A member of Task Force Dagger—the group made famous in the book “Horse Soldiers” now the basis of the major motion picture “12 Strong” will visit the Clarkson University campus next month.
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Alan Mack (Ret.) will be in Potsdam on February 19, 2018. He will be speaking in the Forum in the Student Center at 10 a.m. His leadership and heroism was detailed in another book, “Not a Good Day to Die.” That book detailed the exploits of Operation Anaconda. That took place the following year after the Task Force Dagger exploits.
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Mack is an Orange County, NY resident, and currently serves as the Deputy Commissioner for the Orange County Department of Emergency Services, Division of Emergency Management.
A native of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Mack served 35 years in the US Army before retiring in 2016. His military career in the Aviation Branch included 17 years in Army Special Operations and he was awarded the Legion of Merit, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, 3 Bronze Stars, 10 Air Medals (one with Valor Device), and a Combat Action Badge. He logged more than 6700 flying hours during his tenure.
During Operations Desert Shield and Storm, Mack participated as a CH-47D “Chinook” pilot. He flew MH-47’s while assigned to the 160th SOAR, the Army’s only Special Operations Aviation Regiment. His crew was one of the first into Afghanistan and the first into Mazar-i-Sharif as part of America’s Response to the attacks on 9/11. His cargo -- a 5th Special Forces “A Team” (ODA 595) aka “the Horse Soldiers” -- helped topple the Taliban, capture the country’s capital, and reclaimed possession of the US Embassy. They carried pieces of World Trade Center Steel around the country, burying them as symbolic memorials in honor of those lost in the attacks on US soil.
As a Special Operations Flight Leader participating in special operations around the world in support of the Global War on Terror, Mack collaborated with Army Rangers, The Army's Special Mission Unit, Special Forces, Navy SEALS, assorted Special Mission Units (SMUs), and Other Government agencies.
Prior to retirement, Mack served as Commander of the West Point Military Academy Aviation Detachment.
Mack resides in the Hudson Valley with his wife, Patti.
Click here to learn more about the rescue on Roberts Ridge.