Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Apache" by Ed Macy: Modern Attack-Helicopter Missions Recounted by a Real Pilot

"Apache" by Ed Macy, recounts the author's missions as an Attack Pilot of the British Army Air Corps deployed in Afghanistan.

The author has managed to write an action-packed book without compromising a military-level narrative of his missions.

At least for me, "Apache" felt somehow a miss-guiding title for this book. Certainly the attack helicopter is a very important part of the story. Yet the stories of the men flying them into battle are what makes this a superb book. The war against the Taliban is a nasty business. The sacrifices of the British forces in Afghanistan are enormous. The enemy is always elusive and merciless. The soldiers and airmen in "Apache" are portrayed at the level of deepness that only brothers in arms can get.

The climax of the book is the rescue of a Royal Marine, which went MIA in a Taliban stronghold. For this mission, Ed Macy and his flight members received the Military Cross for Bravery.

For the flight simulator enthusiast (yes, you flying DCS Black Shark), this is a must-read. Even when the helicopter is not the one you are flying in the virtual skies, you will find plenty of valuable information here. How to make a rocket-run, how to ingress to a hot area, employment of weapons, fuel economy, deconflict of indirect fires, you name it. The book also has a map section and pictures of the target areas that make following the missions even more engaging. The most detailed chapters of "Apache" are the ones where missions are recounted. These parts of the book are a detailed, button-press to button-press, narrative. It is almost like being in the cockpit with Macy.

Ed Macy has written the ultimate debriefing, the one describing his life-changing combat experience in Afghanistan.


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