Sunday, April 22, 2018
Military News

Decorated Adm. Olson remains humbly silent on details of bin Laden raid

TAMPA — No one knows who fired the fatal shot that felled Osama bin Laden.

And Adm. Eric. T. Olson, who was deeply involved in planning the May mission, said Sunday that he hopes no one ever will.

Until retiring last year, Olson was the eighth commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, based at MacDill Air Force Base, and served a principal role in planning the raid on bin Laden's compound in Pakistan.

While awareness of his involvement with the historical raid to get the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks may have drawn many to hear Olson speak Sunday night at the Tampa Jewish Federation's Ninth Annual President's Dinner, the about 650 attendees left without knowing much more.

Olson credits the success of the mission to the dedication of those involved to reveal absolutely nothing to anyone in advance — or ever.

"It's important to keep secrets secret," Olson said. "If we want to retain this capability, we've got to not talk about it now."

The individual members involved have not received, nor do they want, any individual credit for achieving the highly complex, multi-agency feat, Olson said.

And he warned against believing any triumphant tales heard through the grapevine.

"The people who want to talk about the mission are not the people who were on it," he said.

The agency that Olson formerly led, SoComm, ensures the readiness of joint special operations forces and conducts operations worldwide.

Olson conceptualized his speech's theme, "The World at Night: Global Security in the 21st Century," from a NASA photograph he saw of the world that illuminated areas more densely concentrated with wealth and power.

While the United States, Europe and Asia shone brightly, the Middle East remained dark.

"Just because a place is dark at night doesn't mean it's not connected," Olson said.

He advanced that theme throughout his speech by touching on security issues and goals such as "moving ahead of the sound of guns."

Forces shouldn't react to a crisis by thinking what to do once it occurs, he explained, but what could have been done 10 years ago to prevent it, he said.

Olson was a political-military affairs specialist with emphasis on the Middle East, and has served operationally in and commanded an underwater demolition team, SEAL team and Naval special warfare group, among other accomplishments.

As a former Navy SEAL and special operations officer, Olson worked in hot spots around the world during 37 years of service.

His overseas assignments include service as a United Nations military observer in Israel and Egypt, and a Navy programs officer in Tunisia.

Among Olson's numerous accolades are the Distinguished Service Medal and a Silver Star.

Comments
Howard Altman: Tampa company analyzed strike on Syrian facilities

Howard Altman: Tampa company analyzed strike on Syrian facilities

After President Donald Trump announced the U.S., France and England had carried out attacks on three Syrian chemical weapons centers, a Tampa company began its own analysis of the bomb damage.The analysis, by geospatial intelligence firm Radiant Solu...
Published: 04/20/18
Howard Altman: Air Force turns to original Phillie Phanatic to develop mascot

Howard Altman: Air Force turns to original Phillie Phanatic to develop mascot

Air Mobility Command, the Air Force headquarters overseeing MacDill Air Force Base, wants to develop its own mascot to help interest children in a career with the flying branch. And they are turning to the original Phillie Phanatic, David Raymond, fo...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18
Trump says U.S. to decide on response to ‘atrocious’ Syria chemical attack in 24 to 48 hours

Trump says U.S. to decide on response to ‘atrocious’ Syria chemical attack in 24 to 48 hours

Washington PostWASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Monday that his administration would be making "major decisions" about its response to a suspected chemical attack in Syria within the next 24 to 48 hours, decrying the action as "atrocious" and...
Published: 04/09/18

North Korea tells US that Kim Jong Un ready to discuss nukes

Associated PressWASHINGTON — North Korea’s government has communicated with the United States to say that leader Kim Jong Un is ready to discuss his nuclear weapons program with President Donald Trump, officials said Sunday, increasing the likelihood...
Published: 04/08/18
Air Force pilot killed in Iraq helicopter crash honored at Tampa funeral

Air Force pilot killed in Iraq helicopter crash honored at Tampa funeral

TAMPA — Air Force Capt. Andreas O’Keeffe was the kind of guy who lived to help others, which is why he was in the co-pilot seat aboard an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter when it took off March 15 from a base in western Iraq.A graduate of Tampa Bay Technic...
Updated one month ago

4 Marines killed in helicopter crash in California

LOS ANGELES — Four Marines were killed when their helicopter crashed while they were practicing desert landings in Southern California, the Miramar air station in San Diego said Wednesday. The Marines took off from a ground-combat center in the city ...
Updated one month ago
Howard Altman: Syrian pullout creates concerns

Howard Altman: Syrian pullout creates concerns

Speaking at the U.S. Institute of Peace on Tuesday, Army Gen. Joseph Votel did not sound like a guy who was planning on pulling American forces out of Syria."We are in Syria to fight ISIS," Votel said about the Sunni jihadi group. "That is our missio...
Updated one month ago
Haley VA director personally presents clinic plans to Sun City Center

Haley VA director personally presents clinic plans to Sun City Center

SUN CITY CENTER — Blanche Sullivan was undeniably impressed.Joe Battle, director of the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital and Clinics, took time out of his busy schedule to drive to Sun City Center and personally facilitate the March 30 town hall mee...
Updated one month ago
International commandos to show off capabilities in Tampa again in May

International commandos to show off capabilities in Tampa again in May

Be afraid Mayor Buckhorn.Be very afraid.The bad guys might be after you again.You know the ones. They show up every other year in Tampa and capture you, only to see you rescued by a cadre of international commandos swooping in on helicopters, inflata...
Updated one month ago
For military veterans suffering from PTSD, are service dogs good therapy?

For military veterans suffering from PTSD, are service dogs good therapy?

JACKSONVILLE BEACH — Adam Fuller credits a simple, one-word command — and a black Lab mix named J.D. — for helping to save his life. "Cover," he tells J.D., who is sitting to his left in a grassy field next to a park playground. The dog calmly walks ...
Updated one month ago