Immediate Response

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Michael Joseph, Aug 6, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 303 pages
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'Luke Skywalker, this is Deathstar, Move to our location now.''Gents, we've got a shout . . . ' The IRT crew were being scrambled.Helmand, 2006: 3 Para were under heavy fire in Sangin and taking casualties. Mark Hammond pulled on his boots, holstered his Browning 9mm pistols and ran to the waiting Chinook. Once airborne, he'd be dodging tracer rounds and RPGs. It was going to be a long night for Hammond and his crew. And one for which he would be decorated for his courage under fire. He'd been in theatre less than a week.It was the beginning of a roller-coaster tour of duty in Helmand that saw British forces engaged in the most ferocious fighting since the Korean War. For much of the time they were hanging on by their fingertips, holed up in remote platoon houses, outnumbered, facing relentless assault and nearly overwhelmed. Only the Chinooks kept them in the game. But that meant their crews putting down in hot LZs, exposing their aircraft to withering attack from an enemy for whom downing one of the big helos would be the ultimate prize.They had been lucky. So far. Then they launched their biggest operation yet: a complicated, high-risk airborne assault that launched a fleet of heavily armed helicopters into the Afghan Heart of Darkness. And then a report came over the net that one of the Chinooks was down . . .In Immediate Response, Major Mark Hammond, a Royal Marine flying with the RAF, tells the gripping inside story of the Chinook squadrons' war for the first time. It's a visceral, unputdownable combination of hi-tech and old-fashioned grit; an action-packed story shot through with a mix of aviation fuel and cordite . . .

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