From award-winning journalist and combat veteran Michael Hirsh comes the thrilling inside story of the Air Force's pararescue operations in Afghanistan. The first journalist to be embedded with an Air Force combat unit in the war on terrorism, Hirsh flew from Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, with the 71st Rescue Squadron to their expeditionary headquarters at a secret location in Central Asia.
Unparalleled access to the pararescue jumpers-or PJs-as well as to the courageous men and women who fly them where they have to go, often under enemy fire, allowed Michael Hirsh to uncover incredible stories of courage. Among them: the drama of a plane crash at 10,000 feet in the Hindu Kush mountains, where PJs climb with hundred-pound packs through chest-deep snow to rescue the crew...the tension of an unprecedented nighttime combat parachute jump into the middle of an Afghan minefield...the heartbreak during Operation Anaconda, when seven American fighting men die, including the first PJ killed in combat since Vietnam.
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Michael Hirsh is a Vietnam combat veteran, a broadcast journalist, and a George Foster Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker. He is the author of Pararescue: The Skill and Courage of the Elite 106th Rescue Wing: The True Story of an Incredible Rescue at Sea and the Heroes Who Pulled It Off.From Publishers Weekly:
A cross between Green Berets and 911 paramedics, Air Force pararescuemen-PJs for short-parachute or helicopter in, sometimes under fire, to treat and evacuate sick or wounded soldiers. Narrowly specialized, highly trained and bound by the credo "That Others May Live," PJs are the embodiment of the hyper-professionalism and leave-no-comrade-behind ethos of today's military. This gung-ho and often gripping account celebrates their exploits in the war in Afghanistan. Investigative reporter Hirsh loves to shoot the breeze with PJs while they regale him with anecdotes, brag about their maniacal training regimen and disparage other commando units, especially the Navy SEALs ("We don't think the world revolves around us," says one PJ. "Whereas the SEALs do"). Sometimes Hirsch lets his subjects go on too long, giving readers an all too vivid impression of a torpid day at the base. But when the action starts, he depicts their harrowing adventures with verve and insight, writing in a laconic, acronym-heavy military-ese that aptly conveys the cool-headed grit with which soldiers cope with the chaos of combat ("Captain Self began to sense that the shrapnel wound in his right thigh was going to cause mobility problems as the day wore on"). A Vietnam vet himself, Hirsh retains a certain scorn for the brass, especially when they evince a lack of faith in the PJ's ability to get the job done. Full of special-ops procedural, you-are-there detail, and moments of real pathos as soldiers confront the horrors of war, this book will delight military buffs.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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