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I read the first book, Apache, and wondered how I would like having Macy take me back in time to his first deployment in Afghanistan. Well, I liked it just fine. This book is presented in the same way as "Apache", opening with a mission of engagement in Afghanistan then moving back in time to show how Macy arrived at that point in his life. There is not a focus on one particular engagement such as the Jugroom Fort battle in "Apache". Rather, this book covers many engagements with the enemy in Afghanistan. I particularly enjoyed the incidents described when Macy was flying other types of helicopters in Northern Ireland, before his time with the Apache. After approximately 150 pages the accounts of the missions flown from Camp Bastion in Afghanistan become the focus of the action. Ed Macy has a wonderful talent for describing action. Even someone such as myself who has never served in the military can fully understand what tremendous amounts of courage, grit, determination and just plain cussedness is required for these pilots to do their job. They were constantly fighting both the physical hardships of heat and sleep deprivation and they were also always under incredible stress to do everything right. One wrong move on their part could mean loss of life or loss of their military careers. They were not really given full support from their government. As seems to be the case so often, these men were sent into life threatening conditions but were hampered by rules and regulations made by people who had never set foot in the physical circumstances pilots faced every time they fired up their helicopters. Those rules became true horror situations during warfare.
lost their lock in the blossoming explosion. Simon immediately zoomed the FLIR picture out to the widest field of view. All I could see was 500 metres of Now Zad town and this big ball of heat in front of it. A second later everything was black again. I looked through the front of my window and saw an orange glow give way to darkness. ‘Breaking off,’ I called to Jake and the JTAC on the Mission Net. I threw the aircraft onto its right side and brought it round hard. ‘Wildman Five Zero and
crack on. That was that. No ruckus. Lessons taken onboard. New policy implemented. The learning curve was getting steeper for everyone. ‘Just one thing,’ he said, ‘before you go…’ He pointed at my cheekbone. He thought I’d been fragged. Action Man figures had their trademark scar down the right cheek. Apache pilots did too. If the monocle were to move one millimetre it would be disastrous for our ground troops. One millimetre at about two centimetres equated to a 150 metre error at three
whole squadron was feeling the strain. Even Billy was looking a bit rumpled. Billy sparked up our aircraft. We tested the weapons, the sights, the sensors, defensive aids suite, video; checked that the data transfer cartridge had uploaded the mission correctly, that the comms came up in the right order and that the IDM-Improved Data Modem-had configured Pat’s patrol with ours so we could communicate with each other digitally. Our Apache woke up in a good mood but Jake was experiencing comms
‘They’re over the river,’ Simon called. It was getting lighter by the second. I could now see that the south was well and truly blocked from view. I switched my fire to the right, next to the canal bank. Jake switched his left, further up the tree line. We opened up in unison, providing a clear avenue for the Chinooks. Cannon rounds stitched their way along the edge of their approach path as they flared to land. The dust rolled south as the monstrous machines hit the ground. I fired fifty
mounted their last attack-principally with rockets and mortars. Simon’s voice came over the radio. ‘Widow Seven Three, Widow Seven Three, this is Wildman Five Zero, how do you read?’ Widow Seven Three was the JTAC who coordinated all air-to-ground activity in this area. With no acknowledgement from him, Simon tried again. I suddenly spotted blue smoke below. I checked Billy’s TADS image. It was coming from the grid-reference we’d been given for the LS. Billy increased the zoom and I was able