Features

June 1, 2011  

TO THE JOINT SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND

For its coordination of the remarkable Operation Neptune’s Spear, which identified Osama bin Laden’s location and resulted in his death. Meshing together a plethora of military and counterterrorism information and assets into a quick, clean and successful operation capped a three-decade effort to build an elite force of special operators and a 10-year hunt for bin Laden. Things could have gone wrong — as illustrated by the loss of a top-secret helicopter during the raid — but JSOC delivered a triumph. It was not luck. It was the culmination of meticulous work coordinated by a command that has gradually won the respect and cooperation of conventional forces and intelligence agencies and which has honed its ability to conduct precision raids to an industrial scale.

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