In response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, Operation Enduring Freedom officially began October 7, 2001, with American and British bombing strikes against al-Qaeda and Taliban forces in Afghanistan. Initially, the Taliban was removed from power and al-Qaeda was seriously crippled, but forces continually dealt with a stubborn Taliban insurgency, infrastructure rebuilding and corruption among the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police, and Afghan Border Police.
On May 2, 2011, U.S. Navy SEALS launched a raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, killing the al-Qaeda leader and mastermind of the September 11th terrorist’s attacks (O’Rourke). Operation Enduring Freedom officially ended December 28, 2014, although coalition forces remain on the ground to assist with training Afghan security forces (Torreon).
The U.S. Navy had two Medal of Honor recipients during Operation Enduring Freedom, both Navy SEALS, Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy and Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward C. Byers Jr.
The links below showcase NHHC’s online holdings pertaining to Operation Enduring Freedom.
O’Rourke, Ronald. 2015. “Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress.” Congressional Research Report for Congress (November 6): 1.
Torreon, Barbara. 2016. “U.S. Periods of War and Dates of Recent Conflicts.” Congressional Research Report for Congress (September 29): 6–7.