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

By Fred Pushies | Go to book overview

CHAPTER
3
Boots on the Ground

MSgt Calvin Markham, 23rd Special Tactics Squadron

Master Sergeant Calvin Markham would officially be the first AFSOC combat controller with boots on the ground in Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He joked: “I think my bosses were trying to get rid of me.” Markham was attached to a Special Forces (SF) Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) from the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne). The veteran combat controller had been with the ODA-555, call sign “Triple Nickel,” for less than a week when their op order came down. MSgt Markham and the SF A-team loaded on two MH-47E Chinook helicopters of the 2nd Battalion of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR Airborne), better known as the “Night Stalkers.”

The MH-47E is a heavy assault helicopter, specifically designed and built for the type of missions carried out by the 160th SOAR. It has a completely integrated avionics subsystem, which combines redundant avionics architecture. Gone are the old steam-gauge indica

-34-

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

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Chapter 1 - The Origin of the Air Force Special Operations 1
  • Chapter 2 - The Fog of War 22
  • Chapter 3 - Boots on the Ground 34
  • Chapter 4 - Satcom and Saddles 45
  • Chapter 5 - Tora Bora, Closing in on Bin Laden 55
  • Chapter 6 - Diggers and Yanks 66
  • Chapter 7 - Austere to Operational 78
  • Chapter 8 - Green Hornets Over Fallujah 86
  • Chapter 9 - Vintage Aircraft and Modern Techniques 93
  • Chapter 10 - The Quick Reaction Force 103
  • Chapter 11 - Dragons Over Iraq 116
  • Chapter 12 - Spectre, Owning the Night 127
  • Chapter 13 - Operation Medusa 136
  • Chapter 14 - Synergy of Command 147
  • Chapter 15 - All in the Family 161
  • Chapter 16 - The Battle of Najaf 166
  • Chapter 17 - Spooky, on Station 185
  • Chapter 18 - Urrah! 194
  • Chapter 19 - One Period of Darkness 203
  • Glossary 217
  • Index 227
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