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The Nintendo generation has taken to the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan where remotely controlled aircraft are killing America¹s enemies and saving American lives.
Matt J. Martin is considered a "top gun" in the world of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). For nearly four years, he has flown hundreds of missions on two warfronts in a new kind of combat that, until recently, was largely classified Top Secret. He and his fellow Predator pilots have been actively involved in virtually every facet of the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan: tracking Osama bin Laden; capturing top al-Qaeda leader al-Zarqawi; fighting with the U.S. Marines in Fallujah; and rescuing aid workers kidnapped in Afghanistan by the Taliban.
This is Matt J. Martin's story and that of his aircraft, the 27-foot long Predator.
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About the Author
Lt. Col. Matt J. Martin is a career U.S. Air Force officer and Predator pilot. During his years in the Predator program, he flew hundreds of missions and supervised thousands more. He lives with his wife, Trish, in the southwestern United States. This is his first book.
Charles W. Sasser has been a full-time freelance writer/journalist/photographer since 1979. He is a veteran of both the U.S. Navy (journalist) and U.S. Army (Special Forces, the Green Berets) and retired from the military after twenty-nine years of active and reserve service. A combat veteran and former combat correspondent wounded in action, he also served fourteen years as a police officer and homicide detective. He is the author of more than fifty published books and three thousand magazine articles. In addition to writing full-time, he currently runs a horse ranch near Chouteau, Oklahoma, where he trains and breeds registered quarter horses and competes in rodeos.
Table of Contents
Author's Note ix
Part I Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada
Chapter 1 Tonight We Fly 7
Chapter 2 Feel the Plane 17
Chapter 3 First Mission 29
Chapter 4 The Green Toyota 39
Chapter 5 Rocket Man 49
Chapter 6 Fighting for Millennia 61
Chapter 7 Big Man in Fallujah 71
Chapter 8 Are We There Yet? 81
Chapter 9 Never Enough 91
Chapter 10 Red Bulldozers 103
Chapter 11 Elections Afghani Style 113
Chapter 12 Operation Phantom Fury 125
Chapter 13 Leaving Nellis 135
Part II Ali Air Base, Iraq
Chapter 14 Getting Real 147
Chapter 15 In Its Own Time 155
Chapter 16 Elections Iraqi Style 163
Chapter 17 Sunnis and Shiites 171
Part III Balad Air Base, Iraq
Chapter 18 Back to the Sandbox 185
Chapter 19 Johnny Rico 195
Chapter 20 Wish You Were Here 205
Chapter 21 Out of the Loop 215
Chapter 22 Neighborhood Watch 225
Chapter 23 This Changes Everything 235
Chapter 24 Pogo 243
Chapter 25 Leaving Balad 251
Part IV Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada
Chapter 26 On the Hunt 263
Chapter 27 Hanging Saddam 271
Chapter 28 Under the Whole Sky 279
Chapter 29 Until the Job Is Done 289
Chapter 30 Back in Sadr City 297
What People are Saying About This
“As for the writing, it's near perfect, flows smoothly and has that certain flair that all of us who type for a living seek to achieve. Best of all, it's a great story, previously untold, by the guy who actually did it." Air & Space Smithsonian
"...a fascinating tale of the challenges of flying a touchy, mule-stubborn, expensive robot from half a world away."
"Be prepared to mentally strap yourself into the pilot's seat while reading this book. The author takes the reader through the streets of Balad, Baghdad, and other trouble areas of Iraq during his tour of duty. There is, however, one major difference. Martin himself was not actually seated in the plan, but flying it remotely, sometimes as far away as Nellis Air Force base in Nevada."
"...gives readers an excellent sense of what it feels like to control an MQ-1B."
Midwest Book Review
"Predator offers a fine first-person account of fighting the global wars on terror. Predator missions and personal insights into a program only recently classified as 'secret' make for exciting stories of armed insurgency and urban warfare, bringing a 'you are there' feel to the idea of the Predator - a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) - as a cold killing machine. No military collection should be without this unique assessment."
Bookviews by Alan Caruba
"Predator tells how this remotely piloted aircraft has had an impact on the modern battlefield. Superb in its ability to provide reconnaissance and to deliver death to the enemy with Hellfire missiles, these aircraft have a crew that are sometimes a half a world away from the missions they’re flying. Lt. Col. Martin provides a first-person account of the fight against global terrorism. It is filled with exciting stories of chasing and attacking armed insurgents in Baghdad or across the desert countryside. Because of the television cameras, the crews experience warfare more closely than traditional bomber crews."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
As I write this review we are starting up another debate about the role of UAVs -- this time it's about how they should be used in American society. This book won't attempt to address that issue, but if you want to know how some UAVs work, how they were used in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the unique surveillance capabilities they bring to the game, you should read this one.