Part of pilot training is landing on rocky terrain. Perfecting the procedure will be crucial in the dangerous terrain of Afghanistan.
They were volunteers, part of the only reserve rescue wing in the U.S. Air Force, a mere afterthought to many serving in Afghanistan. But when Taliban forces ambushed a covert, four-man Navy SEAL team high in the eastern Afghan mountains, this disregarded unit was called upon to save the day. They came prepared, riding one of the most sophisticated helicopters in the world, a toned-up version of the Blackhawk: The Pave Hawk. Witness this heroic rescue, where reservists showed the world, and themselves, what they're capable of when duty calls.
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel.
Don't panic! It's simple to upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers:
Don't panic! To get the best possible experience on smithsonianchannel.com we recommend you upgrade your operating system.
For the best possible site experience, please use Chrome for Android.
Add username "SmithsonianChan" on Snapchat for fun and fascinating facts. We'll be sharing spontaneous photos and videos as inspiration strikes.