Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"Dustoff Three-Zero confirms three heroes on board"

Night-vision video of US Army Paratroopers and Afghan Army soldiers (some injured) being evacuated off a mountain in the Hindu Kush, near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. You can see, in the rough video, how unforgiving the terrain is. The video is more dramatic when you realize they are operating in darkness, and right up against mountain cliffs. It's very cool that one of the helicopter pilot voices belongs to a woman. American women pilot both bombers and helicopters in combat missions. Link to video at Soldiers Angels Germany:
The troops were on their way back from a meeting in a nearby village just two miles from OP Bella when they were attacked on 9 November. Five Soldiers from the 173rd ABCT and one Marine were killed. Eight more Sky Soldiers and 11 ANA were wounded.

Eight separate air crews subsequently conducted what was to become a 31-hour medevac mission involving multiple lifts.
Wow. Honor. Shining, determined, never-give-up honor.

Aside: An acquaintance' son is an Air Force Para-Rescue Specialist, and has been serving in theater for approx. 18 months. During training, both Air Force Para-Rescue Specialists and Navy Seals are intentionally drowned, then revived. The Air Force and the Navy want each man to know how far he can go, underwater, before passing out. A person cannot actually know how far they can go until they go there. Every trainee knows they will be drowned, yet they fight for the honor of continuing the training.

In Memoriam:

1st Lt. Matthew C. Ferrara, 24, of Torrance, Calif.
Sgt. Jeffery S. Mersman, 23, of Parker, Kan
Spc. Sean K.A. Langevin, 23, of Walnut Creek, Calif.
Spc. Lester G. Roque, 23, of Torrance, Calif.
Pfc. Joseph M. Lancour, 21, of Swartz Creek, Mich.
Marine Sgt. Phillip A. Bocks, 28, of Troy, Mich.

So young. Such heroes.


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