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Chariots of the Damned: Helicopter Special Operations from Vietnam to Kosovoby Mike Mckinney
Synopses & Reviews
The flight to the initial point was much shorter than the flight to the border. About twenty miles inside Iraq, the Pave Lows had reached the initial point. Using a predetermined signal, dropping a bundle of green chemical lights taped together, Capt Kingsley's helicopter marked the point for the following Apaches. The Paves made a sharp 180-degree turn and proceeded to the holding point to watch the show. All four Apaches pulled up on the chem lights and updated their coordinates. In their forward looking infrared (FLIR) video screens the radar sites could clearly be seen in the distance. The Apaches continued forward toward their targets. About two miles away and precisely at 0238 hours, the Apaches opened fire with their Hellfire missiles. In the FLIR videotapes, an Iraqi soldier standing guard outside can be seen running toward the site, and just as he opens the door a Hellfire impacts the building. Within seconds, the Apaches continue the attack with 2.75in rockets and 30mm rounds from their guns. The radar site explodes into a huge fireball, lighting up the desert for miles around. Simultaneously, Red team attacks the farthest site in similar fashion. Intelligence assets immediately notice the disappearance of radar signals from the sites. The men in the helicopters didn't need any reassurance that the sites were destroyed, they could see it with their own eyes. The war had started and Task Force Normandy had struck the first blow.
--from Chariots of the Damned
From disaster at Desert 1 to the Gulf War, Bosnia and the tragedy in Somalia, Chariots of the Damned is an edge-of-the-seat ride into some of the most incredible battles of recent times.
This first authorized account of the U.S. Air Force's elite Special Operations Group by a serving officer describes incredible missions from the early days of helicopter rescue in Vietnam to the ill-fated attempt to rescue hostages in Iran to successful rescue missions in Serbia and Kosovo. photos. Martin's Press.
The First Authorized Account By A Serving Officer in the U.S. Air Force's Elite Special Operartions Group
When F-16 pilot Scott O'Grady was shot down over Bosnia, a rescue mission was launched immediately. It involved nearly 100 aircraft, but succeeded in plucking him to safety in broad daylight. The pilot of the only F-117 Stealth bomber to have ever been shot down was spirited away with equal success. The USAF's elite special organizations Group is the product of many years of hard experience, but only now is it possible to reveal how many of its most famous missions were conducted.
Mike McKinney and Mike Ryan investigate the origins of the Special Operations Group and experience the early rescue missions in Vietnam. The grisly fate awaiting captured American fliers spurred the USAF to develop new weapons and tactics to fight their way through intense enemy anti-aircraft fire. Sometimes the rescue of a single man would escalate into a major military operation. If the ultimate Vietnam rescue mission, the Son Tay raid, was a failure, it did demonstrate how far techniques and equipment had evolved.
From disaster at Desert 1 to the Gulf War, Bosnia and the tragedy in Somalia, Chariots of the Damned takes you on an edge-of-the-seat ride into some of the most incredible battles of recent times.
About the Author
Maj. Mike McKinney is an instructor pilot in the U.S. Air Force who currently flies the MH-53 Pave Low. He has over 2,500 hours in the UH-1H, UH-1N, AND THE MH-53, and has participated in operations Restore Democracy in Haiti (1994), Deliberate Force in Bosnia (1995), and with the Allied Force in Kosovo (1999). He has served with the 20th SOS at Hurlburt Field and 21st SOS at RAF Mildenhall, UK. He lives in Florida with his wife, Sherry, son AJ, and daughter Rachel.
Mike Ryan is the president of the American advanced concepts company Avpro Aerospace. He has co-authored two other aviation books, Warplanes of the Future and X-Planes. He frequently appears on TV as a defense and aerospace expert and is a technical consultant to the film industry. Ryan serves in the British reserve forces as an army officer. He is married with two children.
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