Raid on Bin Laden Ranks with Entebbe Airport Battle

Posted May 5, 2011 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Events ~ 2,524 views


By Anthony Ventre | In military operations, plans are just as apt to go wrong as right. Desert One and Entebbe are military actions that come to mind as we watch the unfolding aftermath of Osama bin Laden’s sudden end in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Mission to Kill Bin Laden Ranks High

The Joint Special Forces Command raid that targeted and killed bin Laden will rank among the best military actions of its type. In the Abbottabad raid, one of the helicopters bounced in a “vortex” of wind, and hit the ground with more of a crash than a landing. The situation required quick thinking and adjustment to contingency planning.

The commander of the bin Laden assault team ordered a deployment, sweeping the compound, killing defenders, killing bin Laden, grabbing intelligence data, snatching up bin Laden’s body, blowing up the damaged helicopter, getting everyone on board the helicopter(s) and home.

Desert One Debacle

After the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Iranian Revolutionaries seized 52 hostages from the American embassy in Tehran. The weeks dragged into months of unsuccessful negotiations between President Jimmy Carter and the Iranians.

Under intense political pressure, President Carter decided to act on multistepped rescue plan. The operation failed in its first stage — a meet up of helicopters, planes and troops at a desert airstrip in Iran.

The Carter Desert One operation might have made an amusing TV comedy except that eight men died, five helicopters and a C-130 were lost.

The mishaps began when some helicopters were damaged in a desert sandstorm. Then one of the helicopters crashed into a grounded C-130 loaded with fuel bladders. The plan was aborted in its first stage.

Israeli Raid at Entebbe Airport, Uganda.

In the 1970s, the hijacking of Air France Flight 139 terrified the world. Marxist German and Palestinian Arab revolutionaries forced the pilot to fly first to Libya and then to Entebbe Airport in Uganda.

Assisted by the Ugandan military, the hijackers released all hostages except for 107 Jewish ones. The hijackers demanded that the Israeli and German government release 52 convicted terrorists in exchange for the hostages.

With only a week of planning, the Israelis sent teams of commandoes over 2000 miles to land in an African country protected by Ugandan soldiers and well-armed terrorists.

One commando team rolled from the bay of a C-130 in a Mercedes-Benz, and two Land Rovers — mimicking the retinue of the Ugandan president.

The team killed approach guards with silencer-equipped weapons, and then engaged in a running gun battle with the terrorists guarding the hostages. In the firefight, all the terrorists were killed, along with several members of the Ugandan Army. Three hostages were killed by stray bullets.

A second commando team, rolling along on armored personnel carriers, went to the other side of the Entebbe airport and destroyed most of the Ugandan Air Force to prevent a pursuit. The 103 rescued Israeli passengers landed safely in a Hercules C-130 in Tel Aviv the next day — the Fourth of July.

The only Israeli commando death was that of Colonel Jonathan Netanyahu, brother of current Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Anthony Ventre is a freelance writer who has written for several weekly and daily newspapers, for Demand Studios, and for AOL Online. He is a former news director for radio station KPEN in Los Altos, Calif. He enjoys news and business writing.

About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.


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