Academic journal article Military Review

NONE BRAVER: U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen in the War on Terrorism

Academic journal article Military Review

NONE BRAVER: U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen in the War on Terrorism

Article excerpt

NONE BRAVER: U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen in the War on Terrorism, Michael Hirsh, New American Library, New York, 2003, 320 pages, $24.95.

Having read many history and theory books, occasionally I like to pick up a book that simply clears the mind and cleanses the palate. This was my intent when I picked up Michael Hirsh's None Braver, which tells the story of U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen (PJs) conducting operations in Afghanistan as part of the Global War on Terrorism.

The PJs, whose motto is "that others may live," is an elite group of airmen who conduct downed aircrew recovery and medical evacuations in the most difficult situations. They go through an exhaustive selection process and rigorous training that includes basic airborne; high-altitude, low-opening parachute techniques (HALO); scuba; and extensive medical training. The PJs do "hard missions" and have lost at least five airmen in operations so far. They have earned several medals, including one Air Force Cross.

None Braver relates the PJ's missions in Afghanistan including air-crew recoveries, a HALO jump into a mine-field to save a seriously wounded Special Operations soldier, and action in Operation Anaconda, Hirsh suffers from a kind of "Stockholm Syndrome," however, as one of the first journalists embedded with a military unit. …

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