This past weekend, 30 American service members were killed in the line of duty when their helicopter was shot down 60 miles southwest of Kabul, Afghanistan.
Of this group, most were part of the Navy SEALs. Despite the fact that the SEALs were successful in killing Osama bin Laden several months ago, this mission shows just how dangerous the war against terror can be.
Most of the SEALs who died in the crash were part of the unit that killed bin Laden. However, none of them actually took part in the bin Laden raid.
On Saturday, the SEALs were part of a team that had rushed to the Tangi Joy Zarin area to assist a group of Army Rangers who were under attack.
It is still unsure whether the SEALs were shot down while attempting to land or takeoff. One report said that the Chinook helicopter was hit while landing; another report said that the SEALs had accomplished their mission and were set to depart when disaster struck.
Special operations teams, such as the SEALs, are expected to be relied upon heavily as the United States continues to reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan through 2014. Even after the pullout in 2014, special operations troops will stay behind. As of now, there are roughly 100,000 troops in Afghanistan. While a final number has yet to be set, by the end of 2014 there should be no more than 20,000 troops in the country.
On Sunday, United States forces collected evidence while removing the wreckage. All the while, NATO and Afghan forces battled the Taliban which has gained control of the area over the past few months.