Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-04-25
- Reviewer: Staff
Blackmon, a commander of Task Force Pale Horse during his U.S. Army aviation unit's deployment to Afghanistan in 2009, introduces readers to the aviation units' soldiers, battles, successes, and challenges, but provides little analysis or insight. He provides a good description of all their tactical missions—reconnaissance, attack, and logistics support—in the difficult terrain and weather conditions of the mountains of eastern Afghanistan. The book makes very clear, and is a tribute to, the tactical expertise and bravery of all of the aviation personnel, particularly the pilots who served in the task force. The period Blackmon covers is noteworthy for including some of the more well-known events of the recent war in Afghanistan, including the battle of Wanat, the search for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, and the battle of Ganjgal. Though these major events are associated with a great deal of public controversy, Blackmon fails to address that. Similarly, there is little analysis of policy, operations, or strategy. Blackmon shares an enjoyable story about his unit and the aviation support systems, but it's an uncritical work that neglects to place the battles in any larger context or note whether they had any appreciable effect on the war. (Mar.)