With all the talk of Blackwater snipers these days, I figured I'd post some footage. No, this is not the latest stuff, but it gives a good feel for who these men are and how they act. This clip comes from 2005, with commentary below.
(Wait for the helicopter intro to pass; the sniper section is right behind it.)
The 5-man Blackwater crew that was assinged to CPA [Coalition Provisional Authority] Najaf were coming under heavy small arms and mortar fire, the city was being taken over by insurgents. The police stations and hospitals were taken over as well, after a day of fighting off hundreds of insurgents the city had been completely overrun, with the CPA in the heart of the city and no way out.
The Team called up to Baghdad and reported the situation, they said they needed immediate extract which Gen Sanchez also denied due to the fact the city had been overrun and there were no US troops there, only contractors.
Well, Ambassador Bremer was pissed at Sanchez and I remember being on office watch during the massive arguments! Ambassador Bremer and our Baghdad Team Leader got together and Bremer said ''I don't want another Bridge hanging! Get those boys out of there by any means nessassary!'' so 12 of us -- 6 pilots and 6 gunners loaded as much as we could in 3 MD530 little birds and headed 70 miles south. we flew in the first day and blind (no comms, and no intel on the heat) to try a resupply, land find out was was going on and then head back, rearm and get ready to go again. Well that night all hell broke lose and we flew back in. Over 1000 insurgents (reported by the F18 pilots) had taken the city and now wanted the CPA after a day of intense fighting by 11 BW [Blackwater] guys, airstrikes, a handfull of Marines and 1 sniper we were able to hold them off. After it died down and gunships and SF [Special Forces] guys finally started to roll in the battle was soon over and the CPA was saved.
That's pretty much it in a nut shell...