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Publisher's Summary

On August 6, 2011, a US Army CH-47D Chinook helicopter approached a landing zone in Afghanistan 40 miles southwest of Kabul. The helicopter, call sign Extortion 17, was on a mission to reinforce American and coalition special operations troops. It would never return. Insurgents fired at the Chinook, severed one of its rear rotor blades, and brought it crashing to the ground. All 38 onboard perished instantly in the single greatest moment of sacrifice for Americans in the war in Afghanistan.

Those killed were some of the United States' most highly trained and battle-honed commandos, including 15 men from the Gold Squadron of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, known popularly as SEAL Team 6, which had raided a Pakistan compound and killed Osama bin Laden just three months earlier.

The downing of Extortion 17 spurred a number of conspiracy theories, such as the idea that the shootdown was revenge for bin Laden's death. In The Final Mission of Extortion 17, Ed Darack debunks this theory and others and uncovers the truth behind this mysterious tragedy. His account of the brave pilots, crew, and passengers of Extortion 17 and the events of that fateful day is interwoven into a rich, complex narrative that also discusses modern joint combat operations, the history of the Afghan war to that date, US helicopter use in Afghanistan, and the new and evolving military technologies and tactics being developed to mitigate such tragedies now and in the future.

©2017 Ed Darack (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great piece of literary work

SoB, Ed, the last 2 minutes are literally kick-in-the-gut-soul-wrenching closure. RIP Extortion 17 & the Crew!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic

As a former US Army Aviator I really appreciate the "behind the scenes" details included in this book. Took me back to the days of flying and supporting the ground guys. Fantastic story.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

What the "Lone Survivor" wasn't.

This was a factual, fairly straightforward factual retelling of events without much flag waving or expression of political views. Even the few bits of flag waving just came about organically because of the backgrounds given for those involved.

I have only two real complaints about the book. Firstly there are a lot of unit designations and the author sometimes fires them off in quick order and thus muddying the narrative. This also happens with individuals. Sometimes the author refers to them by first name, full name or last name. This might be clearer in the text version but the audio version I was left wondering who was actually who and to what unit they belonged and how they related to the story.

The second complaint is with the structure of the book. The author will skip forward and backward in time, detailing historical events that happened well before the incident that led to the book. While interesting and (possibly relevant) these time hopes broke the flow of the narrative for me and I had to stop and try and match up the various timeline strands so that I could keep track of where in time the author was speaking about.

62 of 70 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Honest Look at an American Tragedy.

The author puts a human face to the heroes of Army Aviation and the Troops they support and defend. The DEVGUR Operators hold the men and women who support their missions in the highest regards. They are there transportation, anchor, and lifeline if need when the chips are down and others run from the call. The great people who serve and defend our country are our best and brightest.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Much more technical

A good story but much more technical with helicopters than I thought it would be.

32 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

great story with great tragedy

wonderful story telling of these brave men and their sacrifice for us. So many tragedies in 1 moment. thank you for your service and sacrifice to all the men and women of our military. you will never be forgotten.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dr.
  • KANSAS CITY, MO, United States
  • 09-28-17

Amazing

This is a must read. What I really liked about his book is the description of how our military went after the men who shot down Extortion 17. Within days they were dead. Doesn't pay to mess with the US Military.

23 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent account of a terrible military tragedy

Highly recommend this book. Well written and read. Technical features well explained. Sad, but inspiring.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

This is i great book every American needs to read! Im from kansas and most characters are from Kansas in this book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Detailed Snapshot of War in Afghanistan

While the focus of this story is one particular tragic day, the book gives us a highly detailed look into how the war in Afghanistan was fought, how important helicopters are in our effort, how important teamwork is, and just how much of a motivator vengeance can be.

We get a look into the lives of the soldiers involved, how they work, what drives them, and the fact that they can't tell their families very much about what they actually do.

The writing and narration is excellent!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful