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May 3, 2011

11:36
A.M.

Operation Geronimo: Former SEAL talks logistics of bringing down bin Laden

Total Responses: 21

About the hosts

About the host

Host: Stew Smith

Stew Smith

Stew Smith is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a former Navy SEAL Lieutenant, and author of several fitness and self defense books such as The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness, Maximum Fitness, The Special Ops Workouts, and SWAT Fitness.

Certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and as military fitness trainer, Stew has trained thousands of students for Navy SEAL, Special Forces, SWAT, FBI, ERT and many other law enforcement professions. Stew has written more than 400 articles and 40 eBooks sold at both Military.com and StewSmith.com. He is a consultant and presenter with the government in the area of troop physical development through his non-profit Heroes of Tomorrow. See www.heroesoftomorrow.org for more information.

About the topic

How do you take down the world's most notorious terrorist? We may never know all the details of Operation Geronimo, but former Navy SEAL Stew Smith can speculate. Chat with Smith about what a mission of this magnitude takes, from training and tactics to Navy SEAL intuition.

Read today's story: Who shot bin Laden? Former SEALs fill in the blanks
Q.

Stew Smith :

Hi - Stew Smith here and I'd be happy to chat

Q.

Entry into the compound

For safety's sake wouldn't a noisy helicopter have to approach the compound already firing guns? Afterall, we had to expect the inhabitants to start firing as soon as they saw and heard the helicopter?
A.
Stew Smith :

That is assuming they were on guard and ready.  It is a quick process from when you hear a helo and when you have boots on the ground.

– May 03, 2011 11:37 AM
Q.

Current weapons

What handguns and what ars did they carry ?
A.
Stew Smith :

Not sure.

– May 03, 2011 11:38 AM
Q.

Honoring the SEALs

It's unlikely that these guys will get the ticker tape parade or public ceremony that they deserve. What is the best way to honor their courage, skill, and sacrifice? Are there any charities devoted to them and their families?
A.
Stew Smith :

Yes the Wounded Warrior Fund and the Navy SEAL Foundation - www.nswfoundation.org

– May 03, 2011 11:38 AM
Q.

Training

What kind of training to Navy SEALs go through?

A.
Stew Smith :

It is a long list of training - it takes over 2 years to make a SEAL.  google BUD/S training - I write articles on Spec ops training you can find them at www.military.com or StewSmith.com

– May 03, 2011 11:40 AM
Q.

Revenge is part of the human condition

But we are a society of laws. What was the legal basis for going into another country and assassinating a person?

A.
Stew Smith :

Good question - depends on how you define WAR.

– May 03, 2011 11:40 AM
Q.

The Man who Shot Osama bin Laden...

"The man who shot Osama Bin Laden, he shot Osama Bin Laden, he is the bravest man of all." Ok, now seriously. In this day and age I believe eventually the man's name will be known; unfortunately someone will tell. And that is unfortunate, because he was the gunman, but we the U.S. really killed him.
A.
Stew Smith :

I doubt it - maybe when he retires will it be known.  But I would not want anyone knowing I did that - I am sure there are many angry followers of OBL looking for revenge.

– May 03, 2011 11:41 AM
Q.

Navy v. Army?

How is the decision made as to whether it's a SEAL team, or a Delta Force unit that gets a mission like this.
A.
Stew Smith :

It is a matter of who is the most available / ready to go at that time.  Sometimes it depends on the commanding officer ability to sell it to the NSC.

– May 03, 2011 11:42 AM
Q.

SEAL demopgraphics

Mr. Smith, why are there no female SEALs? Thanks for taking my question.
A.
Stew Smith :

It is the law right now - it is consider a front line special force / infantry unit.  All are men only.  BUT if you want to go behind the lines - try CIA.  Who knows one day??

– May 03, 2011 11:44 AM
Q.

First in, last out?

Who enters the house first and how many? Are the guys searching for intel in the back? Do people have specific jobs or does everybody do everything?
A.
Stew Smith :

Yes - everyone has a job - first secure the building - then find intel.

– May 03, 2011 11:44 AM
Q.

Navy Seals' Lives

Is the wanting to become a Navy Seal somewhat of a calling would you say (like in other careers such as a priest). How much is the pay? Do they live isolated from others, i.e., do their neighbors know they are Navy Seals.
A.
Stew Smith :

Yes - it is.  You have to want to do this job.  I have more than 25 SEAL articles for more info and links to great books as no chat room will adequately answer your question...

See www.stewsmith.com/linkpages/navysealarticles.htm

 

– May 03, 2011 11:46 AM
Q.

bin Laden's Krink

Osama bin Laden was always photographed with his Krinkov assault rifle. Would you suspect this would have been picked up by a team member on the way out? It would surely make a good museum piece at one of the 9/11 memorials.
A.
Stew Smith :

not sure

– May 03, 2011 11:47 AM
Q.

HIgh Tech Stuff

Are pulsed microwave devices used to expedite communications?
A.
Stew Smith :

not sure

– May 03, 2011 11:47 AM
Q.

Mental Fortitude

What are personality traits that allow a SEAL to carry out a mission like this without letting his emotions (i.e. fear or excitement of the task) get the better of him? Is the ideal SEAL an automaton of sorts?
A.
Stew Smith :

Years of training - training - training.  When do you something hundreds / thousands of times you do not think - you react.

 

– May 03, 2011 11:50 AM
Q.

An Officer and a Gentleman

I say the movie "An Officer and a Gentleman;" How close was that to what the Navy Seals experience?
A.
Stew Smith :

NO

– May 03, 2011 11:50 AM
Q.

One Helicopter lost ?

I am quoting "One U.S. helicopter was lost during the operation, because of mechanical failure, which the officials did not elaborate on. One U.S. helicopter was lost during the operation, because of mechanical failure, which the officials did not elaborate on. They said the aircraft was destroyed by the crew for security reasons," Could this have been another Blackhawk Down Incident - but we are not really getting field intel on the reality of the operation ?
A.
Stew Smith :

The engines overheated as it could not get enough air to cool down when on the ground

 

– May 03, 2011 11:51 AM
Q.

when you hear a helo...

What with a military academy right near where Bin Laden was living, wouldn't they be accustomed to hearing helicopters approaching for landing? I'd imagine the same would be true at West Point, Annapolis, Colorado Springs, etc.
A.
Stew Smith :

true - good point

 

– May 03, 2011 11:52 AM
Q.

bin laden

Wouldnt it have been better to capture him alive so we could question him?

A.
Stew Smith :

Perhaps - but also not having to deal with captivity / trial / execution (highly likely) it simplifies things

 

 

– May 03, 2011 11:53 AM
Q.

Who else

Who else was in the compound and how many casualties will there be? Are US forces still on-site?
A.
Stew Smith :

No - we are all gone..

– May 03, 2011 11:55 AM
Q.

Operation Geromimo Navy Seals

What does it mean when a Navy Seal reaches Chief? Would all member of this particular team reached the Chief level?
A.
Stew Smith :

He would be the Team chief..

– May 03, 2011 11:56 AM
Q.

Navy vs Army

There's some questions about why the SEALs vs. the Army equivalent. The current JSOTF boss is a SEAL Admiral as is the SOCOM Commander. Do you think the Army guys have their noses out of joint?
A.
Stew Smith :

Not really - this is the first SEAL ever in charge.  For the past 20+ years it has been a 4 star general

– May 03, 2011 11:57 AM
Q.

SEALs v Rangers v Delta Force

Are there any major differences between SEALs and their counterparts in the other services? Do they train differently? Prepare for different missions? Prepare differently for missions? And do you think anyone in the Army is saying, damn, there goes the Navy getting all the headlines?
A.
Stew Smith :

Yes but the thing to remember is that we are on the same team.  We all prepare similarly

– May 03, 2011 12:00 PM
Q.

Stew Smith :

Thank you for your time - sorry I have to go.

 

Stew Smith

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