The special operations team had been waiting for weeks on the mission to retake Mosul, Iraq.
“We were prepared for it, and, finally, it came down that we were going to get the go-ahead on the morning of Oct. 20,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Lewis, a combat controller attached to a Navy SEAL team during the 2016 Mosul offensive, in an interview with Air Force Times.
“Unlike Afghanistan, it was really unlike anything I had ever seen before,” Lewis said. “Every gunfight can be pretty bad, but because there was a forward line of troops, and [the Islamic State terror group] had owned that ground for so long, the amount of resources they had and the time they put into preparing their environment really caught us off guard.”