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Red Air: One Year Later

The waning gibbous moon was about 74% illuminated and bright, casting moon shadows.  It can be advantageous to attack by air on the waning gibbous because the moon will provide the helicopters with light to land, and it will be bright enough for our night vision gear to work, and on this lunar phase the moon will still be up when the sunrises.  And so from the time of landing until sunrise, there will be a balance of cover of darkness but enough illumination to maneuver.   There will be no interruption of light.

That morning, it was bright enough to move without using the night vision gear, and so the Soldiers would flip up their monoculars because it was easier to walk without, which brought chastisement from the commander.  He wanted them to continue using the nightvision; if the enemy fires, you might not see his position if the monocular is up, but while using nightvision, the direction of the flashes will be hard to miss.

The Soldiers moved into the village.  Still before sunrise, Chazray stepped on a bomb.

The next day, 19 September, we must have still been on that mission when the remains of Chazray Clark were delivered home to the United States.

Details about Chazray’s final mission are here.  RED AIR: America’s MEDEVAC failure.

For more on MEDEVAC failures in Afghanistan.

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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