920th Rescue Wing   Right Corner Banner
Join the AF Reserve

News > Air Force Reservists featured in Smithsonian Channel documentary for heroics
Story at a Glance
 Air Force Reserve Combat-Search-and Rescue (CSAR) Airmen are featured for their heroics in a newly released documentary titled, "The Taliban Gambit."
 In the "Taliban Gambit" you'll "witness this heroic search and rescue, where reservists showed the world, and themselves, what they're capable of when duty calls," The Smithsonian Channel.
 Not only did the Airmen find and pull out the only survivor of the ordeal, Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell they went back in to the hostile region, to recover the bodies of his three fallen team mates.
 
Photos
Previous ImageNext Image
The Heroes of Operaton Redwing
The heroes of Operation Red Wing in Afghanistan in 2005. From left to right, Sonar Technician (Surface) 2nd Class Matthew G. Axelson, of Cupertino, Calif; Senior Chief Information Systems Technician Daniel R. Healy, of Exeter, N.H.; Quartermaster 2nd Class James Suh, of Deerfield Beach, Fla.; Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Marcus Luttrell, of Texas; Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Eric S. Patton, of Boulder City, Nev.; and Lt. Michael P. Murphy, of Patchogue, N.Y. With the exception of Luttrell, all were killed June 28, 2005, by enemy forces while supporting Operation Red Wing. (U.S. Navy photo)
Download HiRes
 
Related Factsheets
 HH-60G Pave Hawk
Air Force Reservists featured in Smithsonian Channel documentary for heroics

Posted 12/5/2010   Updated 12/5/2010 Email story   Print story

    


by Capt. Cathleen Snow
920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs


12/5/2010 - PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla.  -- Air Force Reserve Combat-Search-and Rescue (CSAR) Airmen are featured for their heroics in a newly released documentary titled, "The Taliban Gambit," which will be airing on the Smithsonian Channel throughout December 2010.

Deep in the mountains of Afghanistan, nearing the end of their overseas deployment in June 2005, Airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing here were called upon to find and rescue a Navy SEAL who was the sole survivor of the largest loss of life in the Special Forces community since the Viet Nam war.

"Nothing prepared me that day for what I saw under my night vision goggles on that mountain side in Afghanistan... the world outside my rotor tips came to a complete stop as our PJs (pararescuemen) met with the Navy SEAL and took the time to painstakingly pin the American flag on the body bag of the fallen member we were sent to recover," said Lt. Col. Kurt Matthews, HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter pilot and 308th Rescue Squadron Commander here.

"It didn't matter that the Marines were shelling the next valley over, or that the A-10s were striking targets on our route as we came in and out of the landing zone; all that mattered was the proper respect be paid for our brother-in-arms," Lt. Colonel Matthews remembers.

Although U.S. forces were unsure at the time if any of the SEALs had survived the conflict, their mission was to fly their Pave Hawk helicopters into some of the most inhospitable territory in the world, to find out.

In the "Taliban Gambit" you'll "witness this heroic search and rescue, where reservists showed the world, and themselves, what they're capable of when duty calls," The Smithsonian Channel.

Not only did the Airmen find and pull out the only survivor of the ordeal, Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell, but to keep with the U.S.'s policy to leave no service member behind, they went back in to the hostile region, to recover the bodies of his three fallen team mates.

Several years later, the rescued Navy SEAL, found his account of the ordeal on the New York Times best-seller list in a book he penned after being medically discharged from the service.

Titled, "Lone Survivor, the Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10," where the book ends the documentary begins. "Taliban Gambit" reveals for the first time, the details of this harrowing rescue told by Airmen - a mixture of HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter aviators and pararescuemen.

Featured is, Lt. Col. Jeffrey "Spanky" Peterson, the lead Pave Hawk CSAR pilot at the time, now the CSAR/personal recovery program manager for Air Force Reserve Command and the Air National Guard at the ANG/AFRC Test Center, Tucson, Ariz.

Also featured is, Col. Jeffrey "Skinny" Macrander, the aircraft mission commander at the time, now AFRC's Chief of Requirements, Dobbins Air Force, Ga.

The rest of the Airmen featured in the documentary, are scattered about the U.S. and a handful still serve here with the 920th RQW.

The first airings of the "Taliban Gambit" will begin Dec. 7, 2010 at 8 and 11 p.m. and will run at various times throughout the rest of the month.

For more information on the 920th RQW, log onto: Facebook/920th Rescue Wing (Government Organization) or visit their web site at www.920rqw.afrc.af.mil.



tabComments
No comments yet.  
Add a comment

 Inside 920th RQW

ima cornerSearch


Site Map      Contact Us     Questions     USA.gov     Security and Privacy notice     E-publishing  
Suicide Prevention    SAPR   IG   EEO   Accessibility/Section 508   No FEAR Act