Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans


Roland Guidry | Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) - Air Force

3:12   |   The Pentagon set up a commission to investigate Operation Eagle Claw, the failed attempt to rescue the hostages in Iran. Roland Guidry was the first chief of air operations at the newly formed Joint Special Operations Command, the organization created to deal with unconventional warfare in the future.

More From Roland Guidry

Keywords   :     Roland Guidry    pilot    Holloway Report    James L. Holloway III    Operation Eagle Claw    Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC)    Fort Bragg    Reese Air Force Base    Lockheed MC-130 Combat Talon    Hughes OH-6 Cayuse (Loach)    Delta Force    Osama Bin-Laden    Somali pirates

Videos ( 18 )
Cold War
  • Roland Guidry  |  Cold War  |  Multiple Units  |  5:11

    Roland Guidry's first language was French, down in the Louisiana bayou. Inspired by a cousin who enlisted first, he went in after college, where he began pilot training at a civilian flight school. Tough as nails is how he describes real flight school at Reese Air Force Base. When it came time to pick your aircraft, the C-130 was still available and that suited him just fine.

  • Roland Guidry  |  Cold War  |  Alaskan Air Command  |  9:05

    Roland Guidry didn't just fly any old C-130, he was flying a C-130D, outfitted with skis. The vast network of radar sites in the Distant Early Warning system needed supplies and servicing. Some of the Arctic sites were so distant and isolated, there were no runways for a wheeled landing. It was during this time that he first went to Vietnam on temporary duty supporting the construction of a new base.

  • Roland Guidry  |  Cold War  |  Tactical Air Warfare Center  |  3:45

    Roland Guidry was in charge of testing and research for Air Force special operations but the Vietnam era was ending. That meant there was little for him to do so he focused on improving equipment for pilots of the newer and faster jet fighters.

  • Roland Guidry  |  Cold War  |  8th Special Operations Squadron  |  6:32

    C-130 pilot Roland Guidry had flown top secret missions in Vietnam and that was good preparation for his new assignment as commander of the 8th Special Operations Squadron. They flew the special ops version of the C-130, the Combat Talon. He was just settling in at the job when startling news came from Iran.

Other Conflict
  • Roland Guidry  |  Other Conflict  |  8th Special Operations Squadron  |  8:51

    The seizure of the American embassy in Tehran caught the Pentagon flat footed with no existing special operations capability to do anything about it. An ad hoc task force was hastily assembled and Roland Guidry was part of that effort. He had just assumed command of an Air Force special ops squadron which immediately began training with the new Delta Force. Part 1 of 4.

  • Roland Guidry  |  Other Conflict  |  8th Special Operations Squadron  |  8:14

    Early in the planning for the rescue attempt of the hostages in Iran, it was decided that carrier based helicopters would be the key aircraft. They would rendezvous with fixed wing aircraft carrying personnel and fuel in the remote Iranian desert. Pilot Roland Guidry explains why a preliminary clandestine mission was required before planning could continue. Part 2 of 4.

  • Roland Guidry  |  Other Conflict  |  8th Special Operations Squadron  |  6:48

    The plan was complicated, with a lot of moving parts, but there was high confidence that the team would be able to rescue the hostages in Iran. Pilot Roland Guidry describes how a combination of fixed wing aircraft and helicopters would deliver the Delta Force and the Rangers and then extract them along with the hostages. Part 3 of 4.

  • Roland Guidry  |  Other Conflict  |  8th Special Operations Squadron  |  5:30

    The last details of the plan to rescue the hostages in Iran are laid out by Roland Guidry, who was pivotal in planning the air operations. Part of it relied on a clandestine operative who came out of retirement to participate and was inserted ahead of time to secure a warehouse for the team to use. Part 4 of 4.

  • Roland Guidry  |  Other Conflict  |  8th Special Operations Squadron  |  3:01

    After months of intense planning and training, Operation Eagle Claw commenced. Pilot Roland Guidry was on the first plane to arrive at Desert One, a remote rendezvous point in the Iranian desert. There, the mission would unravel, done in by mechanical malfunctions and worse.

  • Roland Guidry  |  Other Conflict  |  8th Special Operations Squadron  |  4:12

    The rescue attempt failed but it was the genesis of an all out effort to reorganize and improve the special operations capability of the military. Roland Guidry helped manage the air operations as the team began Project Honey Badger, which aimed to mount a second try at freeing the hostages in Iran.

  • Roland Guidry  |  Other Conflict  |  Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC)  |  5:49

    The newly formed Joint Special Operations Command was beefing up the capabilities of all branches. One of the keys was the formation of SEAL Team 6. Over at the Air Force, Roland Guidry explains how they struggled to come up with the assets to succeed at their part of the plan. In the middle of all this, Grenada suddenly became a hot spot.

  • Roland Guidry  |  Other Conflict  |  Multiple Units  |  6:31

    When Roland Guidry was given the command of the 8th Special Operations Squadron, he had to prove himself because he was not from a special ops background, per se. He did just fine. The missions he'd flown in Vietnam were perfect preparation. He says it takes a certain type of low key individual to excel at that type work.

  • Roland Guidry  |  Other Conflict  |  8th Special Operations Squadron  |  59:04

    Operation Eagle Claw was a pivotal moment in Special Operations history. Unconventional warfare had been ignored after the Vietnam War and three veterans of that conflict, who were also deeply involved with the attempt to rescue the hostages in Iran, reveal the inside story of the planning and tragic outcome. George Ferkes, Roland Guidry and Keith Nightingale each offer a unique perspective on the events.

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