Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Taking down the pirates...and a book recommendation

By now, most have read the story of the rescue at sea of Captain Phillips, held by Somali pirates. The short version: Three U.S. Navy Seals killed the three pirates holdijng Phillips. One press account reads like this:

"The snipers could see two pirates peering out from the back of the enclosed lifeboat and the third pointing his assault rifle at Phillips. President Barack Obama had cleared them to shoot if the captain faced imminent threat of death.

When the order came to shoot, former SEALs said, the hard part was not the distance – about 75 feet, an easy range for an experienced sniper.

The biggest risk came from the many moving parts: the bobbing lifeboat, the rolling ship, hitting three targets simultaneously in darkness.

With deadly accuracy, the snipers fired their rifles in unison. They killed the pirates with exactly three shots."

Hitting them simultaneously, of course, was the important part. Hit only two of them, and the third one probably kills Captain Phillips. But SEALS being who they are, they got the job done right.

Which leads me to a book recommendation. Earlier this year a good friend loaned me his copy of "Lone Survivor - The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10."

It's by a wonderful Texan named Marcus Luttrell, who trained as a SEAL and later found himself in the middle of an incredible firefight in the middle of Afghanistan. I won't spoil any plot lines for you, but even if it wasn't a great war story (and it is) it's worth reading just to gain an understanding of the training a person has to go through to become a U.S. Navy SEAL. These guys go through a training regimen that most of us can't even imagine.

I enjoyed it so much that I've given several copies away as gifts. It's out in paperback now, and you can order it here. Enjoy, and sleep a little better at night knowing what kind of special men are out there protecting this country.


  1. The book, Lone Survivor, is highly reccomended.

  2. Awesome book!!!! Everyone should read it!! Thanks for plugging it!