Down Range: Navy Seals in the War on Terrorism (Paperback)
In America’s battle against al-Qaeda and their allies, the goal of the Navy SEALs is to be the best guns in the fight—stealthy, effective, professional, and lethal. Here for the first time is a SEAL insider’s battle history of these Special Operations warriors in the war on terrorism.
“Down range” is what SEALs in Afghanistan and Iraq call their area of operations. In this new mode of warfare, “down range” can refer to anything from tracking roving bands of al-Qaeda on a remote mountain trail in Afghanistan to taking down an armed compound in Tikrit and rousting holdouts from Saddam Hussein’s regime. It could mean interdicting insurgents smuggling car-bomb explosives over the Iraqi-Syrian border or silently boarding a freighter on the high seas at night to enforce an embargo. In other words, “down range” could be anywhere, anytime, under any conditions.
In Down Range, author Dick Couch, himself a former Navy SEAL and CIA case officer, uses his unprecedented access to bring the reader firsthand accounts from the warriors in combat during key missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Couch creates a pulse-pounding, detailed narrative of the definitive engagements of this war, while painting an unusually intimate portrait of these warriors in the field. The performance of the SEALs in difficult, changing environments—in the heat of the Afghan desert, in the snow-packed Hindu Kush, on the high seas, and in the urban chaos of Baghdad—has been nothing short of extraordinary. The SEALs, coordinating with other American forces, the CIA, and foreign special operations units like the Polish GROM, have once more shown their genius for improvisation and capacity for courageous action in leading the fight against this new and vicious enemy.
The first battle history of its kind, Down Range is a riveting close-up of some of America’s finest warriors in action against a deadly foe.
Also available as an eBook
About the Author
Dick Couch graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1967 and served as a Special Warfare Officer with the SEALs. While a platoon leader with SEAL Team One in 1970, he led one of the only successful POW rescue operations of the Vietnam War. In 1972 he entered the Central Intelligence Agency, where he served as a maritime operations case officer. Couch has spent five of the last fifteen years embedded with American special operation components. His nonfiction books include The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228, The Finishing School, Down Range, Chosen Soldier, Sua Sponte, and Always Faithful, Always Forward. He has lectured at the Air Force Academy, West Point, Naval Academy, FBI Academy, and U.S. Marine War College.
“Down Range puts the reader in the SEAL squad file, in the action. It is the unique and personal story of the warriors who go in harm’s way in the global war on terror.” —The Hon. Anthony Principi, Secretary of Veterans Affairs (2001–2005)
“An intimate account of the deadly work of the U.S. Navy SEALs. We associate the Navy’s special forces with maritime operations, but in the war against terrorists they have been almost everywhere—from the high mountains of Afghanistan blowing up Taliban ordnance to the streets of Mosul hunting down former Baathists and al-Qaedists. Down Range is a fascinating, behind-the-scenes account of how the SEALs fight and why they are so good at it—written by a seasoned veteran in gripping fashion.” —Victor Davis Hanson, Senior Fellow, the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and author of Ripples of Battle