Scheduled to be released on December 19, 2012 is the movie “Zero Dark Thirty”, a film recounting DEVGRUs Operation Neptune Spear, which resulted in the killing of Osama bin Laden.

View brief video on Operation Neptune Spear and the movie – Zero Dark Thirty


Osama bin Laden was initially located after US intelligence officials tracked one of his couriers.   After the Pakistan compound was located, President Obama met with national security advisers to formulate a plan of action.  During the next six weeks, President Obama and the advisors met four times – one visit involved Vice Admiral William H. McRaven, commander of the US Joint Special Operations Command.


Initially, a news source released details of a rejected plan to release (up to) 32 2,000 lb. bombs on the compound using B-2 Stealth bombers.  President Obama however felt a raid would provide the proof needed to know definitively that bin Laden was located.  A raid also would minimize civilian casualties.


Training for the Mission

Actual view of the Waziristan Mansion

Training for DEVGRU began following the March 22nd national security meeting.  Training facilities resembling the compound were set up on both coasts.  In April, the plans progressed and the teams began specific training using various tactical approaches on a replica of the “Waziristan Mansion” compound.  Some news sources reported DEVGRU made two initial practice runs – one on April 7th and one on April 13th.


John Brennon, a White House counter-terrorism advisor, identified the initial point of the mission was to capture bin Laden if he posed no threat.  An unnamed US national security official, however, informed Reuters that the operation was, in fact, a kill mission.


The Mission

After a 24-hour delay due to cloudy conditions, the President Barack Obama gave the order to proceed with the mission on May 1, 2011 to kill or capture bin Laden.  The raid ensued using 20-25 helicopters carrying DEVGRU members – 79 commandos and one dog.  Multiple backup helicopters – including two Black Hawks and two Chinooks and a number of search-and-rescue helicopters – were available for backup.


On May 1, 2011, the DEVGRU team used explosives to breach the walls of the compound and proceeded to attack its structures.  Despite receiving open fire, the SEALs were able to neutralize the guards and then proceeded in clearing various structures throughout the compound.  Couriers on the first floor were killed and additional personnel and women and children encountered on the second and third floors were captured and secured in place with zip ties.  Once the raid was over, they were moved outside.


The team located and confronted bin Laden on the third floor.  Bin Laden resisted leaving the DEVGRU team no choice but to shoot.  As a result, the SEAL Team 6 mission – Operation Neptune Spear – ultimately led to the killing of Osama bin Laden.


9 Responses to Operation Neptune Spear – the Killing of Osama bin Laden

  1. Steven Pascua says:

    The information i received from this website disappointed me…there were hardly any details, despite showing how many helicopters and people were there… i understand this is an important, and still somewhat classified mission…but this page was absolutely of no help to me. i learned more from the discovery channel than i did on this webpage… you have the time to type this information down, at least make it more detailed…in fact actually have detail in it at all!!! i will now retreat quickly to my room and read the actual book that was written on this…maybe you should read it so that the information you give will be more helpful…thank you for reading this comment… i hope this contradictory critique helps you in making helpful webpages next time.

    • alon2392 says:

      We are sorry you were disappointed. We operate a very large museum on a very small staff here and the articles we post are meant to simply give a brief overview of various historical events. We are always open to someones input regarding our web-site. Thank you for visiting.

  2. victor says:

    were there any casualties of US soldiers during the raid

  3. TJ says:

    I am glad that Bin Laden is gone, what happened on September 11, 2001 was an unforgivable act among others. Kudos to the seals from ST6 and the intelligence guys who took part in Operation Neptune Spear in their own way. You guys did a hell of a job.

  4. A middle school student says:

    I am wondering whether or not I can trust your website. I am using this resource for a school project on 9/11 and you have misspelled the president’s name. It is “Barack Obama” not “Barak Obama”. The president’s name is a big deal to misspell on a museum website. Please correct it so people don’t have to question your website. Thank you for your time.

    • alon2392 says:

      Simply a typographical oversight. We do strive for accuracy, but sometimes errors do get past us. We thank you for pointing out the error. It has been corrected. Good luck with your school project. There was a great documentary on 9/11. Two guys were doing a video on a day in the life of a rookie fireman and ended out being on sight after the tragedy. They captured incredible film footage. I don’t remember the name of the documentary, but you may want to research and see if you can find it. A definite must see.

      Thank you for visiting our website.

  5. A middle school student says:

    Thanks for suggestion! My project went well.

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