Mark Owen: No Easy Day

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Mark Owen No Easy Day
  • Название:
    No Easy Day
  • Автор:
  • Издательство:
    Dutton
  • Жанр:
    nonf_military / Биографии и Мемуары / на английском языке
  • Год:
    2012
  • Город:
    New York
  • Язык:
    Английский
  • ISBN:
    978-0-525-95372-2
  • Рейтинг книги:
    5 / 5
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No Easy Day: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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For the first time anywhere, the first-person account of the planning and execution of the Bin Laden raid from a Navy Seal who confronted the terrorist mastermind and witnessed his final moment From the streets of Iraq to the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips in the Indian Ocean, and from the mountaintops of Afghanistan to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden’s compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group—commonly known as SEAL Team Six — has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines. No Easy Day In , Owen also takes readers onto the field of battle in America’s ongoing War on Terror and details the selection and training process for one of the most elite units in the military. Owen’s story draws on his youth in Alaska and describes the SEALs’ quest to challenge themselves at the highest levels of physical and mental endurance. With boots-on-the-ground detail, Owen describes numerous previously unreported missions that illustrate the life and work of a SEAL and the evolution of the team after the events of September 11. In telling the true story of the SEALs whose talents, skills, experiences, and exceptional sacrifices led to one of the greatest victories in the War on Terror, Mark Owen honors the men who risk everything for our country, and he leaves readers with a deep understanding of the warriors who keep America safe.

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Mark Owen

with Kevin Maurer

THE FIRSTHAND ACCOUNT OF THE MISSION THAT KILLED OSAMA BIN LADEN

NO EASY DAY

The Autobiography of a Navy SEAL

The only easy day was yesterday.

—Navy SEAL Philosophy

Long live the Brotherhood.

AUTHOR’S NOTE

When I was in junior high school in Alaska, we were assigned a book report. We had to pick a book we liked. Moving down the row of books, I stumbled upon Men in Green Faces by former SEAL Gene Wentz. The novel chronicled missions in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. Full of ambushes and firefights, it centered on the hunt for a rogue North Vietnamese colonel.

From page one, I knew I wanted to be a SEAL. The more I read, the more I wanted to see if I could measure up.

In the surf of the Pacific Ocean during training, I found other men just like me: men who feared failure and were driven to be the best. I was privileged to serve with and be inspired by these men every day. Working alongside them made me a better person.

After thirteen consecutive combat deployments, my war is over. This book is closure for that part of my life. Before leaving, I wanted to try and explain what it was that motivated us through the brutal SEAL training course and through a decade of constant deployments.

We are not superheroes, but we all share a common bond in serving something greater than ourselves. It is a brotherhood that ties us together, and that bond is what allows us to willingly walk into harm’s way together.

This is the story of a group of extraordinary men who I was lucky enough to serve alongside as a SEAL from 1998 to 2012. I’ve changed the names of all the characters, including myself, to protect our identities, and this book does not include details of any ongoing missions.

I’ve also taken great pains to protect the tactics, techniques, and procedures used by the teams as they wage a daily battle against terrorists and insurgents around the world. If you are looking for secrets, this is not your book.

Although I am writing this book in an effort to accurately describe real-world events as they occurred, it is important to me that no classified information is released. With the assistance of my publisher, I hired a former Special Operations attorney to review the manuscript to ensure that it was free from mention of forbidden topics and that it cannot be used by sophisticated enemies as a source of sensitive information to compromise or harm the United States. I am confident that the team that has worked with me on this book has both maintained and promoted the security interests of the United States.

When I refer to other military or government organizations, activities, or agencies, I do so in the interest of continuity and normally only if another publication or official unclassified government document has already mentioned that organization’s participation in the mission I’m describing.

I sometimes refer to certain publicly recognized senior military leaders by their true names, only when it is clear that there are no operational security issues involved. In all other cases, I have intentionally depersonalized the stories to maintain the anonymity of the individuals involved. I do not describe any technologies that would compromise the security of the United States.

All of the material contained within this book is derived from unclassified publications and sources; nothing written here is intended to confirm or deny, officially or unofficially, any events described or the activities of any individual, government, or agency. In an effort to protect the nature of specific operations, I sometimes generalize dates, times, and order of events. None of these “work-arounds” affect the accuracy of my recollections or my description of how events unfolded. The operations discussed in this book have been written about in numerous other civilian and government publications and are available in open sources to the general public. These confirming open-source citations are printed in the Confirming Sources list at the end of this book.

The events depicted in No Easy Day are based on my own memory. Conversations have been reconstructed from my recollections. War is chaotic, but I have done my best to ensure the stories in this book are accurate. If there are inaccuracies in it, the responsibility is mine. This book presents my views and does not represent the views of the United States Navy, the U.S. Department of Defense, or anyone else.

In spite of the deliberate measures I have undertaken to protect the national security of the United States and the operational security of the men and women who continue to fight around the world, I believe No Easy Day to be an accurate portrayal of the events it describes and an honest portrayal of life in the SEAL teams and the brotherhood that exists among us. While written in the first person, my experiences are universal, and I’m no better or worse than any man I’ve served with. It was a long, hard decision to write this book, and some in the community will look down on me for doing so.

However, it is time to set the record straight about one of the most important missions in U.S. military history. Lost in the media coverage of the Bin Laden raid is why and how the mission was successful. This book will finally give credit to those who earned it. The mission was a team effort, from the intelligence analysts who found Osama bin Laden to the helicopter pilots who flew us to Abbottabad to the men who assaulted the compound. No one man or woman was more important than another.

No Easy Day is the story of “the guys,” the human toll we pay, and the sacrifices we make to do this dirty job. This book is about a brotherhood that existed long before I joined and will be around long after I am gone.

My hope is one day a young man in junior high school will read it and become a SEAL, or at least live a life bigger than him. If that happens, the book is a success.

Mark Owen

June 22, 2012,

Virginia Beach, Virginia

PROLOGUE

Chalk One

At one minute out, the Black Hawk crew chief slid the door open.

I could just make him out—his night vision goggles covering his eyes—holding up one finger. I glanced around and saw my SEAL teammates calmly passing the sign throughout the helicopter.

The roar of the engine filled the cabin, and it was now impossible to hear anything other than the Black Hawk’s rotors beating the air. The wind buffeted me as I leaned out, scanning the ground below, hoping to steal a glance of the city of Abbottabad.

An hour and a half before, we’d boarded our two MH-60 Black Hawks and lifted off into a moonless night. It was only a short flight from our base in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, to the border with Pakistan, and from there another hour to the target we had been studying on satellite images for weeks.

The cabin was pitch-black except for the lights from the cockpit. I had been wedged against the left door with no room to stretch out. We’d stripped the helicopter of its seats to save on weight, so we either sat on the floor or on small camp chairs purchased at a local sporting goods store before we left.

Now perched on the edge of the cabin, I stretched my legs out the door trying to get the blood flowing. My legs were numb and cramped. Crowded into the cabin around me and in the second helicopter were twenty-three of my teammates from the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, or DEVGRU. I had operated with these men dozens of times before. Some I had known ten years or more. I trusted each one completely.

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