Talk:Blue Light

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Page too short, sources, etc. =[edit]

I added a citation to Beckwith's book, but I am not sure that he (or anyone authoritative) claims that Blue Light still exists. --VAcharon 17:26, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Temporarily redirected and incorporated into United States Army Special Forces. It'd be good to have a Blue Light article, but when it's written it should be longer that two lines. Any volunteers?

Cheers Buckshot06 01:09, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

Blue Light is used for tooth whitening procedures and is significant in a number of scientific areas, this redirect should removed.

Someone had it redirect to a brand of beer, too, when it's already been established that this is about the former military org. So I fixed the redirect back to USASF. Alcarillo 20:07, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

I read Rod Lenahan book's Crippled Eagle and its explanation of the purposes of Blue Light are a bit different from Beckwith's point of view. Lenahan reports that the creation of Blue Light was asked by top of the Pentagon when they had just given the order to found Delta because Beckwith estimated that it would take 24 months to set up its unit (BTW, Delta was authorised on 19 nov 77 and passed its final validation exercise on 3-4 nov 79 - same day of the Tehran embassy takeover). The purpose of Blue Light was to provide a immediately available CT unit as long as Delta wasn't operational. Blue Light was desactivated short after Delta done a initial certification exercise in July 1978. Regrettably, no Blue Light member applied to Delta nor was asked by Delta to do so. The Blue Light S-2, Capt. Tim Casey, was latter one of the intel officers assigned to JTF 1-79 which commanded the ill-fated op. Ricebowl / Eagle Claw. Rob1bureau (talk) 20:15, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Rob, you have to remember that Beckwith thought COL Mountel of 5th Group was his enemy and Blue Light the competition. (talk) 05:43, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Awaiting encyclopedic-grade verification of some really good information[edit]

I picked up some really great info on Blue Light and what became SOTC from doing oral history interviews, but I have zero encyclopedic verification for any of it. I'm hiding it here on the talk page, maybe when my master's thesis gets published and is available online that will pass the "reliable source" test. Info follows:

Prior to 1982, the US Army JFK Special Warfare Center was the the 2-star headquarters for US Army SF, PSYOP and CA in CONUS. The CG at the time (then MG, later LTG Jack V. Mackmull CG USAJFKSWC 1977- 80) established the first US Army CT unit, code named "Blue Light" and consisting of three 5th SFG(A) and two 7th SFG(A) ODAs, with a provisional composite ODB. This was a reaction to the Munich Massacre, Entebbe and GSG-9's Mogadishu operation.

Blue Light used the former SIGINT facility at Mott Lake (west of the lake, north of Chicken Road). They built a 50-yard pistol range with cover, tire shoot houses and reaction ranges. Range Control was convinced to leave them alone.

After Colonel Charlie Beckwith convinced Army Chief of Staff GEN 'Shy" Myer to allow him to create a US version of the SAS, Blue Light was doomed. Despite passing the same initial operational readiness test the 1st SFOD-D failed and generally outperforming Delta, Blue Light was stood down.

Jack Mackmull was furious at Beckwith. Even though Mackmull came to SWC from the 101st and was not an "SF guy" he became a strong champion for SF. Beckwith shit all over SF when he (jumped the chain of command and directly) lobbied Myer. Beckwith thought SF couldn't perform CT and that it would take another unit to do it. Strangely, this "not good enough" continues. Now Delta isn't "good enough" etc. Ironically, of course, it was the "not good enough" Blue Light that aced their operational readiness test.

Mackmull wanted to see Blue Light's CQB capability retained in SF. The big Army wouldn't allow a training course where students shot passed each other, cooked off grenades for room clearing drills, had snipers engaging targets over their heads and had "hot" weapons on them all the time - so Mackmull authorized a "unit-level" school of 10 days (two 5-day weeks) initially run by the composite SWC ODB that had been called Blue Light, and later transferred to ODB 550 - Co. B, 2nd Battalion, 5th SFG(A). Fort Bragg Range Control was convinced to leave them alone. None of that stuff would pass a risk assessment most places and most units today.

This was the first training of its kind in the Army. Advanced marksmanship, offensive use of the pistol, breaching, hostage recovery planning, linear environments, CQB; force-on-force with BB guns (ow!), etc. We shot over 2K of .45 each in two weeks.

SOT later transferred to ODB 520 - Co. B, 1st Bn, 5th SFG(A) (in 1987) and with the establishment of the 'in-extremis' concept, became SF Advanced Reconnaissance, Target Analysis and Exploitation Course or SFARTEC and later passed to the 1st Special Warfare Training Group as a formal USAJFKSWCS course under 2nd Battalion, 1st SWTG.

I was the senior medic on ODA 566 and attended SOT Class 1-79 (October 1978). Most of the original team was still there. There was a partial aircraft in the building that we used for some of the BB-gun drills and the rest of the offices and bathroom stall doors were rigged (or not) with simulators for the unwary as part of the room clearing exercises. The live range also had a rappelling wall and staircase that we used in the training. On one of the live fires, I remember that my signal to blow the door was the crack of the sniper round over my head. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ritchie.moore (talkcontribs) 21:20, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

And , of course, it gave us the famous SOT crossed arrows and Fairburn dagger with a canted totenkopf design and the motto 'nous defions'... "we dare" - our answer to the SAS.

Anyway, this is great info from a guy who was there (went through one of the first classes when it was taught by former Blue Light members and served 30 years in SF). Once I can get proper sourcing for it, I want to add it to the main article so other special operations history buffs can benefit. (talk) 09:12, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Very interesting! I hope that this can be added to the page when your thesis is published as well. One thing though. I think that Beckwith's main concern wasn't that Blue Light "wasn't good enough," it was that a unit within the Army SF chain of command wasn't nimble and autonomous enough to do what he wanted Delta to do (and had seen the SAS doing). He wanted a unit to stand outside of that restrictive bureaucracy to do things that Blue Light and SF couldn't. He also envisioned Delta doing more than just CT. He wanted them to be capable of any operation, requiring any skill-- be it rigging a bridge with explosives, hot-wiring a car, or operating behind enemy lines in a 2 or 4 man team for an indefinite period. I'm sure it seemed to Mackmull and others that Beckwith was going completely off the reservation, and that he thought that his unit was superior to SF, but I think that he just had an uncompromising vision of what the US needed in producing an SAS-type unit.
Your information is very valuable and rare though. Thanks for atleast adding it to this page right now, and I hope that you can get the sourcing to add it to the main article. Charlie Tango Bravo 14:43, 21 February 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Charlie Tango Bravo (talkcontribs)

Rumours of Current Existence[edit]

Should'nt there be information regarding the rumours of Blue Light still existing? Its these rumours that the fictional Blue Light of Die Hard 2 are based.--The Mercenary 73 (talk) 16:08, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

Comments from[edit]

Col. Mountel was a Vietnam War veteran and spent the majority of his military career serving with Special Forces units. His service included assignments with the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Special Forces Groups (serving as commander of the 5th Special Forces Group), and being a founding member of the elite counter-terror unit Blue Light.

3. Robert Wise to ‎Jack Murphy[edit]

Jack, I would like to respond to your Operator SOFREP article. According to your definition, the only true Operators are Special Forces. They were around before DELTA and SEAL Team 6. Matter of fact before DELTA, 5th SFG was tasked to develop a CT unit called Blue Light. After DELTA came on line there was a demonstration and Blue Light kicked the DELTA teams ass. Because so much money had been placed into DELTA and the authorities came from outside the DOD channels Blue Light was disbanded. When SOT was around before SFARTEC the Blue Light teams were training with the British SAS. Every morning at formation they would sound off with their motto "He Who Dares Wins" it was the 5th SFG guys, being smart asses, that responded in French "Nous Defions" which is French slang for "We DARE". I do agree — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:08, 10 October 2015‎ (UTC)