Deadly Blue: Battle Stories of the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command

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9780814413609: Deadly Blue: Battle Stories of the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command

The story of any military operation revolves not just around strategies and equipment, but around people. Now for the first time, readers will get an intimate look at the people behind CAS--Close Air Support. Their work is both delicate and deadly, their actions rooted in months of planning and executed with split-second timing.

Acting as a bridge between special ops ground troops and lethal air power, CAS demands a skill set unparalleled even among the most elite military forces. But just as important is the mindset, dedication, and daring of a very special brand of Airman. They include:

- Advance teams that create airfields and landing strips--from nothing

- The combat controllers that coordinated airstrikes and support during the hunt for Osama bin Laden in Tora Bora

- Special tactics teams who work closely with Joint Special Operations Task Forces

Military enthusiasts, history buffs, and readers inspired by stories of exceptional bravery and patriotism will all be drawn to the heroes of Deadly Blue, the Air Force Special Operations Command that orchestrates and executes these critical missions.

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From the Inside Flap:

“Close air support (CAS) is air action by fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft against hostile targets that are in close proximity to friendly forces, and which require detailed integration of each air mission with the fire and movement of those forces. Close air support (CAS) can be conducted at any place and time friendly forces are in close proximity to enemy forces.”

United States Department of Defense.

The successful execution of military operations often depends on ultra-precise integration of multiple groups of forces. Potential vulnerabilities in these intricate, dangerous situations require constant and vigilant protection from above. These are some of the missions of the men and women of the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command, among the most highly trained and accomplished military personnel in the world. And now we can read their battle stories firsthand.

Deadly Blue chronicles critical events—some well-known, others less so—in recent and ongoing military campaigns, and delves not only into the inner workings of military special operations but also into the lives and minds of the people behind them. You’ll hear Airmen and officers discuss details about their equipment, their living and working conditions, and even their weapons (including several who share the belief that “our primary weapon is the radio, and it is the most lethal”). Their gripping stories describe:

· Air drops into Afghanistan to start Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001

· The securing, clearing, and reopening of the American embassy in Kabul after a twelve-year closure under Taliban rule

· The “Shock and Awe” and other campaigns of Operation Iraqi Freedom

· And many more historic military operations encompassing literally hundreds of thousands of aerial sorties and ground maneuvers

Throughout, author Fred Pushies traces the origins and evolution of Air Force Special Operations. Combining the technical and tactical with the personal and emotional, Deadly Blue is a compelling portrait of an unimaginable valuable asset to American and world security, and of the human element without which such an asset would never have come to be.

Fred Pushies is a photographer and author specializing in military Special Operations Forces subjects. His photo-documentary skills have him in high demand and have earned him unparalleled access to the elite units of the U.S. Special Operations Command.

From the Back Cover:

“These are stories of personal triumph and loss. War is nothing if not personal, and we are always mindful that our most valuable resources are the men and women who take an oath to support and defend with honor, who make the mission possible with skill, strength, tenacity and determination.”

from the Foreword by Lt. Gen. Michael W. Wooley, USAF, retired, former AFSOC commander

Military success depends not just on strategies and equipment, but also on people. Deadly Blue offers, for the first time, an intimate look at the people behind CAS—Close Air Support. Their work is both delicate and deadly, their actions rooted in months of planning and executed with split-second timing.

Acting as a bridge between special ops ground troops and lethal air power, CAS demands a skill set uncommon even among the most elite military forces. But just as important is the mindset, the focus, the dedication, and the sheer brilliance of a very special brand of Airman. They include:

· “First on the ground” forces such as elite weather and conditions teams, and the advance crews that create airfields and landing strips—from nothing

· The combat controllers that coordinated airstrikes and support during the hunt for Osama bin Laden in Tora Bora

· Special tactics teams working with Joint Special Operations Task Forces

· And many more

Packed in equal measure with detailed accounts and stories of exceptional bravery, professionalism, and patriotism, Deadly Blue presents the American military at its best, and American fighters at their finest.

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