No Room for Error: The Story Behind the USAF Special Tactics Unit
John T. Carney, Benjamin F. Schemmer
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
“John Carney is one of the few heroes I have.”
–LT. COL. L. H. “BUCKY” BURRUSS, USA (Ret.)
Founding member and Deputy Commander of Delta Force
When the U.S. Air Force decided to create an elite “special tactics” team in the late 1970s to work in conjunction with special-operations forces combating terrorists and hijackers and defusing explosive international emergencies, John T. Carney was the man they turned to. Since then Carney and the U.S. Air Force Special Tactical units have circled the world on sensitive clandestine missions. They have operated behind enemy lines gathering vital intelligence. They have combated terrorists and overthrown dangerous dictators. They have suffered many times the casualty rate of America’s conventional forces. But they have gotten the job done–most recently in stunning victories in the war on terrorism in Afghanistan, which Carney calls “America’s first special-operations war.” Now, for the first time, Colonel Carney lifts the veil of secrecy and reveals what really goes on inside the special-operations forces that are at the forefront of contemporary warfare.
Part memoir, part military history, No Room for Error reveals how Carney, after a decade of military service, was handpicked to organize a small, under-funded, classified ad hoc unit known as Brand X, which even his boss knew very little about. Here Carney recounts the challenging missions: the secret reconnaissance in the desert of north-central Iran during the hostage crisis; the simple rescue operation in Grenada that turned into a prolonged bloody struggle. With Operation Just Cause in Panama, the Special Tactical units scored a major success, as they took down the corrupt regime of General Noriega with lightning speed. Desert Storm was another triumph, with Carney’s team carrying out vital search-and-rescue missions as well as helping to hunt down mobile Scud missiles deep inside Iraq.
Now with the war on terrorism in Afghanistan, special operations have come into their own, and Carney includes a chapter detailing exactly how the Air Force Special Tactics d.c. units have spearheaded the successful campaign against the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
Gripping in its battle scenes, eye-opening in its revelations, No Room for Error is the first insider’s account of how special operations are changing the way modern wars are fought. Col. John T. Carney is an airman America can be proud of, and he has written an absolutely superb book.
From the Hardcover edition.
pumped,” Sergeant Bray would recount later. After joining his Delta Force buddies at the main target building, Bray took up a door security position, firing at gunmen in an alley. Bray realized they needed more firepower and called for an AH-6 Little Bird gunship to cover the target. As the assault team rounded up several suspects, including Ahmed Warsame, one of Aideed’s top subordinates, it moved to the courtyard, counted prisoners to make sure they had everyone, and called for a ground
it the rest of the way to the ground once the plane stops. 6 Vance’s objection to mounting a rescue obviously hinged on his concern for the safety of the hostages and on diplomatic considerations, but they were at odds with his own philosophy. When he was the deputy secretary of defense, he reminded the coauthor of this book late in 1967, in conjunction with another venture that posed a high risk of failure, “Just remember this: There is no failure in failing; there is only failure in failing to
regular commission six months later. Like clockwork, the Air Force offered me the regular commission six months after I went on active duty. That was my first of numerous exposures to noncommissioned officers who knew how to play the game. Disappointed as I was about failing the pilot-training eye tests, an NCO at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base outside Tucson told me I could apply for a medical waiver for flight training once I was on active duty. With the war in Vietnam heating up, I figured I
pilots told him they had spent many hours using captured Panamanian Defense Force (PDF) helicopters to airlift pallets from the swamp to drier ground at the airport, MAC public affairs officer Major Steve Harden responded: “That’s because the marsh is right on the edge of the drop zone.” Later, a two-month-long, formal Air Force investigation of the unusual drop was launched; its report made no mention that the combat jump had been “totally unnecessary,”4 onto an airfield already in friendly
the casualty not be moved to the JCCP for evacuation, so Medeiros called for a medevac MH-53 to land in a small parade ground right beside the Ranger command post. But high-velocity downwash from the aircraft’s huge rotor blades ripped shingles off the building and sent them flying in all directions, and the helicopter had to abort. Medeiros and his buddies loaded the Ranger on the RAT-V, drove him and other casualties to the JCCP, and saw that they were flown out of Rio Hato along with one