Mayhem 337: Memoir of a Combat Advisor in Afghanistan by Chad Rickard
Late in 2008 Chad Rickard deployed as a member of a U.S. Army Combat Advisor team to the highly contested Khost Province of Eastern Afghanistan. As a senior infantry advisor, Rickard embedded with the Afghan Army and spent nine months slugging it out with Haqqani Taliban along the Pakistan border region in a deadly battle for control of Spera District. His riveting memoir brings recognition and honor to the Combat Advisor legacy that is but a footnote in U.S. military history.
In “Mayhem 337” Rickard powerfully recounts his experiences during periods of intense combat. He graphically describes fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and U.S. Army Special Operations Forces from the streets of Khost City to the mountainous regions against numerically superior enemy forces.
Targeted Age Group:: 25-75
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 3 – PG-13
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I was inspired to write this book upon my retirement from the U.S. Army, after 27 years of service. As I related stories and details to my friends and family regarding my trip to Afghanistan, I received a lot of feedback and requests to write a book. After retiring I had enough time to actually sit and write, the result is "Mayhem 337."
The number of Taliban fighters that attacked us drew attention throughout Afghanistan. Planes arrived and circled in holding patterns above waiting for their turn to engage the enemy; we stacked them at various elevations as they itched for a piece of the action. Roughly an hour into battle, an unarmed surveillance plane contacted us on the radio. The plane was on another mission that turned out to be a dry well and the crew was looking for action. They offered to assist with spotting targets in our engagement. For the next several hours that plane orbited above us as the crew pinpointed targets for engagement. I am uncertain what type of observation devices the plane operated but I can tell you they counted individual RPG rounds carried on the backs of enemy fighters from 25,000' AGL (Above Ground Level). With their infrared marking lasers, they pinpointed, or "sparkled" targets all night long. For hours on end we cycled through A-10 Warthogs, F-18s, Apaches, and more Kiowas. We dropped bombs, fired missiles, and watched the A-10s dive and fire their 30 mm nose cannons on enemy fighting positions. The killing continued until the sun came up on the third day of our mission.
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