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SBS Emergency Call For Help

27.05.2015

We recently found a video posted to youtube that features the cockpit recording of a US warplane responding to calls for assistance from British Special Forces on the ground during the invasion of Iraq in late March 2003.

M Squadron of the Special Boat Service (SBS) were in serious trouble. They were operating in a convoy of armed Land Rovers North of Qiam and close to Syria's eastern border. They had been ambushed by a group of Iraqi militia who had been trained and equipped to hunt down coalition special forces. Armed with heavy machine guns mounted on trucks and supported by tanks, the Iraqi forces had surrounded the SBS, who's vehicles had become bogged down in a wadi.

The SBS - callsign VADER - transmitted an SOS on a guard frequency - a channel reserved for emergencies. A pair of U.S. F16C fighter jets on a SCUD-hunting mission diverted to provide close air support to the SBS. The video includes audio of the fighter pilots talking to SBS commandos on the ground.

The SBS mission that this video records a small slice of is detailed in the book, Zero Six Bravo

embedded video:

longer video including interview with pilot:

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