On June 25th 2011, the 25th Infantry Division assautled the Watapur Valley in order to destroy a terrorist training camp run by both Al Qaeda and the Taliban. As they made their way down extreme terrain they were ambushed and surrounded. In one of the most vicious fights imaginable, unarmed flying ambulances dive into enemy fire to save lives, both friend and foe alike...but they would pay a high price for this decision.
The Watapur Valley lies next to the Pech River valley. It is the face of the war in Afghanistan, extremely remote, an area of epic clashes during the Soviet occpuation in the 80's and the elusive manhunts for Osama bin Laden. Just months after pulling out of "The Valley of Death" US troops found themselves back again, trapped in a battlefield filled with sheer cliffs, towering pine trees and deadly traps set by an elusive opponent.
Networks of underground caves, blistering heat and dense fog made maneuver near impossible. Americans were soon being picked off one by one in what one participant deemed was now less of a coordinated assault and more like "a neighborhood brawl".
Many units suffered loss during the operation, but of all the stories from that weekend, 1st Platoon of Bravo Company's was the most heart wrenching. Led by a young platoon leader who risked his life in a heroic attempt to reach help, they held the line for three days against a swarm of fighters determined to exterminate them.
They started with 40 soldiers. The enemies were so close they could hear them change their magazines in their weapons. Nobody could reach them. They were alone. By the end, only 15 men were left unscathed.
Dustoff is the callsign for the Army's Air Ambulances, angels of mercy that save lives instead of taking them. Made up of pilots, medics and crew chiefs from all walks of life, they fly where no others dare go, into a raging battle... and they do it unarmed. Their motto is simple, they'll leave "When we have your wounded."
Dustoff 7-2 and her wingman Dustoff 7-3 dropped from the sky to rescue these heroes on the worst day of their lives. But when the unthinkable happens, the crew of Dustoff 7-3 must fly through the Valley of Death with nothing but each other to depend on, to do a job that nobody else in the world can do. Punching holes in the sky and dodging death on every page, this harrowing account will carry you to the edge of your seat to an unbelievable ending.