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6 things you probably never knew about 'Black Hawk Down'
The 2001 blockbuster Black Hawk Down is a favorite among service members and veterans alike. Depicting the 1993 raid to capture Mohamed Farah Aidid and subsequent Battle of Mogadishu, Black Hawk Down provided a pro-soldier narrative, a look into what happens when a mission goes wrong, and some straight up awesome action scenes.
Here are six things you didn't know about Black Hawk Down.
"Only the dead have seen an end to war."
The movie opens with a quote attributed to philosopher Plato. Gen. Douglas MacArthur first misquoted this phrase as being said by Plato, but it was actually written by George Santayana in his book, “The Life of Reason."
Bonus: An earlier cut of the movie opened with a quote from poet T.S. Eliot, which said, “All our ignorance brings us closer to death."
The fast rope scenes were real
The Department of Defense actually gave the producers a platoon of Army Rangers to perform the fast rope scenes. They also flew real helicopters in most scenes, not using computer-generated imagery except for crash sequences.
The aircraft used during the filming were from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, and most of the pilots were involved in the actual battle in 1993. Many of the Army Rangers in the film were actual Rangers, serving with the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.
The movie's reception was influenced by 9/11
Although this movie was released shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, the movie was actually completed long before. The outpouring of patriotism bolstered viewership, however. It also became one of the most culturally significant films released during George W. Bush's term in office.
The movie was based on a book
The movie is an adaptation of “Black Hawk Down," a book by Mark Bowden, based on a series of articles he published in The Philadelphia Inquirer. The 29-part series focused on 100 characters, 39 of whom were featured in the movie.
The actors went to boot camp
In order to maintain legitimacy, the actors playing Rangers participated in a crash, one-week Ranger-familiarization course at Fort Benning. The Delta Force actors took a two-week commando course from the 1st Special Warfare Training Group at Fort Bragg. Additionally, captured aviator Michael Durant spoke with Ron Eldard and the actors playing 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment helicopter pilots at Fort Campbell.
The characters wore personalized helmets
The film features soldiers wearing helmets with their last names on them. Although this was not accurate, director Ridley Scott used this device to help the audience distinguish between the characters because "they all look the same once the uniforms are on."
The former Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs thinks that the VA needs to start researching medical marijuana. Not in a bit. Not soon. Right goddamn now.
US and Turkey agree on temporary cease fire to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from northeast Syria
The United States and Turkey have agreed to a temporary cease fire to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a safe zone that Turkey is establishing along its border with Syria, Vice President Mike Pence announced on Thursday.
They started the US war against ISIS. Now they have an important message for Trump on abandoning the Kurds
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
Trump's recent decisions in northern Syria were ill-advised, strategically unsound, and morally shameful. In rapidly withdrawing U.S. presence and allowing a Turk offensive into Syria, we have left the Syrian Kurds behind, created a power vacuum for our adversaries to fill, and set the stage for the resurgence of ISIS.
After preliminary fitness test scores leaked in September, many have voiced concerns about how women would fare in the new Army Combat Fitness Test.
The scores — which accounted for 11 of the 63 battalions that the ACFT was tested on last year — showed an overall failure rate of 84% for women, and a 70% pass rate for men.
But Army leaders aren't concerned about this in the slightest.
More than 74 years after Marines raised the American flag on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima, the Marine Corps has announced that one of men in the most famous picture of World War II had been misidentified.