Watch Rangers And SOF In Action 3 Months Before 9/11

first published on May 14, 2019 by

A video filmed in June 2001 at a Ft. Bragg Special Operations Forces demonstration shows Rangers conducting an air assault raid with 160th SOAR “Night Stalkers.”

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It’s entertaining to watch these dated videos of the Army’s “advanced infantry” operating with seemingly standard equipment. However, a lot of this gear was cutting edge for the time, by Army standards anyway.

The Rangers are rocking M4 carbines, when a lot of conventional infantry units still had M16s. M68 reflex optics and PEQ-2 infrared lasers were pretty “cool guy” in those days. Even their kits were advanced as most infantry units were still sporting Vietnam Era load bearing equipment (LBE) rigs.



Within a few years of this video, most relevant fighting units would be rocking these loadouts as standard kit, and the Rangers would have moved on to the new best thing.

I joined the military immediately following 9/11, and this is what the Army looked like. I remember we looked up to the “experienced warfighters” who had spent a couple days in Grenada, Panama, and Somalia like they were gods. It’s crazy how fast the military, and the world, changed.

Given this video was filmed just three months before 9/11 and the the subsequent invasion, I wonder how many soldiers shown in this video got their feet wet within the next year.

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