CRESTVIEW — On Friday, over 800 local soldiers and their families were invited to a special screening of “12 Strong,” a movie about the first Special Forces Group deployed to Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The screening took place 10 a.m. at the Marquis Cinema 10 in Crestview. The Friday premiere was open only to soldiers currently in the 7th Special Forces Group. Throughout this month, “12 Strong” will premiere nationwide.
“The significance of this movie today is to tell the story of the amazing bravery of the soldiers of the 5th group and what they went through,” Army spokesperson Maj. Kimbia Rey said. “Special Forces soldiers are known as quiet professionals and they’re not often recognized for the things that they do.”
The movie follows one of three teams assigned to mission Task Force Dagger and the soldiers who partnered with the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban and al-Qaida. It’s based on the best-selling book "Horse Soldiers."
“The American public is not often provided an opportunity to hear of these things due to the classification,” Rey said. “So this is a great event to pay homage to what these soldiers did.”
The timeline of the movie closely follows the real sequence of events, but the film took artistic liberties with characters and dramatized some events, according to Rey.
“While we’re not endorsing the movie, we are in agreement that this a pretty factual account of what transpired,” she said.
The movie was approved by the U.S. Army Office of the Chief of Public Affairs.
“The Army provided support to the production to help tell an accurate story, and we are looking forward to its release. We are pleased to have the opportunity to help tell the amazing story about the brave service members who faced innumerable challenges against incredible odds,” a statement released by the army said.
The 5th Special Forces Group arrived in Afghanistan 39 days after the 2001 attacks. They worked with the Afghan forces to plan offensive attacks aimed at driving the Taliban out of their strongholds and recapturing key terrain, Rey said.
The mission was completed in less than two months.
The army assisted the makers of “12 Strong” with locations used in the movie and some of the equipment.
White Sands Missile Range provided filmmakers with locations for filming that would accurately simulate the rough Afghan terrain.
The Army also provided aircraft used in the movie, including the the actual unit used in the 2001 missions.
Editors' Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the number of service members who attended the screening.