In an era of fierce conflict and global chaos, the U.S. Navy SEALs stand ready to answer their nation’s call. Honed and hardened in the flames of combat, they descend from the night sky and rise from the ocean depths to strike their targets with deadly efficiency. Based on first-person accounts, this extraordinary mini-series captures the danger and emotion of seven actual, classified SEAL missions. From the planning stage through preparation to the heart-stopping execution, these superbly trained young warriors face battle savagely – but in secret.
Episode 01: Grenada
In October 1983, rebel soldiers take over the island Commonwealth of Grenada. The rebels, emboldened by highly trained Cuban soldiers posing as construction workers, assassinate the Prime Minister and hold hostage Governor-General Paul Scoon, the legitimate head of the Grenadan government, in his residence. The U.S. is asked to send in American troops to liberate the island.
The SEALs swing into action. There is no time to gather intelligence, plan details or rehearse the assignments. In a perfect world, SEAL units try to get in, do their work and leave before the shooting begins. But Grenada is less than a perfect world.
Two military helicopters race through the night carrying the SEAL team over the capital city. Their mission is to seize Government House and rescue the Governor-General. Spotted as they arrive, the helicopters meet fierce enemy fire. Both badly hit, one chopper is ordered back to base, while the other hovers crippled over the firefight. The SEALs quickly drop into the warzone by “fast-roping”, a quick exit procedure where they slide down heavy ropes at breakneck speed. The SEALs land and infiltrate Government House and find Governor-General Scoon inside with his family and staff.
Moments after being attacked by an armored personnel carrier, the SEALs finally make contact with the Air Force AC-130 Spectre gunship that was providing close air support to the mission. With help from the Spectre, the small band of SEALs hold the building even though they are significantly outnumbered and outgunned, repelling the overwhelming ground forces until the Marines arrive the following morning.
Episode 02 – Panama
Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega steps up his threats of violence against Americans and their assets in Panama, as his corrupt regime becomes more entrenched in the illegal drug trade. After Panamanian soldiers kill an American officer and brutalize two witnesses, President Bush takes action. Unlike Grenada, time exists for the SEALs to gather intelligence and make plans. The SEALs mission was to take down Paitilla Airport where Noriega kept his private jet. They were to disable the plane and wait for Noriega. The plan called for 48 SEALs, more than triple the number of SEALs normally sent on a mission. The SEALs’ mission was supported by the Air Force AC-130 Spectre gunship, patrolling high overhead.
As the invasion begins on December 20, 1989, the SEAL teams approach from the sea. Minutes before the attack there is still no contact with the Spectre gunship and the commander receives new orders. They are to capture Noriega at Paitilla as he attempts to flee the country. Now, instead of firing on the hangar, the SEALs are to disable his jet by slashing the tires. Someone in Special Ops Command has just thrown out all the weeks of planning and rehearsal and forced the SEAL teams into a deadly ambush.
They must now sneak into the hangar undetected. The airport’s expansive tarmac, however, offers little cover. Panamanian soldiers discover the dozens of SEALs approaching the hangar. Exposed on the tarmac, the SEALs prove an easy target for the Panamanians. A deadly crossfire ensues. They never made contact with the Spectre and were without the much needed air support. Four SEALs lie dead; nine more are seriously wounded. Noriega never arrives at the airfield. While putting down the resistance the SEALs destroy his plane.
Episode 03 – Somalia
January 1991: Civil wars tear apart the African country of Somalia. Along with American nationals, foreign diplomats and civilians take shelter in the U.S. Embassy in Mogadishu. The American Ambassador makes a frantic call to Washington, DC for rescue. The warlords of Somalia have little regard for civilians or diplomatic privilege.
The SEAL team, along with a contingent of Marines, leaves the USS Guam in a troop transport helicopter. To reach Mogadishu, the chopper flies over the Indian Ocean in the dead of night.
Screaming in at 170 knots, the chopper swoops in only feet above rooftop levels in the African city, avoiding anti-aircraft repellents. As the rescue team reaches the U.S. Embassy they are greeted with rifle fire and rocket-propelled grenades. They see armed rebels climbing the walls of the embassy. The chopper is positioned to sweep the assault away, the rotor wash blowing the men and their ladders as if they were paper.
The helicopter lands on the embassy lawn. While the Marines secure the compound perimeter, the SEALs enter the embassy and kill two invading rebels. For one harrowing night, under enemy fire and with no hope of reinforcements, the SEAL team maintains a fierce vigil on the embassy roof, holding back rebel forces until all the hostages are evacuated. The SEALs leave what little protection the embassy offered to rescue an American family trapped outside the compound. They overcame attacks from the warring rebels and get the family safely back to the embassy. In the end, when the last helicopter safely lifts off the embassy grounds, 281 diplomats and civilians are airlifted to freedom. Not one life – hostage or soldier – has been lost.
Episode 04 – Vietnam
When Medal of Honor winner LTC Iceal Hambleton’s plane is shot down while on a recon mission, a Navy SEAL and his South Vietnamese sidekick race to rescue him before North Vietnamese troops capture him. Hambleton, an expert on critical missile technology, is deep in enemy territory, surrounded by 30,000 enemy troops. Although hostile troops beat back the rescue team with superior gunfire, they refuse to give up. Meanwhile, despite the dangerous of discovery, Hambleton continues to report enemy positions and actions. USAF recon pilots photograph the areas Hambleton informs them about—and discover a potential rescue point. But how can they transmit the location to Hambleton without tipping off the enemy? A creative solution, and ingenious disguises play unique roles in this dramatic rescue.
Episode 05 – The Canal Zone
Navy SEAL divers brave enemy waters to destroy Manuel Noriega’s heavily guarded enemy gunboat and prevent the dictator’s primary escape route. The Navy SEALs use a number of evasive tactics to approach surreptitiously. If one of Noriega’s troops were to spot anything unusual, the entire mission could be compromised…and the success of the larger U.S. invasion would be threatened. When U.S. troops on the other side of the city are forced to prematurely engage Noriega’s men, the entire invasion has to be moved up by 15 minutes. But, when a Navy SEAL commander tries to reach his divers, they do not copy—their underwater radios aren’t working. The entire shooting match will begin while the divers are still at their target.
Episode 06 – Bosnia
SEAL Team 6 sneaks into Bosnia packed inside metal cargo containers to capture a brutal Serbian politician indicted for crimes against humanity. But once they seize their quarry, their work is only partially complete–they must navigate through sectors controlled by various cabals and nations and international barricades to reach a secret airfield. There, a plane awaits, ready to take the war criminal to the Hauge to stand trial.
Episode 07 – Colombia
Navy SEALs face a veritable army of narco-terrorists as they endeavor to take down Pablo Escobar, the most violent drug kingpin in history. A team of manhunters composed of commandos from the Navy SEALs and the Army’s Delta Force have their work cut out for them—Escobar moves from hideout to hideout, communicating solely via encrypted radio and cell phone signals. When Escobar orders a bookstore bombing that kills Colombian civilians, the Americans redouble their effort to bring down the violent drug-lord.