The Final Mission Of Extortion 17

The Final Mission Of Extortion 17 : Special Ops, Helicopter Support, SEAL Team Six, and the Deadliest Day of the U.S. War in Afghanistan

By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available soon, pre-order now.
When will my order arrive?

32 days to go
Pre-order Add to wishlist


On August 6, 2011, a U.S. Army CH-47D Chinook helicopter approached a landing zone in Afghanistan 40 miles southwest of Kabul. The helicopter, call sign Extortion 17, was on a mission to reinforce American and coalition special operations troops. It would never return. Insurgents fired at the Chinook, severed one of its rear rotor blades, and brought it crashing to the ground. All 38 onboard perished instantly in the single greatest moment of sacrifice for Americans in the war in Afghanistan. Those killed were some of the U.S.'s most highly trained and battle-honed commandos, including 15 men from the Gold Squadron of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, known popularly as SEAL Team 6, which had raided a Pakistan compound and killed Osama bin Laden just three months earlier. The downing of Extortion 17 spurred a number of conspiracy theories, such as the idea that the shootdown was revenge for bin Laden's death. In The Final Mission of Extortion 17, Ed Darack debunks this theory and others and uncovers the truth behind this mysterious tragedy. His account of the brave pilots, crew, and passengers of Extortion 17 and the events of that fateful day is interwoven into a rich, complex narrative that also discusses modern joint combat operations, the history of the Afghan war to that date, U.S. helicopter use in Afghanistan, and the new and evolving military technologies and tactics being developed to mitigate such tragedies now and in the more

Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 22.86mm | 566.99g
  • Smithsonian Books
  • Washington, United States
  • English
  • 1588345890
  • 9781588345899
  • 976,047

About Ed Darack

ED DARACK is a writer and photographer who has traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan numerous times to embed with infantry and aviation units at the front lines of modern war. He is the author of four books, including Victory Point, and numerous articles on military topics ranging from counterinsurgency to close air support. His work has been published in Air & Space magazine, the Marine Corps Gazette, Leatherneck Magazine, Foreign Policy, Proceedings of the United States Naval Institute, and more

Review quote

"Meticulously reported and deftly told, this is the definitive account of the 38 people killed aboard Extortion 17--the largest loss of life in a single incident during the Afghan war. Ed Darack not only debunks the conspiracy theories once and for all; he also honors the pilots, crew, and special operators who perished on that fateful day. This is an important book for anyone who wants to understand the war in Afghanistan and the Americans who have risked their lives fighting it." --R. M. Schneiderman, Deputy Editor, Newsweek "Far more gripping than any thriller, this well-researched and cleanly written account of an American battlefield tragedy is one of the finest books to emerge from our recent wars. Crafted with knowledge of twenty-first-century combat and deep respect for our troops, this book is nonetheless unsparing in its portrait of war's reality and the toll it takes on flesh-and-blood men in uniform." --Ralph Peters, Fox News strategic analyst and author of Lines of Fire "Darack expertly re-creates the tragedy of Extortion 17. Skillfully reported, the book is a must-read for anyone looking to understand what happened the night Extortion 17 was shot down in Afghanistan." --Kevin Maurer, coauthor of No Easy Day LIBRARY JOURNAL Writer and photographer Darack (Victory Point) investigates the destruction of a Chinook helicopter carrying a number of high-profile special operatives, including numerous men from SEAL Team 6, whom are best known for the mission that killed Osama Bin Laden. Darack recounts the circumstances surrounding this August 2011 event, attempting to debunk a theory that claims the aircraft was destroyed in an act of revenge for Bin Laden's death. Most are aware of the effort to eliminate Bin Laden, but fewer may recall this tragedy with as much clarity, having received far less media exposure. The author provides a thorough treatment of the disaster, with several chapters dedicated to the personnel and the specifications of the aircraft, which may not be captivating to the layperson but would be of interest to military historians. Darack also does an admirable job of demonstrating through science, history, and statistics (owing to the inherent inaccuracy of a rocket-propelled grenade [RPG], it would be a poor choice for such an important "revenge" mission) that vengeance conspiracies could be safely ruled out. Verdict: This is less of a narrative and more of a march through the events and circumstances, making it ideal for modern history buffs and military historians and perhaps less so for casual readers.--Benjamin Brudner, Curry Coll. Lib., Milton, MAshow more