On May 2, 2011, Cairo, a six-year-old Belgian Malinois, was among the first members of the U.S. Navy SEAL team on the ground as part of Operation Neptune Spear, the raid which resulted in the elimination of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.
The mission ended a decade-long manhunt for the notorious mastermind behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Details about the members of SEAL Team Six who were involved in the covert operation remained classified and largely unknown to the public until recently.
In his new memoir, “No Ordinary Dog,” Will Chesney, a former Navy SEAL, tells the story of meeting Cairo, the dog that got assigned to him when he became a SEAL canine handler in 2008, and whose life would be irrevocably tied to his own. Cairo's role during Operation Neptune Spear was to help patrol the compound and attack any enemy fighters who might appear. Thirty-six hours after the raid, the SEALs were back in the US, meeting with President Obama who asked to meet Cairo.
In 2013 Cairo retired, and Chesney was able to adopt him a year later after jumping through numerous bureaucratic hoops. But a few months later, the dog’s body began to deteriorate due to the stress and work he had been through, and Cairo died in 2015. To this day, Chesney has kept the harness Cairo was wearing the night of the bin Laden raid.