San Diego’s Military Ties With Osama Bin Laden’s Death

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The announcement of Osama Bin Laden’s death came as a shock. The man behind the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center and head of the Taliban, one of the most violent terrorist groups in the world, is finally dead.

Many took to the streets in celebration, while others turned to private introspection, and contemplated what this news meant for them and for the nation.

But regardless of how people reacted to the news, one thing that everyone was thinking was about was the impressive men and women of the military and intelligence who planned and carried out the strike that finally ended Osama Bin Laden’s reign of terror.

In San Diego, the mood was no different. People gathered in public in San Diego’s many late night establishments to share the news. The mood was one of elation, relief and camaraderie. San Diego’s many service men and women joined in celebrating the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death last night as well.

In Coronado, where the sense of pride was especially palpable, the bars were filled with ecstatic Marines who left base to celebrate with their fellow citizens.

Given San Diego’s pervasive military history, it comes as no surprise that some of the bases around San Diego were directly involved in the strike carried out on Sunday.

Although much of the information surrounding the six members of the elite Special Forces team that carried out the strike on Sunday is still classified, sources say that they were a branch of the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group, and possibly began their training in Coronado’s Naval Amphibious Base.

One of two amphibious naval bases in the nation, this is the same base that has produced other small Special Forces units like the Navy SEALs. These highly skilled soldiers are some of the most respected members of the military and undergo intense, comprehensive training. After the strike, Bin Laden’s body was carried to sea in the USS Carl Vinson, an aircraft carrier based in San Diego.

After being identified by one of his wives and a DNA test, the Carl Vinson took Bin Laden’s body to be buried at sea in accordance with traditional Islamic customs, which requires a swift burial.

The USS Carl Vinson has its homeport at the Naval Station North Island in San Diego, also in Coronado. Named after a Congressman from Georgia, the ship has a long history of serving in several U.S. conflicts as well as relief efforts. In 2003 it was deployed to the Persian Gulf at the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom to launch some of the first airstrikes.

While many are still celebrating this momentous turn in the war against terror, some have begun to consider the potential consequences of Bin Laden’s death.

Today Military bases around the nation are on alert, and have increased the security level to FPCON Bravo, which indicates “a somewhat predictable terrorist threat. Security measures taken by agency personnel may affect the activities of local law enforcement and the general public.”

The Naval base at Point Loma sent a statement to its staff today, warning them of an increased terrorist threat, hence the shift from FPCON Normal to Bravo.

So while many Americans continue to celebrate the vindication of the thousands of men and women who perished in the September 11th attacks, our military remains vigilant.

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