Extortion 17 In Memory To Fallen Teammates DEVGRU SEAL Team 6 Gold Squadron Gold Plated Navy Challenge Coin
2 x 1 1/4 inch Challenge Coin. Gold plated version.
Copy of letter which accompanied the coin is shown.
On 5 August 2011, a U.S. CH-47D Chinook military helicopter operating with the call sign Extortion 17 (pronounced "one-seven") was shot down while transporting a Quick Reaction Force attempting to reinforce a Joint Special Operations Command unit of the 75th Ranger Regiment in the Tangi Valley in Maidan Wardak province, southwest of Kabul, Afghanistan.
The resulting crash killed all 38 people on board: 23 US Navy SEALs, 2 United States Air Force Pararescue, 1 United States Air Force Combat Control Team member, one pilot and two crewmen of the United States Army Reserve, one pilot and one crewman of the United States Army National Guard, seven members of the Afghan National Security Forces, and one Afghan interpreter, as well as a U.S. military working dog. At 31 U.S. military personnel killed, the shoot down of Extortion 17 represents the greatest single-incident loss of U.S. lives in Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan, surpassing the sixteen lost in the downing of Turbine 33, a 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) MH-47, during Operation Red Wings on 28 June 2005.
The 31 American deaths represent the greatest loss of U.S. military lives in a single incident in the, by then, decade-long war in Afghanistan that began in 2001.
Fifteen of the Navy SEALs that were killed were members of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU), while the other two Navy SEALs killed in the helicopter shootdown were from an unidentified West Coast-based SEAL unit. The five other Navy casualties were NSW (Naval Special Warfare) support personnel; in addition to these, three AFSOC operators, one Combat Controller and two Pararescuemen, all members of the 24th Special Tactics Squadron, died in the crash. Their deaths are the greatest single loss of life ever suffered by the U.S. Special Operations community in the 24-year history of the U.S. Special Operations Command.