Congress to revisit Wardak helicopter attack, crash that killed 38

President Barack Obama, in the process of saluting, participates in a ceremony at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware on Tuesday, August 9, 2011, for the dignified transfer of U.S. and Afghan personnel who died in Afghanistan on August 6.


By BILL BARTEL | The (Norfolk, Va.) Virginian-Pilot | Published: February 21, 2014

A congressional hearing set for next week will focus on the 2011 attack on a U.S. helicopter in Afghanistan that killed 38 people, including more than a dozen Navy SEALs based in Virginia Beach.

A subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is slated to hear testimony Thursday morning at a Capitol Hill hearing titled "Afghanistan: Honoring the Heroes of Extortion 17." A witness list was not available Thursday.

Extortion 17 refers to the call sign of the Chinook helicopter that crashed in Wardak province, southwest of Kabul, on Aug. 6, 2011, after being struck by a rocket-propelled grenade.

Everyone on board was killed, including 17 Navy SEALS, five naval special operations personnel, three Air Force special tactics airmen, an Army helicopter crew of five, seven Afghan commandos and an Afghan interpreter. A military dog also died.

Twenty of the 30 Americans who died were based in Virginia Beach.

Some of the affected family members have said they haven't received an adequate explanation of what happened. The parents of four service members filed a civil suit in U.S. District Court last year against Vice President Joe Biden and former defense secretary Leon Panetta, accusing them of prompting the attack by divulging that a SEAL team killed Osama bin Laden.

The Chinook was attacked three months after a Beach-based SEAL team killed bin Laden in Pakistan.

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