The OH-58D Kiowa Warrior—a deep reconnaissance scout and attack aircraft—was legendary to those it supported. Regularly flying mere feet off of the ground while intentionally drawing enemy fire, almost everyone called Kiowa pilots crazy. Responsible for hunting elusive enemy fighters and protecting those under their charge, Kiowa crews displayed a fierce and intense devotion that was unparalleled.
Through the vantage point of a Kiowa Warrior helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army's Air Cavalry, Scouts Out! offers a truly unique view of the war in Afghanistan. This is accomplished by revealing a deeply personal journey through two deployments, documenting the day-to-day life, struggles, combat, and extreme challenges faced. The after effects of these experiences can be witnessed as Ryan's outlook and very personality are forever altered and changed in unexpected ways. Drawing from copious journals and notes, everything captured in Scouts Out! is raw, real, and in-the-moment. In addition to Ryan's writing, other Kiowa pilots have contributed written accounts which add further balance and enhancement to the story.
Of critical importance to note, an approachable style was maintained that always kept the non-military reader in mind. The result is an immersive and rounded out experience which gives a fascinating glimpse into the little known operations of a Kiowa Warrior squadron participating in Operation Enduring Freedom.
Richly illustrated with 70 original photographs and maps, Scouts Out! presents an essential and accurate narrative of the conflict in Afghanistan, something that has rarely been shared with the public. Devoid of the filler and misleading propaganda that is so pervasive in modern media and writing, Scouts Out! is an engrossing true story from America's longest and least understood war.
"Scout's Out" is a heart-wrenching, emotional and adrenaline fueled first person account of US Army helicopter pilot's Chief Warrant Officer Ryan "Robo" Robicheaux', personal resilience and esprit de corps during combat Operation "Enduring Freedom " in Afghanistan.
Battling the elements, terrain, US chain of command and "Rules of Engagement" (which at times appeared to provide the enemy with a tactical and strategic advantage), Aviators of 3-17 Cavalry (Attack Helicopter) Squadron took the fight to the enemy in order to defeat and defang Al Qaeda and Taliban militants while stabilizing a rogue nation during two hair-raising one year deployments. From the get-go "Robo" takes the reader to flight on an adrenaline fueled high, following in the lineage of "Alexander the Great's" campaign to pacify the region in the 4th century and the Russian "Red Army's" efforts to control feudal Afghani Warlords in the 20th century, in his two seat Kiowa Scout Helicopter at 150 miles per hour over some of the most grueling terrain in the world.
With the Hindu Kush mountain range towering at over twenty-four thousand feet dominating the Afghan Skyline to the Turkestan Plains where the "poppy fields " glow with opium, Robo takes the fight to an elusive enemy at an elevation as low as a few feet to heights of as high as ten thousand feet in support of an international coalition of countries (some their to fight and die and some nations simply their for show). Day after day, flying four to twelve hours a day in the cramped two seat helicopter, firing machine gun and rockets, Robo places himself (and his Kiowa Helicopter) in harm's way in direct support of conventional and unconventional/special operations forces units conducting combat and nation building humanitarian missions in support of the civilian Afghani population. Quite simply, Robo is an American fighting for freedom for others, like his forefather's in World War II, his father in Vietnam and his brother in Iraq.
Robo's "Scout's Out" account of his personal day to day grind and stress of combat is simply the best recent military literary work on the unique conditions facing a warrior on today's 21st Century battlefield. Regardless of your personal stance on the war in Afghanistan, "Scout's Out" is a must read for any student of warfare or leader of men or women in the military or civilian professions. I have a better understanding of the complexity of war (from above) and stresses of war on Soldiers and Families because of Robo's "Scout's Out". Bravo Zulu/Well Done!
Colonel Anthony Francia, US Army (Retired), certified Historian/Strategist, Social Studies Teacher/Educator and veteran of multiple combat tours to Iraq during 34+ years of military service (enlisted and commissioned)