WATCH: Navy SEAL Who Rescued Captain Phillips Reacts to ‘Captain Phillips’ Movie

SEALs Jump captain phillips

Special warfare operators from Romania exit off the ramp of a C-130J Gunship assigned to the 352nd Special Operations Wing during a military free fall as part of Trojan Footprint 21 off the coast of Mangalia, Romania on May 13th, 2021. Photo by Sgt. Patrik Orcutt.

On April 12, 2009, a contingent of America’s most elite operators — Navy SEALs from SEAL Team 6 and an Air Force combat controller — pulled off a seemingly impossible hostage rescue.

Four days earlier, four Somali pirates hijacked an American cargo ship, marking the first successful pirate seizure of an American ship since the 1800s. The pirates took Richard Phillips, the ship’s captain, hostage when they fled in one of the lifeboats. After three days of failed negotiations with the pirates, the Navy and Air Force operators took up shooting positions on the fantail of the USS Bainbridge and subsequently killed Phillip’s captors. The takeover and hostage rescue were dramatized in the 2013 film Captain Phillips.

Terry Houin — a 26-year veteran of the SEAL teams who participated in Phillips’ rescue — recently sat down with former Army Ranger and Coffee or Die Magazine contributor Jariko Denman to watch the movie and react to its accuracy. Between revealing the cool way the SEALs let Phillips know “the guys from Virginia Beach” were there and dishing on new underwater weapons, Houin had a lot to say about the movie version of the rescue. Of course, Denman — a man who spent 16 years in the 75th Ranger Regiment solving problems by applying more violence — asks some big-brain questions like, do SEALs wear helmets, and do ships have blue or red lights? Check out the entire veterans react series on YouTube.

Read Next: ‘We Kicked Ass’: JSOC Legend Says ‘Black Hawk Down’ Mission Was Not a Failure

Mac Caltrider is a senior staff writer for Coffee or Die Magazine. He is a US Marine Corps veteran and a former police officer. Caltrider earned his bachelor’s degree in history and now reads anything he can get his hands on. He is also the creator of Pipes & Pages, a site intended to increase readership among enlisted troops. Caltrider spends most of his time reading, writing, and waging a one-man war against premature hair loss.
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