The Final Mission of Extortion 17

  • by Ed Darack
  • Narrated by John Pruden
  • 7 hrs and 1 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

On August 6, 2011, a US 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 United States' 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, US helicopter use in Afghanistan, and the new and evolving military technologies and tactics being developed to mitigate such tragedies now and in the future.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

What the "Lone Survivor" wasn't.

This was a factual, fairly straightforward factual retelling of events without much flag waving or expression of political views. Even the few bits of flag waving just came about organically because of the backgrounds given for those involved.

I have only two real complaints about the book. Firstly there are a lot of unit designations and the author sometimes fires them off in quick order and thus muddying the narrative. This also happens with individuals. Sometimes the author refers to them by first name, full name or last name. This might be clearer in the text version but the audio version I was left wondering who was actually who and to what unit they belonged and how they related to the story.

The second complaint is with the structure of the book. The author will skip forward and backward in time, detailing historical events that happened well before the incident that led to the book. While interesting and (possibly relevant) these time hopes broke the flow of the narrative for me and I had to stop and try and match up the various timeline strands so that I could keep track of where in time the author was speaking about.
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- Douglas


This is a must read. What I really liked about his book is the description of how our military went after the men who shot down Extortion 17. Within days they were dead. Doesn't pay to mess with the US Military.
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- Dr.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-19-2017
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.