Elite military officials weigh in on bin Laden raid


by Jared Dillingham

Bio | Email | Follow: @JaredDillingham


Posted on May 2, 2011 at 9:14 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 3 at 9:13 AM

PHOENIX – The success of the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan is a source of pride for former Navy SEALs and other elite military personnel.

Pinal County Supervisor Bryan Martyn is a retired Army and Air Force pilot who flew rescue missions with an elite unit in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Bosnia.

His most notable mission involved the 2002 rescue of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and his Navy SEAL bodyguard after an assassination attempt in Kandahar.

Martyn and others believe a key to the success at the bin Laden compound was the time the team had to prepare. Pentagon officials say they were able to build a mock-up of the compound and practice the raid before Sunday.

Pentagon officials say an elite group of SEALs, known as "Team 6" carried out the raid.

Former "Team 6" members tell 3TV their unit is secretive, even within the military. A SEAL cannot apply to be part of the unit; he has to be selected.

Sources say "Team 6" is involved in covert missions the public usually doesn't know about and often, if a member is wounded or killed, his injury or death is covered up and called a 'training accident.'

It's unclear if members of the elite SEAL team will come forward with first-hand accounts of the raid.

"They were successful and everybody came home. It doesn't get any better than that. Twenty-five SEALs were just given the greatest gift they'll get in their lives," said Martyn.