Somewhere in the vicinity of Baghdad, 4 Navy HH-60Hs lift out of a FOB, their cabins packed full of SOF assaulters. As the birds lift, the engines whine, struggling to perform in the hot summer air. The targeted individuals are all members of an al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) cell, and tonight we know where they are.

The communications net crackles as the flight forms up and calls in to the mission lead. As soon as dash-4 is latched into the formation, the flight speeds up to cruise. The target is a short flight away, so mission lead is busy checking in and coordinating with the other mission players, from the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform that already has eyes on the target building to the Close Air Support (CAS) jet that is proceeding to a holding point a few minutes from the target until we push toward the insert. Everyone is moving into position.

Feature image courtesy of DoD.

Read the full article at FIGHTER SWEEP.