Navy SEALs Team 6 end hunt for Osama Bin Laden
CORONADO, Calif. -- Military experts are praising the performance of the Navy SEALs who raided a compound in Pakistan and killed terror mastermind Osama Bin Laden.
The SEALs basic training site is at the Coronado Naval Amphibious Base in San Diego County. Officials said the elite team that killed Bin Laden, Team Six, got its start there.
The SEALs endured grueling tests of strength, swimming and running. One former Navy SEAL said tracking down Bin Laden for nearly 10 years after the Sept. 11 attacks showed the teams perseverance.
"You can imagine what they are thinking right now, completed the mission of all missions," said former Navy SEAL Phil Black. "I would like to make an analogy. It is as if a person had the feeling of winning the Super Bowl, the World Series and the World Cup, all in one night."
Officials said SEALs flew in two U.S. helicopters from Afghanistan to Pakistan and dropped down using ropes onto the roof of the building housing Bin Laden. A firefight followed. Bin laden refused to surrender and the SEALs shot and killed him.
"I'm not surprised it was the Navy SEALs actually because I see them train and I see their training is exceptionally rigorous," said Coronado resident Diane Sorota.
"Being a military wife for 26 years, what they do is so awesome," said Barbara Johnson from Springfield, Missouri. "They give up a lot for everyone of us."
Retired Capt. Craig Powell of Thousand Oaks is a former member of the Navy SEAL Team Six.
Powell was serving in the Pentagon on Sept. 11 when it was hit by one of the hijacked planes. "I doubt there's a single SEAL out there or any other person in special operations & that wouldn't want to be in on that operation," Powell said.
"For all the politics that are out there, there has always been a huge commitment to the special operations community, and there are a lot of countries that don't necessarily support special operations as much as we do," he said.
The death of the suspected mastermind behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has led to increased security at U.S. military bases, which has created long lines near Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar.
Sorota said she recently left London after 25 years partly because she was worried about terrorist violence overseas. Despite the stepped up security in Southern California, she's still concerned about the aftermath following the death of the Al Qaeda leader.
"Coming back here I have felt safer," said Sorota. "But I do think a retaliation will be very much in their mind and it's hard to tell what forms it might take."
Officials said there isn't a specific threat, so we are not in a high alert. However, they are calling it "increased vigilance" in light of Bin Laden's death.
terrorism, san diego, afghanistan war, california news
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