Danger Close: Tactical Air Controllers in Afghanistan and Iraq

Overview


“America had a secret weapon,” writes Steve Call of the period immediately following September 11, 2001, as planners contemplated the invasion of Afghanistan. This weapon consisted of small teams of Special Forces operatives trained in close air support (CAS) who, in cooperation with the loose federation of Afghan rebels opposed to the Taliban regime, soon began achieving impressive—and unexpected—military victories over Taliban forces and the al-Qaeda terrorists they had sponsored. The astounding success of CAS...
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Danger Close

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Overview


“America had a secret weapon,” writes Steve Call of the period immediately following September 11, 2001, as planners contemplated the invasion of Afghanistan. This weapon consisted of small teams of Special Forces operatives trained in close air support (CAS) who, in cooperation with the loose federation of Afghan rebels opposed to the Taliban regime, soon began achieving impressive—and unexpected—military victories over Taliban forces and the al-Qaeda terrorists they had sponsored. The astounding success of CAS tactics coupled with ground operations in Afghanistan soon drew the attention of military decision makers and would eventually factor into the planning for another campaign: Operation Iraqi Freedom.

But who, exactly, are these air power experts and what is the function of the TACPs (Tactical Air Control Parties) in which they operate? Danger Close provides a fascinating look at a dedicated, courageous, innovative, and often misunderstood and misused group of military professionals.

Drawing on the gripping first-hand accounts of their battlefield experiences, Steve Call allows the TACPs to speak for themselves. He accompanies their narratives with informed analysis of the development of CAS strategy, including potentially controversial aspects of the interservice rivalries between the air force and the army which have at times complicated and even obstructed the optimal employment of TACP assets. Danger Close makes clear, however, that the systematic coordination of air power and ground forces played an invaluable supporting role in the initial military victories in both Afghanistan and Iraq. This first-ever examination of the intense, life-and-death world of the close air support specialist will introduce readers to a crucial but little-known aspect of contemporary warfare and add a needed chapter in American military history studies.

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Editorial Reviews

Military Review

". . . fascinating and worthwile book for military professionals, strategists, historians, and interested civilians." -Military Review
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Product Details

Meet the Author


STEVE CALL is an assistant professor at Broome Community College in Binghamton, New York, teaching both American and military history. During his twenty-year career in the air force, Call held many command and staff positions, including liaison officer with the army, Pentagon staff officer, and squadron commander. His PhD in military history is from Ohio State University.
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Table of Contents


List of Illustrations     xi
Preface     xiii
List of Air Force Ranks and Abbreviations     xix
Prologue     1
Afghanistan
The Challenge Is Clear-and Daunting     13
Integrating the Special Forces-Close Air Support Team     25
The Fall of the Taliban Regime     42
Operation Anaconda     57
Just Another Day in Afghanistan     87
Iraq
A Controversial Invasion in a Context of Controversy     97
"Our Business Now Is North"     129
A Tale of Two Bridges     153
Through the Gap, across the Bridge, and on to Baghdad     170
The Thunder Runs     188
The Scud Hunt and Operations in Western Iraq     210
The Drive from the North     223
Conclusion     235
People Interviewed     239
Glossary     241
Index     247
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    information in the book was not accurate at all. locations of un

    information in the book was not accurate at all. locations of units and jobs of persons involved were wrong in some cases. for example on page 226 it says that the 5th special forces group is stationed at Fort Bragg which is false. they were stationed there but as of 1988 they have been at Fort Campbell Kentucky. an easy google search would have given him this information. research was clearly half a**ed

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2007

    Great book

    This is really a great book, hard to put down at times. You can see the battles through the eyes of the people that were there. You also get their perspective as well as the importance of the techniques that they are using, and in some cases developing for the first time. This is a must have for anyone interested in knowing the real story behind the overwhelming success in the initial days of Afghanistan and Iraq.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2007

    skc

    I really enjoyed this book. I had a glimpse of what the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were like in the beginning and many of the heroes who help keep this country free. The author's style of using the soldiers own words brought a much more personal insight to the stories.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

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