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Late one night several Special Forces teams stationed in Baghdad were alerted to the presence of an Al Qaeda member in Baghdad. Three teams assembled to go over intel and decide how best to prosecute the target. The 3rd Group teams quickly decided that a vehicle insertion would be the fastest way of getting there, so they donned their gear and got on their vehicles.

Working their way through the dark streets of Baghdad at 40 mph with no headlights, the group eased up to the target. Members of the team moved forward to climb the exterior walls of the compound and secure the windows and doors that might enable the target to escape, effectively locking down the structure. Once in place, other members worked their way to the front door and emplaced an explosive charge that would open the breach point upon detonation. The team detonated the charge, blowing the door open and rushed inside where they were met by the first armed insurgent unwilling to surrender. He tried to stop the team in the entryway, but was quickly cut down in a hail of gunfire. As team members flowed into the living room, they met another insurgent who was using a few children as a body bunker. The Special Forces operators returned fire killing the insurgent and leaving the children unharmed.

—Tom Beckstrand

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