Category: Stand & Deliver
EXCLUSIVE — U.S. air marshals are planning to stage an open rebellion against the Biden administration over a plan that would strip 99% of commercial flights from federal protection as people take to the skies during the busiest time of the year for air travel .
Dozens of federal air marshals have agreed to refuse a Biden administration order that they leave their assignments and go to the southern border , where they will drive, feed, and care for illegal immigrants due to a shortage of Border Patrol agents.
“The rank and file air marshals are going to refuse to deploy and risk termination,” said David Londo, president of the Air Marshal National Council, in a phone call with the Washington Examiner on Tuesday. “You’re almost going to have a mutiny of a federal agency, which is unheard of.”
The overseeing agency, the Transportation Security Administration, said in a statement provided after deadline that claims that air marshals are doing menial tasks were “entirely inaccurate and does not reflect the critical and professional law enforcement role these officers perform.”
The administration’s order would leave just 1-in-100 U.S. flights with federal agents on board, one-eighth of its normal coverage.
NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS: BORDER PATROL AGENTS FEAR COLLAPSE OF TITLE 42
It is the first time amid the 20-month-long unresolved border crisis that federal employees have formally turned against President Joe Biden and his Senate-confirmed officials at the Department of Homeland Security . The air marshals are willing to risk everything for how the government is risking national security, Londo explained.
“Morale is so destroyed from this,” said Londo, whose organization serves as an association, not a union. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Air marshals would be risking their jobs as inflation rages and the United States potentially heads into a recession.
The air marshals, who are federal law enforcement agents within the Transportation Security Administration’s Federal Air Marshal Service, have been tasked with menial jobs at the border.
Just this week, air marshals pulled from planes and sent to the border were “heating up sandwiches,” driving immigrants in custody to the hospital and waiting inside for hours on hospital watch, and effectively babysitting adults who are already in confined spaces, Londo said.
“These highly skilled [air marshals] are being made to perform mainly non-law enforcement civilian humanitarian duties,” Londo wrote in the letter obtained first by the Washington Examiner.
In mid-2021, the Federal Air Marshal Service asked for volunteers willing to go to the southern border for 30 days and help process the growing number of illegal immigrants in custody. Earlier this month, the government changed course and announced that the deployments would become mandatory.
The air marshals fought the order but only got the length of the deployment dropped from 30 days to 21 days. DHS ordered a minimum of 150 more air marshals to the border on Dec. 7. At present, dozens plan to refuse and are preparing to be fired for taking the stand.
“Air marshals are deployed two to three nights a week. Now they’re taking them away, and their marriages are already on the rocks,” Londo said.
On Monday, the Federal Air Marshal Service’s Miami Field Office announced the deployments would now last indefinitely. Air marshals have already been sent to El Paso, Laredo, and McAllen, Texas; San Diego; and Tucson and Yuma, Arizona.
The council sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas as well as the TSA and Federal Air Marshal Service on Monday, warning them that the order is self-defeating because it makes the skies less safe for people traveling during the busiest time of the year.
“According to the Federal Aviation Administration year to date there have been 2,178 reports of unruly passengers, 767 investigations initiated, and 517 enforcement actions taken. Not to mention the fact there has been two attempted attacks on our homeland since 9-11 during the holiday season,” the letter states. “Your policy has resulted in a complete loss of confidence in Secretary Mayorkas, FAM Director Stevenson, and Administrator Pekoske’s ability to lead DHS/TSA/FAMS.”
Londo pointed in his letter to recent violent passenger attacks midflight that involved weapons smuggled aboard the plane, as well as a cockpit breach on a Southwest Airlines flight last week.
The National Association of Police Organizations issued a statement in support of the air marshals and warned that they were already in a bad place before the deployments became mandatory.
“The Federal Air Marshal Service is understaffed and covering the fewest number of flights since before September 11, 2001,” said NAPO, a coalition of more than 1,000 police departments across the country. “We strongly question the decision by the Department of Homeland Security to divert much-needed aviation security to the southern border especially as we enter the busiest travel season of the year, particularly as a Federal emergency has not been declared at the border.”
Behind the scenes, the council is working with the DHS Office of Inspector General to launch a federal investigation into the Biden administration’s repurposing of air marshals.
Hondo accused TSA Administrator David Pekoske and Federal Air Marshal Service Director Tirrell Stevenson of “fraud, waste, and abuse of authority and violations of federal law” in a letter sent to DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari exclusively obtained by the Washington Examiner.
In the Nov. 18 letter, Hondo called on the inspector general to investigate the legality of the air marshal deployments. He wrote that the only exception to pulling air marshals from their jobs would be in the case of a declared national emergency, which has not been declared. Even if an emergency were declared, air marshals would only be permitted to assist other agencies with transportation-related matters.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER
The Biden administration has refused to call the record-high number of noncitizens being encountered at the border over the past 20 months a crisis. Border agents have encountered approximately 4 million people attempting to illegally enter the U.S. since Biden took office — more than the Obama administration’s eight years in office.
The TSA defended the operation in a statement provided to the Washington Examiner early Wednesday.
“Federal Air Marshals are performing law enforcement support to the mission at the southwest border,” according to a TSA spokesman. “The TSA Federal Air Marshal Service is a highly valued member of the DHS law enforcement team and has an ever-expanding role within DHS, working closely with other U.S. and international law enforcement agencies to safeguard the nation’s transportation systems.”
In the winter of 2004 a joint US, Iraqi, and British operation kicked off in Iraq. Local forces called it Operation Al-Fajr. Allied troops titled it Operation Phantom Fury. The world came to know this simply epic scrap as the Second Battle of Fallujah.
Fallujah was a typical Middle Eastern craphole located in the Al Anbar Province some 43 miles West of Baghdad on the Euphrates River. The area has been occupied since the days of Nebuchadnezzar. By 2011 more than a quarter-million Iraqis called Fallujah home. Within Iraq, Fallujah was called the “City of Mosques” for its 500 houses of Islamic worship. In 2004 Fallujah was an understudy for hell.
The party started in April of that year during the aptly-named First Battle of Fallujah. In this fight, coalition forces moved into the city to kill or capture insurgents responsible for the violent deaths of an American Blackwater security team. Once Allied forces seized the city they turned over control to an Iraqi government security force.
It was tough to figure out who the Bad Guys really were in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004. Between April and November, enemy forces fortified the place. Insurgents and fanatical foreign Islamist fighters flowed toward Fallujah like zombies after fresh brains. The scene was set for Something Truly Horrible. The Second Battle of Fallujah was to be the first major engagement of the war fought solely against insurgents rather than the previous Iraqi Ba’athist government forces. The end result was to become the bloodiest fight of the Iraq War.
The alpha villain in Fallujah was one Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Al-Zarqawi was one serious piece of work. Originally born in Jordan, al-Zarqawi ran a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan before moving his corporate headquarters to Iraq. His repertoire included suicide bombings, hostage takings, and the errant ritual beheading. His stated goal was to transform an insurgency against coalition forces into a full-blown Shia-Sunni civil war. His followers called him the ”Sheikh of Slaughterers.” Al-Zarqawi was the agent of chaos and a simply despicable human being.
Coalition forces established roadblocks around Fallujah that prevented insurgents from escaping while excluding fresh scum from infiltrating into the city. For the hard-core Islamists in the city, this was to be a come-as-you-are fight. The joint coalition force was comprised primarily of US Marines alongside some 1,500 US Army combat troops supported by extensive air and ground assets as well as Iraqi combat forces. The 1st Battalion of the British Black Watch assisted with the encirclement.
Entrenched within the city were between 1,500 and 3,000 hardline extremists. These freaking lunatics included Filipinos, Chechens, Saudis, Libyans, Syrians, and native Iraqis all united in their hatred of America. On November 7, 2004, Navy SEAL and Marine Force Recon snipers kicked off the party along with some 2,500 rounds of 155mm high explosive artillery. This was to be an old school fight.
There was no shortage of valor to be found among coalition forces as they stormed into Fallujah. US forces ably employed M1 tanks and Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles. Air assets included AC130 gunships, B52’s, F15’s, F16’s, and A10’s. UAV’s and a U2 Dragon Lady reconnaissance aircraft kept an eye on things as the fight unfolded. However, this was a city. The only way to take a fortified built-up area is to get out of your vehicles and just go hunting.
One particularly bloody engagement has become known as Hell House. The dwelling was two stories built around a central atrium with a skylight and multi-tiered stairwell. Bedrooms, bathrooms, and a kitchen surrounded this central space. In better times it would have been a nice place to raise a family. On this day the insurgents had transformed it into a deathtrap.
While the insurgents were little more than fanatical cavemen, they weren’t stupid. They had established firing points on the second-floor landing overlooking the interior of the building. Surrounding structures were too low to establish a viable overwatch for snipers or machine gunners. Their well-reasoned defenses had already pinned down eight Marines inside, six of whom were badly wounded.
1SG Brad Kasal and PFC Alex Nicoll moved into the house in an effort at extricating wounded US troops. Checking a doorway underneath the stairs Kasal discovered an insurgent hiding. The Islamist fighter fired a burst from a stubby cut-down AK and missed. Kasal shoved the muzzle of his M16A4 into the man’s chest and cut him down at contact range. Then the entire world exploded.
1SG Kasal was shot several times in the legs. His comrade was caught out in the open and wounded even more severely. 1SG Kasal dragged PFC Nicoll into a bathroom to get out of the line of fire.
One proper stud named Corporal RJ Mitchell was already in a 1st-floor bedroom tending to the wounded. He braved the kill zone in the atrium to reach the bathroom where Kasal and Nicoll were holed up. In the process, he was hit in the leg. The insurgents on the top floor dropped in grenades that liberally peppered the three Marines with shrapnel. 1SG Kasal caught the brunt of one when he threw his body over PFC Nicoll to shield him from the blast.
CPL Mitchell and his wounded comrades found themselves in a seriously bad situation. PFC Nicoll was bleeding out, and 1SG Kasal was struggling to remain conscious in the face of multiple wounds. Mitchell put a tourniquet on Nicoll’s shattered leg and improvised the same thing for 1SG Kasal out of his low-ride thigh holster. Holding his improvised tourniquet in one hand and his Beretta M9 service pistol in the other, 1SG Kasal directed CPL Mitchell to find a way out.
1LT Grapes, the local ground force commander, battered his way through a barred window with a sledgehammer to get into one of the bedrooms. The resulting opening was so small he had to remove his helmet and body armor to gain access. Replacing his gear once inside, Grapes and his men coordinated a proper rescue from within the structure.
Two of Grapes’ Marines ran the gauntlet through the atrium to reach the bathroom where Kasal, Nicoll, and Mitchell were trapped. They improvised a stretcher out of a poncho to retrieve Nicoll and took Kasal under the arms to get him out of the building. Mitchell hobbled out under his own power. Marines on the far side of the dwelling finally beat through the walls to rescue the remaining Marines trapped in other rooms.
An embedded reporter named Lucian Read shot a series of iconic photographs during the fight for Hell House that captured the powerful drama that had occurred there. His shot of 1SG Kasal being carried out of the building with his M9 became one of the most famous images of the war. Once his Marines were clear 1LT Grapes leveled the building with satchel charges.
Once the dust settled, Grapes and his men returned to retrieve any sensitive equipment that might have been lost during the fighting. When they approached the collapsed building an insurgent trapped inside deployed a grenade unexpectedly. The Marines leaped clear as the device exploded. 1LT Grapes then ran up to the wounded Islamist fighter and shot him fifteen times in the head. It had been a hard day for all involved.
The Beretta M9 is the official designation of the Model 92FS handgun adopted in 1985 as a replacement for the original M1911A1 .45. A short-recoil semiautomatic single-action/double-action design, the M9 is typical of the so-called “wondernine” pistols of the day. The M9 feeds from a 15-round double-column, single-feed box magazine.
The M9 was known to suffer slide failures at extreme round counts, and the design was modified to prevent this after deployment. The M9 was the least respected weapon in the US small arms arsenal according to a post-combat survey conducted by the military. Most of the M9’s reliability problems could ultimately be traced to sketchy aftermarket magazines. The M9 is currently being replaced throughout the military by the SIG SAUER M17 and M18 handguns.
The Rest of the Story
1LT Grapes eventually left the Marine Corps to serve as headmaster for a Catholic High School for boys in Virginia. CPL Mitchell left the Marine Corps the following year to study Mechanical Engineering at Arizona State. He eventually took a job as a gas turbine engineer at a utility company. PFC Nicoll lost his left leg but survived. The image of a shattered 1SG Kasal emerging from the doorway to Hell House, his legs drenched in blood and his M9 safely gripped in his right hand, was eventually transformed into a bronze memorial.
By the time 1SG Kasal reached a medical facility, it was estimated that he had lost some 60% of his blood volume. 1SG Kasal caught seven 7.62x39mm rounds to his legs along with 44 pieces of shrapnel. He underwent 21 different surgeries and lost four inches’ worth of bone in his right leg. Nowadays he is said to walk with a limp.
1SG Kasal was promoted to Sergeant Major and served with distinction in a variety of combat roles for another eleven years. He retired after 34 years of service as Sergeant Major of the First Marine Expeditionary Force. According to his Linked-In page, he teaches Marine Corps Junior ROTC at the Basic Academy of International Studies in Los Angeles today. I suspect those kids get their money’s worth.
On June 7, 2006, two F16C fighter jets approached a safe house north of Baqubah, Iraq. The lead plane dropped a pair of guided 500-pound bombs and utterly flattened the structure. Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi was blown straight to hell along with five of his reprobate associates. It was a fitting end for such an evil mob.
For anyone who grew up in the post-World War II era, his was a household name, one synonymous with “hero,” and “soldier.”
Audie Murphy was known as “the most decorated combat soldier of World War II.”A quintessential soldier, a master of the tools and tactics of ground warfare, he literally wrote the book on military valor—an autobiography entitled, “To Hell and Back.”
He starred in the movie adaptation, too.
This week, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, located in Cody, WY, announced that Murphy’s .45 caliber Colt Model 1905 Bisley flattop target revolver—a gift from western film legend Gary Cooper—is on display to the public in its Cody Firearms Museum. The single-action revolver features mother-of-pearl grips that Cooper had molded to perfectly fit Murphy’s hand. Dr. Jim and Marilyn Phillips of Bakersfield, CA, have loaned the firearm to the Center for a period of one year.
In 1942, Murphy lied about his age to join the infantry at 17, after the Marines and paratroopers denied his application due to his small stature. Rising to the rank of First Lieutenant, he fought in nine major campaigns throughout Europe. His gallantry is even more impressive given that victory in Europe was achieved before his 21st birthday.
On January 26, 1945, at the edge of a forest in France, Murphy’s company was pinned down, outnumbered and facing annihilation by a column of German tanks supported by infantry. Ordering his men to retreat into the forest, Murphy commandeered the .50 caliber machine gun on a burning tank destroyer. While directing American artillery over his field telephone, Lt. Murphy swept the German tanks with deadly fire. Shells bursting and bullets ricocheting all around him, and the tank destroyer threatening to explode at any moment, Audie Murphy continued to fire until the enemy force broke and ran.
For his incredible acts of bravery and valor, Audie Murphy received the Medal of Honor. The accompanying citation reported 50 German soldiers killed or wounded and stated, “Lieutenant Murphy’s indomitable courage and his refusal to give an inch of ground saved his company from possible encirclement and destruction and enabled it to hold the woods, which had been the enemy’s objective.”
After the war, Murphy became a Hollywood star, albeit reluctantly, appearing in more than 40 films and receiving critical acclaim for his role in the 1951 movie version of Stephen Crane’s Civil War novel “The Red Badge of Courage.”
Murphy was known to suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), known then as “combat fatigue,” sharing his struggles and bringing early awareness to the issue. His advocacy for increased government research and funding for veterans with PTSD was honored by the 1973 dedication of the Audie L. Murphy Memorial VA Hospital in San Antonio, TX.
Murphy was 45 when he died in a private plane crash near Roanoke, VA. On June 7, 1971, he was buried at Arlington, where his grave remains one of the most-visited at the National Cemetery.
Lachhiman Gurung seemed an unremarkable sort. He stood all of four feet eleven inches tall when he left his village to buy cigarettes for his father and ended up enlisting as a Gurkha in the service of the British Empire on a whim. However, on May 12, 1945, deep in a Burmese jungle Lachhiman Gurung proved that sometimes some of the most remarkable stuff comes in compact packages.
Gurung’s fighting position was at the foremost vanguard of his unit’s defensive emplacements standing ready against a pending Japanese attack. When the Japanese came they led with 200 seasoned assault troops. In fairly short order Gurung was alone, the rest of his mates either dead or dying.
Once the Japanese troops got within hand grenade range they began pelting Gurung’s position with grenades. Gurung picked up the first two and threw them back at his attackers. When he hefted the third it detonated in his hand, removing most of his right hand, blinding his right eye, and peppering his body and face liberally with shrapnel. Where most normal humans would have the good grace to just lay down and die, Gurung unsheathed his Kukri knife, shoved it into the ground at the lip of his foxhole, and announced to the Japanese that they would get no further than that knife. He then hefted his Lee-Enfield rifle, chambered a round with his left hand, and invited the Japanese to see what it was like to, “Come fight a Gurkha.”
The Japanese accepted Gurung’s offer. For the next four hours, Lachhiman Gurung ran his bolt-action Lee-Enfield rifle one-handed, setting the rifle down to work the bolt or reload with his left hand before taking it up again to kill more Japanese. When the Japanese got close enough to overrun his position Gurung would lay down, let them come in close, and then jump up to cut them down at point blank range, all the while running his bolt-action rifle with his single remaining hand.
When he was finally relieved, there were thirty-one dead Japanese soldiers in and around Gurung’s fighting position. He was heard by nearby troops shouting, “Come and fight! Come and fight! I will kill you!” in an effort at taunting the Japanese in closer. Lachhiman Gurung was awarded the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest award for valor in combat, for his actions that night in the sweltering Burmese jungle. The fanatical defense of that forlorn combat outpost by a single Nepalese Gurkha, himself less than five feet tall, demonstrated to all involved that a single determined man with a rifle can be a formidable combat implement.
The Lee-Enfield rifle was first adopted in 1895, and it soldiered on through a variety of marks until it was finally supplanted by the L1A1 variant of the FN FAL in 1957. More than 17 million of the guns saw service. Possession of a Lee-Enfield rifle marks one as a warlord of distinction in Afghanistan even today. Designed by a Scotsman named James Paris Lee, the Lee-Enfield superseded the Lee-Metford rifle. Its longevity in service is exceeded solely by the Russian Mosin-Nagant.
The Lee-Enfield in its sundry guises fed from a detachable ten-round box magazine. However, in action troops were trained to charge the rifle from the top via either loose rounds or five-round stripper clips. Early SMLE (Short Magazine Lee-Enfield) No 1 versions featured a pivoting magazine cutoff plate that only allowed the weapon to be fired one round at a time. Troops who carried the SMLE referred to it affectionately as the “Smelly.” At the time it was introduced it was thought the magazine cutoff might reduce the British troops’ tendencies toward profligate ammunition expenditure. As mechanical restrictions on one’s onboard ammo supply are typically not terribly popular in combat this superfluous appendage was deleted in short order.
The Lee-Enfield sported rear-locking lugs along with a short bolt throw. In addition, the action cocks on closing while most competing designs cock when you open the bolt. This all conspired to give the Lee-Enfield rifle an exceptionally high rate of fire in the hands of a trained rifleman. British soldiers were trained to fire between twenty and thirty aimed shots per minute as part of a “Mad Minute” exercise. This maneuver was intended to apply maximum fire to an area in as short a period as possible. The current record for performance with a Lee-Enfield rifle is held a British Army rifle instructor named Snoxall who hit a twelve-inch target at 300 meters 38 times in sixty seconds.
For all its remarkable performance the SMLE No. 1 was an expensive rifle to produce. The SMLE soldiered on in Imperial service throughout World War II, particularly among Commonwealth troops. It was an SMLE No. 1 Mk III that Lachhiman Gurung wielded that night in Burma. However, after Dunkirk the Brits needed something they could produce a little faster. Enter the simplified No. 4 Lee-Enfield. The No 1 and the No. 4 can be easily discerned at a glance by their muzzle bosses. The No. 1 has a stubby nose. The No 4 sports a small bit of barrel protruding out the front. Each rifle accepts a different bayonet.
The No. 4 came in several variations but most featured simplified flip-adjustable rear sights and somewhat cruder construction. Early SMLE No. 1 rifles had sights graduated out to 2,000 meters. Troops of this era were trained to use their rifles for massed volley fire as well as indirect fire over obstacles. There are numerous anecdotes of German troops in WWII believing they were under attack from machineguns when in reality they were simply being subject to the massed fire from trained British riflemen.
The No. 5 Mk 1 became known as the Jungle Carbine. This Lee Enfield rifle sported a shorter barrel, cut-down stock, and lightening cuts to make the rifle as lightweight as possible. All this conspired to enhance the Lee-Enfield’s already prodigious recoil.
The No. 5 Mk 1 (T) was the dedicated sniper version of the No. 4 Lee Enfield. Equipped with a wooden cheekpiece and a 3.5X telescopic sight, this superb sniper rifle served throughout WWII and Korea. The accuracy requirements for these rifles demanded that they place 7 out of 7 shots within a 5-inch circle at 200 yards.
I have a friend who was shot in the chest by a Chinese sniper wielding a captured No. 5 Mk 1 (T) during the Korean War. My buddy was wearing a brand new flak jacket at the time. The round struck the 1911A1 pistol he was carrying in a shoulder holster before deflecting into his flak vest, leaving him bruised but otherwise unhurt.
The wrist of the Lee Enfield rifle typically holds the gun’s vital statistics. The “GR” marking stands for “George Rex,” the British monarch reigning during the production of most of these early guns. These rifles were produced at a variety of facilities on several continents to include plants in the US and Canada. The Lee-Enfield saw service everywhere the British fought during the first half of the 20th century.
Lachhiman Gurung’s primary complaint after the protracted night action that decimated his unit and cost him an eye and an arm was that his injured arm kept attracting flies. He ultimately healed and returned to his native Nepal as a farmer. In time he immigrated to the UK.
In 2008 the UK adopted a policy that revoked the rights of some Gurkha veterans who retired prior to 1997 and lived in the country. The actual term used was that the Gurkhas had “failed to demonstrate strong ties to the UK.” In response, Lachhiman Gurung hefted his ludicrously huge rack of medals and headed for Britain’s’ High Court. In a classic “Don’t Make-Me-Come-Over-There” moment, this rugged little half-blind one-armed man showed the members of the court the face of true dedication and got the onerous law overturned. Lacchiman Gurung died of natural causes in 2010 at age 92.
The Lee-Enfield rifle was the backbone of the British armed forces for more than half a century. Rugged, powerful, accurate, and fast, this classic bolt-action rifle and the rimmed .303-inch cartridge it fired expressed the will of the English people at the farthest reaches of their influence. In the hands of extraordinary men like Lachhiman Gurung the Lee-Enfield was the long arm of the British Empire.
No. 4 Lee Enfield Rifle
Caliber .303 British Mk VII SAA Ball–Rimmed
Weight 9.06 lbs
Length 44.45 in
Barrel Length 25.2 in
Feed System 10-Round Detachable Box Magazine/5-Round Charger Clips
Sights Fixed and Adjustable Aperture Sights
I do not care what kind of work it is. I am always appreciative of folks, that come to the job and then do it with style! Grumpy
One of my all time favorite Movies – Zulu, which tell the story of the Defense of Rourke’s Drift during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879.
If you are in the military, this can be a great primer also. If one wants to learn how to hold a position against great odds.
Plus it shows how great leadership is a force multiplier. For example Lt. Chard & Bromhead with the stout aid of Colour Sgt.Frank Edward Bourne . (Who later on rose to the rank of Lt. Colonel!!)
That and it shows a lot of the Martini Rifle and what it can do with a good man behind it. Which frankly is a lot!
Anyways – If you have not see the film. I most highly recommend either seeing it or get the DVD. Its just a real pity that you will not be able to see it on the Movie Screen. Since it is probably considered very UN-PC & Racist to boot. Pity!
He’s a senior NCO in the Delta Force. SGM Payne enlisted in 2002, serving as a sniper in the 75th Ranger Regiment until 2007, when he joined the Delta Force.
(SGM Payne in Afghanistan)
In 2015, then-SFC Payne’s unit was deployed to Iraq to help combat ISIS. His unit advised and trained the newly formed Kurdish Counter Terrorist Group. One day, fresh graves are seen outside of a known ISIS prison. The joint team is given the green light.
Payne’s team arrives with the CTG at night time. Upon arrival, they’re hit with volleys of gunfire. The Kurds not having conducted any operations before, are nervous and don’t move forward. The Deltas lead the way, giving their friends courage to press forward. Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler is killed leading his comrades into battle.
Meanwhile, SFC Payne and his team press into the building. They reach a bolted door that holds in the Iraqi hostages. The team attempts to break it, but there is too much fire coming their way. Payne braves the fire and breaks the bolt. The joint team then starts getting all of the hostages out. As the firefight continues, ISIS terrorists start setting off bomb vests, causing fires which cripple the building’s stability. After securing multiple hostages, they move outside.
(Then-SFC Payne, left or center)
However, plenty of hostages are left. SFC Payne keeps moving back inside to make sure no man is left behind. By doing so, he is risking getting crushed or burnt to death. At one point, a tired hostage believes he is going to die in the fire and can no longer walk to the outside. Payne helps him up and gets him outside.
Overall, due to then-SFC Payne’s actions, over 75 Iraqis are rescued. At first, he is awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest American military award. However, on September 11, 2020, SGM Payne was awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest military award in the US.
(President Trump awarding SGM Payne the MoH)