Dust swirls as military helicopters come in to land and pick up troops and their vehicles from nondescript fields. To the untrained eye, the grainy video clips may not seem particularly noteworthy. But what you’re looking at is an especially rare glimpse of the secretive Joint Special Operations Command in action in Afghanistan.
Ed Darack, a writer and photographer who has spent time in both Iraq and Afghanistan embedded with infantry and aviation units released this never before seen footage to accompany his new book, The Final Mission of Extortion 17. The work builds off an earlier article in Air & Space Magazine focusing on the infamous crash of a CH-47D with the call sign “Extortion 17” in Afghanistan in 2011, but goes above and beyond to provide previously unknown details about the U.S. military’s controversial kill-or-capture missions targeting so-called “high value individuals” in the country.