We brothers knelt in a circle around our winding up Black Hawk taxis. It was fairly early evening, but fully cloaked in darkness by this hour. We faced in toward the choppers, as the rotor wash pushed hard against our chests and faces. I chuckled as I busted the men to my right and left, as they flared their bodies and leaned into the stiff wind, enjoying a mock free-fall experience. All the brothers did it, including myself; it was just too irresistible.

Through the chopper cargo compartment a red light circled several times. The boys slapped each other on the back or arms, indicating that it was load time. We piled into the mercilessly small cargo compartment, and fought to find a comfortable posture, for once the chopper was full, there would be no possibility of adjusting your position for the duration of the ride.

The destination: Brasseaux, an approximate 40 minute flight—not bad! The target: a hijacked airliner with 150 hostages, and rumored six crows (enemy) from the Ba’ad Salat Iddhur terror faction. Great, a linear target; a ‘tube room’ objective. This is a mission charter shared by no other organization in the United States.

Our troop leadership scribbled on slates bathed in soft red light, and passed the slates around the helo. I got my turn; it was a schematic of the Brasseaux Municipal Airport, indicating where on the flight line the airline was held up, and where we would land, such that we would avoid detection by the crows on the aircraft. I awarded an internal chuckle to Sam’s cartoon sketch. Well, after all it didn’t need to be pretty, just accurate.