Mike Durant, downed Black Hawk pilot in Somalia, joins Alabama Senate race


Mike Durant, a former Army aviator who flew a Black Hawk helicopter that was shot down in Mogadishu, Somalia, during the 1993 battle depicted in the book and movie “Black Hawk Down”, announced today hui he was running for the Republican nomination in Alabama’s race for the US Senate next year.

Durant moved to Alabama after retiring from the military and operates an engineering and services company he founded and based in Huntsville, according to his campaign. He will run for the seat Senator Richard Shelby is leaving after his retirement next year.

“President Trump has shown us what is possible when outsiders come forward and confront insiders and politicians,” Durant said in a press release. “I have spent my life either serving my nation or building a successful business in Alabama. I’m not going to sit idly by while Joe Biden and career politicians destroy the country I love. I sign up for another tour of duty. I am a candidate for the US Senate.

Durant joins a group of Republican nomination contestants that include Congressman Mo Brooks of Huntsville, Katie Britt, former Shelby chief of staff and former head of the Business Council of Alabama, and Lynda Blanchard, a businesswoman who was Ambassador to Slovenia in the Trump administration and businesswoman Jessica Taylor.

Former President Trump backed Brooks.

Durant’s campaign posted a video announcing his candidacy.

On October 3, 1993, Durant and his crew were shot and attacked by a mob in Mogadishu during Operation Gothic Serpent, a mission to capture the main commanders of a Somali warlord. Eighteen Americans died, including Durant’s crew – Ray Frank, Bill Cleveland and Tommy Field – and 73 were injured. Staff Sgt. Gary Gordon and Staff Sgt. 1st Class Randall Shughart, who died that day, received the Medal of Honor for his efforts to save Durant and his crew. Durant was held captive for 11 days.

After Durant retired from a 22-year military career, he and his family moved to Alabama, where he started the Pinnacle company. It has grown to employ more than 500 people and 175 subcontractor employees who work at 16 sites supporting military operations, Durant’s campaign said.

Durant’s military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star with Valor device, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, three Air Medals, one with device Valor, POW / MIA Ribbon, Army Commendation Medal with Three Oak Leaf Bunches, and more, depending on his campaign.

Durant and his wife Lisa, who is also an Army aviator, live in Madison with six children, three grandchildren and a fourth en route.

Primary is May 24.


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