Pat Tillman Essay

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Situation Analysis of Tillman Story
Stephen Stone

Black Sheep, Tillman’s platoon, had to make it to Mana on time. However, they had an inoperable vehicle with them that had to bring back to the FOB, forward operating base. Black Sheep could not abandon the vehicle. There only viable option was to bring it to a nearby paved highway for a wrecker to pick it up. Luckily, they came across a local who could tow it to the highway. However, they ran into an another problem. Whether to split the group or not; Either have the whole platoon escort the local to the highway, split the platoon and have one half escort the local while the other half continued on with the mission, or let the local tow it alone. Black Sheep’s leaders agreed that splitting the platoon would be inviting unnecessary danger and allowing the local to tow the vehicle alone was not even possible. However, the order came down from higher that the platoon would be split in order to stay on schedule. Black Sheep was split into two groups, Serial 1 and Serial 2. Serial 2 will escort the local while Serial 1 continues on with the mission. During this time, there were several miscommunications between headquarters and the platoon. Serial 2’s original path was a difficult and harsh terrain. The local offered an easier and quick path that Serial 2’s leader agreed upon. The local took the front of the convoy and led Serial 2 along the newly decided path. However, they came upon indirect fire, which was later, identify as mortar fire. The local stopped and took cover, which resulted in blocking the convoy on the narrow strip of pass. Serial 2’s members had to force the driver to drive in order to the convoy out of the danger zone. Serial 1 heard the firefight near Serial 2 and went towards it to provide fire. However, communications between Serial 1 and Serial 2 was never established during the incumbent firefight. As Serial 1’s members got into position, Serial 2 mistakenly Serial 1 as hostiles. During the...
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