Cairo: The Canine US Navy Seal

On Friday, I expressed Bravo Zulu to the US Navy SEALS for taking down Bin Laden but it appears that I failed to congratulate one important member of that team: Cairo. Cairo, a Belgian Malinois, was the only four legged member of the 80 souls who conducted the raid and he accompanied the 24 men from SEAL Team 6 who entered the compound. While the involvement of the 24 men from SEAL Team 6 has not been confirmed by the government or military, Cairo’s involvement has been documented and, in addition to being the only member of the 80 to be identified, he was included in the private meetings on Friday 6 May where the President thanked those involved.

Cairo’s role in the raid has not been detailed but in this New York Times article they discuss why he might have been included based upon the tasks other dogs have been assigned in this theater over the last 10 years.

Foreign Policy has a photo essay on dogs like Cairo and I’ve included a few of those pictures here:

A US Army soldier with the 10th Special Forces Group and his military working dog jump off the ramp of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment during water training over the Gulf of Mexico as part of exercise Emerald Warrior 2011 on 1 March 2011. Emerald Warrior is an annual two-week joint/combined tactical exercise sponsored by US Special Operations Command designed to leverage lessons learned from operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom to provide trained and ready forces to combatant commanders. DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez, US Air Force.

US segeant Matthew Templet (L) from 627 Security Forces Squadran, Joint Base Lewis Mc Chord, makes “Basco” from Patrol Explosive Detector Dog (PEDD) of US Airforce, seeking for the explosives in an abandoned house in Haji Ghaffar village during a clearance patrol in Zari district of Kandahar province on December 27, 2010. US Army soldiers patrol the abandoned village of Haji Ghaffar to re-clear the area from the explosives as the Afghan villagers have started moving back to their homes. The residents left their village about three years ago when it turned into a battlefield against Talibans. AFP PHOTO/BEHROUZ MEHRI (Photo credit should read BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

Military police US Marines attached to 1st Battalion, 6th regiment, Charlie company relaxes with their bomb sniffer dogs caporal “Books” (R) and Caporal “Good one” in Huskers camp on the outskirts of Marjah in central Helmand on January 25, 2010. The presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan meet in Turkish-sponsored talks this week in Istanbul to discuss closer co-operation against Taliban insurgents and improve ties poisoned by the insecurity plaguing their rugged border, ahead of a London conference aimed at promoting Afghanistan’s development. AFP PHOTO/CHRISTOPHE SIMON (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images)

[Images courtesy of Foreign Policy.]

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website:

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