Flying Under the Radar: The Men, the Mission, and the Aircraft of the Department of State Air Wing 1983–2013
“…A fitting tribute to a small group of unsung, dedicated patriots who made a difference…this highly entertaining book is a must read.” —Colonel Lee A. Van Arsdale, U.S. Army Special Forces (Ret)
There exists in the state department an obscure aviation program that has performed dangerous missions, often in war zones, and has flown Under the radar for over thirty-five years.
It is a virtually unknown program filled with pilots and mechanics with world-wide experience. It has included crop dusters; former air American pilots and mechanics; former special operations members; and military, commercial, and third country national pilots. Over the years these unsung heroes faced formidable insurgents, the Sendero Luminoso in Peru, the FARC in Colombia, the Taliban in Afghanistan and the multitude of Jihadi groups in Iraq.
Founded as a dedicated counter narcotics program to eradicate illicit narcotic producing crops overseas using crop duster aircraft and pilots, the program quickly grew to be much more. This is the true story of dangerous missions, dangerous countries, and some extraordinary people: This is the air wing.
“Paul O’Sullivan tells a great story and shares the important history of a little known organization operating at the edge.” —Lt. Gen. Kevin Mangum, U.S. Army (Ret), former commander of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Reg., U.S Army Special Ops. Aviation Command, and the U.S. Army Aviation Ctr. of Excellence