USSF Military Free Fall team makes own history
By ODA 074 Team Members and Capt. Karla S. Owen, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Public Affairs
FORT CARSON, Colo. (Sine Pari, Aug. 22, 2008) - It was the early morning hours of May 30, 2007, as the 11-man Special Forces team crept silently through their targetís village. They had achieved total surprise after conducting the first ever combat standoff military freefall insertion of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Every person in the village was sound asleep.
The team, Operational Detachment Ė Alpha 074, Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), jumped into the Ninewah Province, north of the Iraqi Sinjar Mountain, with the intent to capture a suspected terrorist with ties to trafficking counterfeit U.S. currency. They also had plans to disrupt a criminal network supporting the movement and funding of foreign fighters, weapons and equipment funneled into Iraq.
The mission was designed to take the enemy completely by surprise, which is exactly what it did, said Master Sgt. John D. Addlemen, the ODA 074 team sergeant.
Even in the early planning stages, Addlemen and his team had a large obstacle to overcome. The suspected terrorists his team was after had implemented a robust early warning network, taking advantage of their remote location, and thus giving them the ability to escape or destroy evidence within minutes. The root of the problem was penetrating that network.
The proposed solution was a stealthy infiltration which would deny the enemies the opportunity to escape or tamper with evidence. This prompted the teamís leadership to regard military freefall, or MFF, as the best option in overcoming the early warning system. A joint U.S.-Iraqi quick reaction force would provide ground assault support for the jump team.