When some special forces guys are going to hunt down the world’s most wanted terrorist it’s only fair that they share the story with us. No Easy Day by Mark Owen covers the mission that took out Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan.
I tend to go through autobiography style books a bit faster than the deeper historical fact filled books. I knew the basics of the Bin Laden mission, known as Operation Neptune Spear as since the book was written they have released some details. The media has also told some shit, pretending that they knew the facts when they didn’t which seems to be a habit of the media nowadays. Be first, fuck the truth.
The author, Mark Owen (probably a pseudonym) does focus the book on the mission which is good, but there is a decent amount of biographical content in there too.
Owen explains how he grew up in Alaska in the wilderness. Spending his days hunting and fishing with his Dad developed skills at an early age. This contributed to him being an outdoors person. It’ll always help with living outside for a large amount of time like any elite military unit does.
Owen covers BUD/S for those that want to delve into another viewpoint of that but he starts going into more detail when he joins Green Team. This is something that I hadn’t read too much about before so it was good to get some information on how they go about things when moving from SEAL teams to DEVGRU.
The mistakes are in there, the pressure the author is feeling as he is conducting exercises in the kill house. The banter is in there, what’s a military unit without the banter after all?
Despite him spending 10 years in the SEALs he doesn’t just fill the book with slight details about all the missions he went on. He tells of a couple but we don’t hear about the rest. One mission, they attacked the Taliban compound that had known leaders hiding out at. They had to climb to some serious altitude just to get into position.
The Main Mission
But then he moves on to the juicy part. The main mission to capture/kill Bin Laden. I learned some good things here. From the practice runs they conducted through to the model they had made for training.
I knew that they would be running through the mission with practice runs, we did that in the Royal Marines before every attack, it’s SOPs. I didn’t realise they had a full-scale replica of the compound built. Everything would be as it would be on the night of the mission.
They only knew what the outside was like also came as a surprise to me. I thought they would have had some more intel on the layout of the inside and what possible security measures were in the place like the metal doors that were found during the raid in certain parts of the interior. It was amazing to see the detail the CIA did get correct though. Their intel is on another level.
Also, it was interesting to read about what they did with the body afterwards. Bin Laden was chucked in the sea. From being shot to being launched in Davy Jones’ Locker was a mystery until I read this.
Is It Worth a Read?
Overall I enjoyed this book. You have to take it with a pinch of salt though. He does make the disclaimer about opsec etc and the need to change some details. Some things may have happened exactly like he explains and some may not have.
You can’t really let this get to you too much though. The gist of it will be true and what he went through so you need to put that to the back of your head and read it for what it is. He gives better explanations than the tripe the mainstream media put out, even with their ‘insider’ info, which the author claims in the book knew nothing about the real raid.
I am sure there will be a more detailed book about the raid which I will read if I come across it, but for an easy read with some action and bits about his life and training, then No Easy Day will do the job for you.
Have you read it? What did you think about it?