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Kids, Emails, and Dustoffs


Today, my team and I are hard at work editing combat video, while I continue to research the helicopter issue.  Meanwhile, an Air Force Pedro pilot sends this video.  I recognize some of the faces after having flown with and written about at least one of these Pedro crews in Helmand.  I probably flew in the same helicopters in this video.  The video was made before my arrival to the Pedros.  It’s possible I was on the ground with the British in Sangin while the Pedros were coming in on some of these missions.  The Pedros came in about every day, or several times per day.  There were a lot of casualties.  Sangin was a bloodfest and that’s where I first learned of Pedros.  The British Soldiers loved the Pedros because no amount of bad weather or ground fire would stop them from blasting in.  Sangin was a little corner of the war known by few, but those who were there will remember always.  My first introduction to Pedros was during an evacuation in Sangin when Pedros came so low and hard that I nearly ducked.  Boots and rifles were hanging out the door and helicopters were flying so hard you’d think they would break apart.  I was amazed at how hard they could fly without breaking off the rotors.  Later, when I was flying in those same helicopters, it seemed like astronaut training.  They had to fly hard to avoid being shot down because they literally were within slingshot range.  No kidding.  In Sangin, just before I arrived, a resupply helicopter had been blasted out of the sky by an RPG.  Killed everyone.

In my previous dispatch Golden Seconds, the “9-line” report appears many times.  In this video, a troop can be heard calling in a 9-line.  The 9-line begins when the voice says, “Prepare to copy.”  A calm voice then begins describing injuries.

This video shows what it looks and sounds like to run rescue missions in some areas of southern Afghanistan.  It’s no-kidding kinetic and serious.  After I left, a Pedro crew was shot down and killed just near Sangin in 2010.  Rest in Peace, our brothers.

None of these images or videos are mine.  The author did a fine job. Video Link.

More links:

Goldern Seconds

Red Air


Michael Yon

Michael Yon is America's most experienced combat correspondent. He has traveled or worked in 82 countries, including various wars and conflicts.

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