Green Beret veteran Scott Zastrow gives an account of his experience as a member of Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) 555, one of the first American special ops teams deployed in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001. He also discusses his book, “The Deguello,” a fictionalized representation of his time in the military.
- Zastrow and his team, ODA 555, faced immediate challenges upon their insertion into Afghanistan, including technical issues with the initial flight and the danger posed by the hostile environment.
- The team worked closely with the Northern Alliance, facilitated by the CIA. Despite language barriers and cultural differences, the collaboration proved to be successful.
- The mission of ODA 555 evolved from primarily gathering information (reconnaissance) to full-scale combat operations as they gained the trust and cooperation of the Northern Alliance.
- A significant part of their mission was observing the movements and positions of Taliban forces, especially from their vantage point at Bagram Airfield.
- Zastrow later wrote a book, “The Deguello,” to share an authentic narrative of his experiences, capturing the essence of special operations and the camaraderie among team members.