Marines Ride on Apache Helicopter Wings in Daring Rescue [VIDEO]
There’s hardcore, and then there’s “strap me on the wing of this Apache to rescue my brother in arms” hardcore. Well, in January 2007, when a group of Royal Marines discovered a comrade was down in enemy-controlled territory, they went full force with the ultimate hardcore rescue. The team of Royal Marines conducted an unorthodox rescue of their marine brother – by flying in on the wings of Apache attack helicopters.
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A military operation, ‘Flight of the Phoenix,’ was being conducted by British forces against the Taliban. After initially being pushed back by Taliban members, the men were rallying back when they noticed they were missing a man.
When the rescuing marines landed in the heavily fortified compound, they were met with a swarm of Taliban insurgents hell-bent on stopping the rescue of their brother in arms. According to an article written by the Daily Mail:
Despite coming under fire from heavily armed Taliban insurgents, the men were determined to risk their lives to recover their colleague Lance Corporal Mathew Ford, who had been shot as he led his troops in storming a heavily defended fort used as a Taliban headquarters.
Apaches cannot carry passengers, so the Marines strapped themselves to the outsides of the helicopters, buckling themselves to the handgrips the pilots use to climb into the cockpit.
They then flew back into the combat zone to swoop on the compound as two more Apaches hovered above, laying down fire to keep the Taliban at bay.
Just as the Apaches were almost out of gas, the men found Ford and rushed him back to the attack helicopter. As they reach their base, they rushed Ford to medical. Sadly, despite the heroic efforts of his fellow Marines, Lance Corporal Ford did not survive his wounds. He passed away before the men got there, reports indicate.
Here’s extended footage of the actual wingtip raid to save a fallen teammate. This is the ultimate example of bravery and loyalty in its highest form.