The U.S. nabbed the Al Qaeda leader believed to be behind the 1998 embassy attacks in Africa on Saturday.
On the same day, a Navy SEAL team raided a house full of Al-Shabab militants two weeks after the terror group’s deadly attack on a Nairobi shopping mall.
We think it’s safe to say that America’s elite — the Navy SEALs — have been keeping busy.
Thanks to Matt Bissonette, a SEAL that was on the Bin Laden raid and wrote the book No Easy Day, we know what they likely brought with them.
In his book, he details getting ready for deployment in Norfolk, Va., when he asks a more experienced SEAL what he should bring. The senior SEAL stopped, looked at his new teammate and said: “Dude, what do you think you need to bring for deployment? Load it … Bring what you think you need.”
The following list is what Bissonnette said, in the book, he needed.
Night Vision Goggles are integral to a SEAL's night assault tactics. Being able to see when your enemy cannot is a huge advantage.
Unfortunately, none of us can get our hands on Navy SEAL NVG's, but we can buy declassified, older technology.
If you do buy a pair, just don't try to leave the country with them -- we've heard customs doesn't take kindly to transferring such equipment across national borders.
In the raid on the Al-Shabab compound, it's been reported the SEALs were using suppressed weapons before a firefight broke out.
Suppressors -- commonly referred to as 'silencers' -- generally sacrifice a little muzzle velocity and power for a more quiet kill.
They reduce the exit of gasses and the flash from the muzzle. Silencer is a misnomer -- They're not totally silent, but nonetheless Bissonnette makes several references to killing sleeping Taliban fighters without waking up the guys in the next room.
Suppressors and 'mufflers' for cars were not only designed at the same time, but based off the same principle.
Heckler and Koch (HK) is the the preferred manufacturer of Matt Bissonnette's weapons; they are the Rolls Royce of assault rifles.
Plan to part with about $US4,000 for one of these, and another $US3,000 for a customisation kit.
A small price to pay though for looking super cool and making all of your friends jealous.
Again, Heckler and Koch manufactures some of the best in the biz.
The 45 Calibre Compact (M45C) weighs less than 2 lbs. with the magazine, which carries 10 rounds of 45 ACP ammunition. Small, light, and reliable.
The 45 already has a reliable amount of stopping power, but if you couple it with hollow point shells, well ... two hits -- round hitting perpetrator, perp hitting ground.
The M79 Grenade Launcher is a 'one-and-done' reloader which lobs live grenades at the enemy in a distinctive arc
The 'Pirate Gun' or 'Thumper' -- Matt Bissonnette details a tool SEALs use called the M79 Grenade Launcher, customised with a shorter barrel and a old-school stock, making it look like something Captain Hook would use.
Grenades from the M79 come in all different flavours:
- Flachette (little missiles that look like nails)
Anyone familiar with using a scope -- they're popular among hunters -- knows that scopes need to be meticulously maintained and calibrated.
The slightest bump against a tree, rock, or car door, will throw off the 'zero' of the sight, leaving the shooter to use 'Kentucky Windage,' to land rounds on target.
Kentucky Windage is when a shooter knows his sight is low, so he'll put the crosshairs above where he wants to land his shot.
The M67 hand grenade has a kill radius of 5 meters (15 feet) and a casualty radius of 15 meters (45 feet), but can send pieces of piping hot metal as far as 250 feet.
Oftentimes, it isn't fragmentation that kills the enemy, but the rapid expansion of air pressure.
For example, thrown in a room, enemies might be able to hide from the blast, but the rapid compression of air through the ears will cause massive, instantaneous brain damage.
Marines and soldiers on the ground carry the Multipurpose Bayonet; a six inch blade with a hoop on the hilt that allows for troops to affix the blade to their rifles, a technique which seems a little outdated.
Navy SEALs ditch the general issue and grab Daniel Winkler fixed-blade weapons. Again, the Rolls Royce of blades.
Winkler is most famous for producing the blades used in the movie 'Last of the Mohicans.'
(No wonder they decided to call Osama Bin Laden 'Geronimo.')
Bolt cutters come in many shapes and sizes, but if I had to guess, I think SEALs would probably use something along the lines of the ULine 36 inch variety.
Matt says he had them stuffed in a bag attached to his back, and he was able to reach them kind of like a sword, from over his shoulder.
Also, the 3-foot version has the sort of leverage a SEAL would need to quickly cut through a master lock or thick fencing.
This is obviously a custom breaching charge, and these guys are obviously not under any duress whatsoever.
SEALs probably carry small pieces of customised detonation cord, that they can wrap around a doorknob or around the frame of a door.
Fuses, more often that not, are the 'smoke' pull-fuses and are probably timed out to anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds depending on the size of the charge.
You can pick one of these up at Best Buy for one-hundred-bucks, but SEALs in all likelihood get these in general issue.
The cameras are small, durable, and can fit inside the shoulder pocket. More importantly, they can take hundreds of high resolution photos in a matter of minutes.
Documents, reconnaissance, even pictures of dead enemies.
Capable of pulling metal out of flesh, or customising improvisational weapons, all purpose tools are every soldier's sidekick.
Kind of like a Swiss Army Knife that doubles as a set of pliers, wire cutters, and wire strippers. Generally, soldiers either get these issued or buy higher-grade versions themselves. And, just as generally, many of them never use the tools except to open those pesky Meals Ready to Eat out in the field.
Regardless, they come in handy.
Two tourniquets, because everybody has two femoral arteries, and it only takes severing one to die on the battlefield
Tourniquets are cheap, and can be attached straight to body armour.
Troops are so well-trained in the use of tourniquets that many apply their own before a corpsman or medic can even reach them.
On the battlefield years ago, soldiers would only use them in the worst cases; cutting off the blood to a limb has dire consequences after a few hours.
But leaps in Medevac capabilities have led troops to rely on tourniquets as the surest way to stop bleeding. Medical advances have also extended the amount of time an injured soldier can leave one on -- surgeons can save limbs after upward of 8 hours cut off from blood flow.
And finally -- water. No SEAL will leave the wire without ample supplies because they never know how long they may be away from the base
Usually they'll carry what's called a 'Camelback,' which is a bladder-like water carrier often seen strapped to soldiers' backs.
Lately though, troops have been carrying hard plastic water bottles, because the rigors of combat have been damaging the soft-skinned camelbacks.
Generally SEALs stick to the camelbacks because the water bottles make noise - 'Swift, Silent, Deadly,' it's a Marine Recon motto, but I think the SEALs would agree.
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