first published on May 14, 2019 by Will
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.”
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.