The identities of the Navy SEALs who raided Osama bin Laden's compound remain a mystery, but one man who helped get them there is getting his due - publicly and financially.
Eric R. Benn, with the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, has
won a Presidential Distinguished Rank Award for his satellite imagery of
the terrorist's compound in Pakistan.
Benn "oversaw and validated trade craft and methodologies applied in
the final pursuit of and successful raid on the Osama bin Laden compound
in Abbottabad," according to an announcement about the financial reward
from the Senior Executive Association, a non-profit group which runs
the award ceremony.
His satellite imagery interpretation was used to create a built-to-scale model of the al Qaeda leader's hide out. This model was then used in White House senior strategy briefings, helping the Navy SEALs to map out their May 2011 attack, according to the the president of the association.
"Mr. Benn's singular accomplishment is probably the most stunning and
the one that will produce shock and awe for most Americans" said Carol
Bonosaru, President of the SEA.
Benn was nominated for the award by the NGA, Bonusaru told Security Clearance.
Benn, and the other 53 award recipients, each earned a lump sum bonus
equaling 35 percent of their normal annual salaries. They received
their honors at an event last month at the State Department.
The Presidential Rank Awards, established by Congress in 1978, are
given out annually. The number of awardees is capped by Congress but in
2011 the Obama administration further reduced the number of awardees