These Navy EOD Techs Fought Off 20 ISIS Fighters in a Cave During Secret Night Raid

I assume they were wearing their EOD blast gear. Otherwise the operators would have quickly gotten in front of them into the fight.

Two California-based sailors have been recognized for extraordinary heroism during a nighttime raid on a remote underground Islamic State group hideout, where the pair fought off 20 terrorists and shielded their comrades from grenades and enemy fire.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians 1st Class Christopher Greene and Travis Holland were each presented with the Bronze Star with combat "V" device last week at Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach, California. They were recognized for their actions during a Sept. 18 mission in Iraq's Anbar province while assigned to Special Operations Task Force-West.



The team traveled to the ISIS headquarters hideout by helicopter during the stealthy overnight raid. Despite constant danger of explosive hazards, Greene safely led the combined assault force to the target and began clearing the enemy cave complex, his award citation states.


"While clearing the cave of improvised explosive threats, Petty Officer Greene's element was engaged by 15 to 20 enemy fighters barricaded within the cave system," it adds. "Without hesitation, he deliberately stepped in the line of fire at a critical time to shield his teammates from close range automatic weapon fire."


Holland, who'd found the 15 to 20 ISIS fighters barricaded deep inside the cave, shielded the other troops from a blast when he saw two terrorists preparing to throw grenades into the main cavern where his team was standing.


"Petty Officer Holland positioned himself in the open to shield his team from a potentially fatal blast, while also engaging the enemy combatants who were only three meters away," according to his award citation. "With disregard for his own safety, he repeatedly maneuvered directly in the line of enemy fire to shield his team."