalkers," would provide air support. Constantly on coalition planners' minds were the "scorched earth" tactics employed by Saddam Hussein during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. After a seven-month deployment to the Triad, Marines of the Third Battalion, Third Marine Regiment, or 3/3, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Norman Norm Cooling, began preparing to return to their home base at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Soon after 1st Platoons firefight, CPT Doyle repositioned his troops and prepared for the next phase of the once-uncomplicated mission. Insurgents have tried many times to attack, seize, and/or destroy both the Haditha Dam and Ramadi Bridge. He is an author, researcher, game designer, photographer, 2023 Defense Media Network. Drama History War An investigation of the massacre of 24 men, women and children in Haditha, Iraq allegedly shot by 4 U.S. Marines in retaliation for the death of a U.S. Marine killed by a roadside bomb. Mideast Water Wars: In Iraq, A Battle for Control of Water Conflicts over water have long haunted the Middle East. Summary of all of the indirect fire engagements during the seven days at Haditha Dam. THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING VETERAN JOURNALISM - JOIN SOFREP+ . The Rangers rapidly reduced the distance between vehicles, and raced toward the objective at sixty kilometers per hour. His lines of communication back to H-1 were open, he was getting regular replenishment of ammunition and other supplies, and his casualties and POWs were being promptly evacuated. They are hardly targets of no significance. While the hindsight of bystanders is always 20/20, the crucible of battle makes the situation at the moment of truth far less certain for those in the fight. The Rangers accepted the Iraqis surrender, but left them in the bunker, unarmed and flex-cuffed; the platoon did not have the manpower or time to guard them.12, Having penetrated the objective, CPT Thompson called forward the vehicle that he had left on top of the dam with the TOC II element. 7K views 2 months ago #TheWarfighters Iraq 2003: A group of U.S. Army Rangers fights to seize control of Haditha Dam--a strategically key location in Operation Iraqi Freedom--when they realize. *Lighting a path to truth* Former Navy JAG Worldwide U.S. Military Defense. Unable to access the area from the top of the dam, CPT Taylor directed his men to reverse course and head back through 1st Platoons blocking position. The movie follows the story of the Marines of Kilo Company, an Iraqi family, and the insurgents who plant the roadside bomb. At H1, medical personnel transferred Feldbusch to a Forward Surgical Team for emergency care.19 SPC Feldbusch eventually received a Purple Heart for his injuries, and a Bronze Star for valor.20, The artillery attack seemed to be a turning point in the battle for Hadithah Dam. Securing it was one of the first objectives of US special forces . All of this was further augmented with personal ID badges for friendly civilians. However, when the Iraqis shot at the lead vehicle and then dove into a bunker, the Rangers concluded that these particular armed individuals were, indeed, hostile. Chief Greg Coker coordinated a Blackhawk helicopter to retrieve the bodies of the three deceased Rangers. The destruction of the dam would have significantly affected the functioning of the country's electrical grid and could cause major flooding downstream from the dam. This corridor proved critical to al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) throughout the war. Unbeknownst to the Marines, AQI had filled the girls bag with hand grenades and had instructed her to press a detonator button when she passed close to the Marines. 616K views 1 year ago #TheWarfighters Iraq 2003: A group of U.S. Army Rangers fights to seize control of Haditha Dam - a key location in Operation Iraqi Freedom - when they realize they are. Unfortunately, the mortars were replaced by 152 millimeter heavy artillery from the southwest. All day on 1 April, groups of fifty to one-hundred Iraqi soldiers engaged in "human wave" style attacks on 3rd Company, only to be destroyed by the two Ranger 120mm mortars and small arms fire, as well as U.S. Air Force airstrikes. Already tired from almost two weeks of continuous operations, and fully exposed to the elements and noise of the barrage, some of the young Rangers began to fall victim. Since they did not have counterbattery radar, observers had to visually pick up mortar sites, observation posts, and artillery pieces one at a time, and guide airstrikes to take them out. Stavros Atlamazoglou is a defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. SPC Alan floored the gas pedal and drove out of the kill zone on four flat tires. After several coordination delays, the Rangers ultimately moved out at 2240, two hours later than planned. Soon after daybreak, the Rangers from the 3rd Company on the western side of the dam started taking RPG fire where Staff Sergeant Ronnie Jones, a Ranger sniper killed three Iraqi soldiers equipped with RPGs. Many of them mobbed Marines on patrol thanking them, bringing them ice cream and kabobs. Rangers conducted a rare combat jump on Serpent and captured it, allowing the rest of the force to be transported in and letting the Night Stalkers use it as a forward arming and refueling point. Delta Force recce operators drove through Iraqi lines around the Haditha Dam on customised ATVs, marking targets for Coalition airstrikes resulting in the eventual destruction of a large number of Iraqi armored vehicles and antiaircraft systems. Led by Staff Sgt. Weapons or Whiskey Company, re-tasked to function like an infantry line company, went to a number of locations throughout the desert south of Haditha, but spent most of their time at the small village of Albu Hyatt. The Battle of Haditha was a battle fought between U.S. forces and Ansar al-Sunna in early August 2005 on the outskirts of the town of Haditha, Iraq, which was one of the many towns that were under insurgent control in the Euphrates River valley during 2005. A Battle For Haditha Dam Buy TV-14 CC The Warfighters 164M subscribers Subscribe 37 The Warfighters S1 E3 Iraq 2003: A group of U.S. Army Rangers fights to seize control of Haditha Dam a. Since the 2003 invasion, various U.S. Marine units had been stationed at the dam, as well as a small detachment of soldiers from Azerbaijan. The Battle of Haditha Dam: Mowing Iraqis down like bowling pins. Toughness aside, Doyles Rangers were also being proactive, helping beat back the Iraqi barrage. The Premier Online Military History Magazine. Three Ranger platoons seized the dam's administrative buildings with after initially heavy opposition, while a pair of AH-6 little birds orbited overhead providing close air support to the Rangers. They kept up the fight, however, on all fronts. For Christmas they dressed up as Santas and elves gave toys. Company B, along with Mo, was still on the dam holding out as best they could, all the while waiting for long-overdue relief. Combat stress trauma is hardly a new phenomenon. With a replacement flight of Little Birds providing reconnaissance, the Rangers breached the final barrier, racing to reach the dam before daylight broke. Destruction of the dam would have significantly affected the functioning of the country's electrical grid and could cause major flooding downstream from the dam. When the hawk landed at the FARP, Objective Serpent, Chief and another Ranger unloaded the bodies of the three men and then wept for the loss. Learn how and when to remove this template message, "The Haditha Dam Seizure - The Target - Defense Media Network", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Battle_of_Haditha_Dam&oldid=1107643320, Articles needing additional references from August 2017, All articles needing additional references, Pages using military navigation subgroups without wide style, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0, This page was last edited on 31 August 2022, at 02:47. Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you're on the go. The Rangers seizure of Hadithah Dam was crucial in the early stages of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Another mortar team, firing from a small island, was engaged and silenced by a Ranger Javelin team. The Delta operators conducted reconnaissance of the dam before the main assault. The bomb obliterated the attackers, and shattered every window in the dam complex. The senior employee of the group expedited the search for demolitions by guiding a squad to key locations within the facility. U.S. Army photo. Amazingly, none of the Rangers was hit. W hen militants in Iraq made their . P.S., The cartoon I made in honor of Chief Greg Coker made it to T-Shirts at SOFREP (Geos Winchester) pretty slick! Again the man indicated to his wife and the need for water. Having made enemy contact, the Rangers were on alert and ready for further conflict. The Rangers were beginning to flag from the grueling work when they made an adrenaline-producing discovery.7, On the sixth floor, the Rangers found twenty-five startled civilian dam workers. During the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, most Coalition troops entered the country from the south. However, it took the Rangers many hours to clear the dam complex due to its huge size and the hundreds of rooms it contained. The choppers carried so much ammunition that they could barely hover and had to be constantly moving to keep from crashing. The Rangers pushed it the final fifty meters to safety. The road blocks came under sporadic mortar and rocket fire, resulting in the AH-6 helicopters flying multiple gun runs to silence the Iraqi mortar and rocket positions. RLTW NSDQ Sine Pari By Almighty God, with honor, and. While several of the four Ranger casualties had been serious, helicopters from the 160th SOAR (some flying in broad daylight) had successfully evacuated them back to safety. Platoon sergeant SFC Roger Sherry (pseudonym) spotted an Iraqi peeking from behind the gatehouse, but he was quickly captured. Chief Greg Gravy Coker, Night Stalkers, 75th Rangers, and Delta Force held off a vastly superior force of Iraqi Republican Guard and Fedayeen fighters for seven days. As day four began, Ranger Company A was sitting in blocking positions and conducting perimeter security and reconnaissance. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ed Darak is the author of The Warriors of Anbar. Over the course of the next few days, mortar and artillery fire steadily decreased. Tony knew Chief had his back with his six-guns. Weather, including sandstorms, began reducing visibility and interfering with the Night Stalkers' flying, but on the third day, an MH-47 Chinook helicopter braved enemy fire and resupplied the Rangers, who were approaching 72 hours under fire on what was planned as a 24-hour operation. Russ was there with the Rangers when a car pulled up several meters from the barricade. What to know. The 2nd Squad Rangers repositioned their vehicles on the north side of the road and responded to the enemy fire with MK19 grenade launchers and heavy weapons of their own. That night the enemy closed to within two hundred meters of 2nd Platoons positions, pinning down the Rangers with RPGs. You must become a subscriber or login to view or post comments on this article. Big-hearted Russ The Rangers at the barricade immediately opened fire on the vehicle behind the one that had just detonated; it too went up in a massive explosion another VBIED! Based on their Afghanistan experience, the Rangers knew that a guy with a weapon did not actually indicate combatant status; everyone carried weapons, both militia and civilians. This new line, stretching over a distance of 223 kilometres (139mi) with 504 towers, has a capacity of 400 kV and allows 350 MW from the Haditha Dam to be added to the national electrical grid. Within minutes, an A-10 rolled in and dropped a two thousand pound bomb just three hundred meters from 2nd Platoons location. Flying in broad daylight, the flight arrived at the dam less than an hour after Feldbusch went down. The invasion of Iraq in March 2003 was marked by a shock-and-awe campaign that showcased the undisputed conventional might of the US military. Destruction of the dam would have significantly affected the functioning of the country's electrical grid and could cause major flooding downstream from the dam. Battle For Haditha - November 19th 2005, Haditha, Iraq Iraqi insurgents bomb a convoy of US Marines, resulting in the death of their most popular officer. The biggest test of those Ranger qualities began late on April 2, when the first of over 350 Iraqi 155 mm artillery shells began to land around the dam complex. Pilots and crew also fired 6,000 rounds of 5.56 mm ammunition from their personal M-4 rifles and dropped 90 M-67 fragmentation grenades, making four runs to rearm and refuel. The ensuing four-day battle was the single largest engagement of the entire war, with 22 Iraqi troops engaged for each US commando present. During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, United States Army Rangers seized the Haditha Dam on 1 April in order to prevent it from being destroyed. US commanders chose the Rangers of B Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment to take the dam. A Guard F-16 that was Winchester showed up and kept making faux gun runs on the enemy which really helped to hold them at bay. On April 5, no artillery was fired at the Rangers, and they began expand their perimeter from their original blocking positions. By Almighty God, with honor, and on behalf of CWO4 Gregory Gravy Coker, Praesidus brings homage to the military watch tradition. s01e03 - A Battle for Haditha Dam Transcript detail There is no going back to the person that I was before Haditha Dam. The medics bandaged Feldbuschs face and carried him to the truck, avoiding impacting artillery rounds all the way. Its hardly surprising that the 75th Rangers were awarded the Valorous Unit Award, along with five Purple Hearts, four Silver and 26 Bronze Stars, and 71 Army Commendation Medals for the Haditha Dam action. Mar 02. At least, that was the plan.1. Late on the April 1, Doyle was informed that the expected relief forces would be delayed, and he would have to hold until relieved. While clearly facing a tough job, Doyle was not without means to hold on. In less than forty minutes, the flight of three helicopters departed H1 for the dam: an MH-47E Chinook, and two MH-60L Defensive Armed Penetrator Black Hawks. On 30 March, Captain (CPT) David Doyle led B Company, and the attached section of 120 mm heavy mortars, from H1 to a remote desert landing strip (DLS) for refuel on the way to a remain-over-day (ROD) site. Lauder called in Little Bird attack helicopters for additional support. Quickly regaining their composure, the Rangers returned fire and began to call in airstrikes to take out the mortar positions. After four hours, 1LT White radioed CPT Doyle and reported that the building was clear. We sent a hundred guys, and they had like a battalion, so we were outnumbered. The next battalion to occupy the region, the First Battalion of the Third Marine Regiment, didnt suffer a single loss of life. Battle of Haditha Dam: The saga comes to an end. It was a barrage that would last almost 36 hours, and mixed with a steady stream of mortar shells, would strain the Rangers to the breaking point. 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U.S. Army photo. Task Force Merrill January 30, 2016 41min TV-14 Even better, by April 10, USAF C-17s were flying in Civil Affairs and engineering personnel to bring the dams generators back on-line, with the help of the civilian employees captured on April 1. Russ was out on one of A Companys roadblocks set up to keep civilians from wandering onto the dam. John D. Gresham With American forces remaining long after the removal of Saddam Hussein, one of the key tasks was to protect the critical elements of the Iraqi infrastructure, some of which they had helped to secure in the first place. 3rd Battalions mission was to draw the Iraqi Armys attention way from the dam, so that special operations forces could cross and secure the facility. But there was a major Iraqi base, a division-size force, in the town of Haditha that was home to Fedayeen, Republican Guards and Iraq regular army," Coker said. I have spent some time with Iraq veterans and I feel this movie did a very accurate job portraying what they went through. Their mission was to prevent Saddam Hussein and his forces from destroying the dam. As American and coalition forces focused on Baghdad and the nearby cities of Fallujah and Ramadi, AQI would retreat to the relative safety of the Triad to rest, train, regroup and plan new attacks. He said that even if George had been in OR it would have been next to impossible to save him. On 1 April 2003, B Company, 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, stormed the Al-Qadisiyah (Hadithah) Dam complex northwest of Baghdad. Support Veteran Journalism . Early on the night of April 1, the Rangers and Delta Force operators stormed the dam. Dawn brought new conflict on the dam. The bullet-riddled and oil-leaking vehicle finally died just short of 1st Platoons position. The Many Faces of Napoleon Bonaparte -- What did the French Emperor Actually Look Like? In fact, the Thirds time in Haditha would prove to be the single deadliest deployment for a Marine battalion since that of the October, 1983 Beirut barracks bombing that killed 220. As American forces continued to pummel AQI in places like Fallujah and Ramadi, the insurgent survivorsthe most battle-hardened and highly skilled of their ranksabsconded to the Triad. The Battle of Haditha Dam: Mowing Iraqis down like bowling pins. While gathering intelligence about enemy locations and troop strengths, CPT Doyle received a message from Major (MAJ) Kilburn (pseudonym), the battalion XO; at 1400, B Company had received a digitally transmitted fragmentation order to seize Hadithah Dam and prevent its destruction. There was no enemy activity to be sensed, none in the slightest. 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