A story of courage, perseverance, and patriotism behind the 75th Army Rangers’ rescue mission following one of the deadliest Special Operations incidents in Afghanistan—a grueling search for twelve Navy SEAL casualties and eight downed Night Stalkers—but just one lone survivor
On June 28, 2005, a four-man Navy SEAL reconnaissance team under Operation Red Wings was ambushed in northeastern Afghanistan—as depicted in the book and film Lone Survivor. A quick reaction force was dispatched to assist them. Turbine 33, carrying eight Navy SEALs and eight members of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade, bringing the dual-rotor chinook careening toward the rugged peak of Sawtalo Sar.
The result was the deadliest single incident in Afghanistan Special Operations at the time.
Commanders, unwilling to let this disaster get any worse, quickly called on the largest element of the secretive Joint Special Operations Command, the 75th Ranger Regiment. The rescue mission: Operation Red Wings II.
Tony Brooks, then a newly minted Army Ranger, tells a first-hand account of the daring recovery of Turbine 33 and the subsequent search for the remaining compromised Navy SEAL reconnaissance team—one of whom was Marcus Luttrell, the lone survivor. The Rangers would need to overcome lack of intelligence assessment, treacherous terrain, violent weather, and an enemy that was born and raised to fight.
Like his fellow Rangers, Tony Brooks lived—and many died—by the axiom, “Leave No Man Behind.” His account is the first to tell the story that other books and films have left out, one of courage, skill, and perseverance in overcoming overwhelming odds to accomplish a mission to bring every American soldier home.