US ARMY 160th SOAR (Mike Durant) Special Edition Bracelet
You are purchasing a handmade 550 Paracord Survival Bracelet. These are US ARMY 160th SOAR SPECIAL EDITION Bracelets in honor of Chief Warrant Officer 4 Mike Durant, whose Blackhawk was shot down in Mogadishu. We are trying to raise money for our nonprofit foundation.
This bracelet is blue and gray. The standard design is just under 9 inches. Standard bracelets use about 10 feet of paracord. [This item can be custom sized to order. Most wrists sizes vary between 7.5 inches and 9 inches. This item can be made smaller or larger.] Please note your preference at time of checkout.
Michael J. "Mike" Durant (born July 23, 1961) is an American pilot and author who was held prisoner for eleven days in 1993 after a raid in Mogadishu, Somalia. He was a member of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Night Stalkers) as a Chief Warrant Officer 3. He retired from the Army as a Chief Warrant Officer 4 Blackhawk helicopter Master Aviator in the 160th SOAR after participating in combat operations Prime Chance, Just Cause, Desert Storm, and Gothic Serpent. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, three Air Medals, POW Medal, and numerous others.
Durant is a native of Berlin, New Hampshire. He entered the U.S. Army in August 1979. Following basic training, he attended the Defense Language Institute, and was then assigned to the 470th Military Intelligence Group at Fort Clayton in Panama as a Spanish voice intercept operator. He then completed helicopter flight training at Fort Rucker, Alabama. During flight school, he flew the TH-55 trainer and UH-1 helicopters.
Upon appointment to Warrant Officer 1 in November 1983, he completed the UH-60 Blackhawk Aviators Qualification Course and was assigned to the 377th Medical Evacuation Company in Seoul, South Korea. By the time he was 24, he had flown over 150 medevac missions in the UH-1 and UH-60. After 18 months, he transitioned to the 101st Aviation Battalion at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. As a Chief Warrant Officer 2, he attended the instructor pilot course and flew air assault missions in the UH-60. Durant joined the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) on August 1, 1988. Assigned to D Company, he performed duties as Flight Lead and Standardization Instructor Pilot. He participated in combat operations Prime Chance; Just Cause; and Operation Desert Storm, where he was the first helicopter pilot to engage a SCUD missile launcher.
During Operation Gothic Serpent, Durant was the pilot of Super Six Four, the second MH-60L Black Hawk helicopter to crash during the Battle of Mogadishu on October 3, 1993. The helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in the tail, which led to its crash about a mile southwest of the operation's target.
Durant and his crew of three, Bill Cleveland, Ray Frank, and Tommy Field, survived the crash, though they were badly injured. Durant suffered a broken leg and a badly injured back. Two Delta Force snipers, MSG Gary Gordon and SFC Randy Shughart, had been providing suppressive fire from the air at hostile Somalis who were converging on the area. Both volunteered for insertion and fought off the advancing Somalis, killing an undetermined number, until they ran out of ammunition and were overwhelmed and killed, along with Cleveland, Frank, and Field. Both Gordon and Shughart received the Medal of Honor posthumously for this action.
The Somalis captured Durant and held him in captivity. Durant was the only one of his crew to survive. During part of Durant's time in captivity, he was cared for by Somali General Mohamed Farrah Aidid's propaganda minister Abdullahi "Firimbi" Hassan. After eleven days in captivity, Durant was released, along with a captured Nigerian soldier, to the custody of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
After being freed, Durant recovered and resumed flying with the 160th SOAR. Durant retired from the Army in 2001 with more than 3,700 flight hours, over 1,400 of which were flown under night vision goggles. He now offers seminars to military personnel about helicopter maneuvering and Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) operations.
Durant offers talks about the Somalia raid and the experiences he had in captivity. He spoke extensively with actor Ron Eldard, who portrayed Durant in the movie Black Hawk Down, which chronicles the events of the raid.
In 2003, Durant published a book, In the Company of Heroes, in which he chronicles his military career and his captivity.
Durant was a member of the Bush-Cheney '04 Veterans Team and the McCain '08 Veterans team. In this capacity for McCain, he criticized presumed Presidential Democratic candidate Barack Obama for cancelling a planned trip to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) near Ramstein Air Base in Germany to visit American casualties of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Durant said he thought this was inappropriate for a potential Commander in Chief especially since Durant himself had recovered from his wounds at LRMC.
Durant holds a BS degree in professional aeronautics and a MBA degree in aviation management from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is owner, president and CEO of Pinnacle Solutions, Inc. a service-disabled, veteran-owned engineering services company based in Huntsville, Alabama.
Durant and his wife, Lisa, have six children.