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Leave No One Behind with RAZOR 3 pilot Al Mack

Lessons From The Cockpit

Release Date: 08/09/2022

Stop or Start a War… Flexible Deterrent Options (FDOs) show art Stop or Start a War… Flexible Deterrent Options (FDOs)

Lessons From The Cockpit

Welcome to the seventieth episode of the Lessons from the Cockpit podcast. This one is going to be a little different.   For a long time I've contemplated doing TWO podcasts; the current Lessons from the Cockpit on aviation and another called On the Nation's DIME, looking at current events around the world analysed using The DIME. DIME is an acronymn for Diplomatic, Informational, Military and Economic... the elements of national power our government uses to analyse how powerful or weak a nation state or organization is absed on those four elements. Our government also uses the DIME as a...

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Tailhook 23 Report show art Tailhook 23 Report

Lessons From The Cockpit

Welcome to the sixty-ninth episode of the Lessons from the Cockpit podcast! I'm your host Mark Hasara, former US Air Force KC-135 pilot and author of the book Tanker Pilot, now on the Air Mobility Command Leadership Library reading list of General Mike Minihan! This past weekend I attended the Tailhook Association's 2023 convention at the Nugget Resort in Sparks, Nevada as a guest of Admiral Bill Gortney. I was asked to be part of the Operation Iraqi Freedom panel on Friday afternoon discussing the air refueling plan for the Shock and Awe campaign. This podcast episode discusses events and...

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Flying Phantoms with Iranian Air Force Colonel Fred Izadseta show art Flying Phantoms with Iranian Air Force Colonel Fred Izadseta

Lessons From The Cockpit

Welcome to the sixty-eighth episode of the Lessons from the Cockpit podcast with your host, retired US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and KC-135 pilot Mark Hasara.   Ever since hearing and reading this story, I wanted to have this incredible Iranian Air Force fighter pilot on the show! has commanded at all levels; from Squadron to Wing Commander. He's flown some of the most iconic fighters in the world... F-86 Sabers with the Iranian Precision Demonstration Team Golden Crown to commanding an Air Wing, and teaching in their pilot pipeline. What will strike you most about his lessons learned...

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Shock and Awe Tanker Shortfalls show art Shock and Awe Tanker Shortfalls

Lessons From The Cockpit

Welcome back to the Lessons from the Cockpit and the sixty-seventh episode of the podcast!  In preparation for attending the Tailhook 2023 symposium, I felt this was a good time to do an episode on the air refueling shortfalls during the Shock and Awe air campaign in March through April 2003. In my book Tanker Pilot, the chapter Six Weeks in Hell speaks to the issues the Air Refueling Control Team overcame to make the 1003 Victor war plan executable. This is a more in-depth discussion on refueling shortfalls compared to what was accomplished in Desert Storm based on the Gulf War Airpower...

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Sluggo's Current Reading List show art Sluggo's Current Reading List

Lessons From The Cockpit

Welcome to the sixty-fifth episode of the Lessons from the Cockpit podcast!  I received word this week my book Tanker Pilot: Lessons from the Cockpit is now on the four-star commander of Air Mobility Command General Mike Minihan's "Leadership Library" reading list under the heading We Are the Maneuver. I'm grateful and humbled General Minihan thinks enough of my book to be included on his first published list. In February of last year, I gave my listeners a reading list of great books in the episode called "Book of the Month Club". This episode updates my reading list based on some of the...

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Battle Management with Colonel Mark Battle Management with Colonel Mark "Boner" Waite

Lessons From The Cockpit

Welcome to the sixty-fourth episode of the Lessons from the Cockpit podcast! I am your host Mark Hasara, Air Force vet and KC-135 pilot. Colonel Mark Waite took a very interesting route to fill one of the most critical positions in the Air Force as Airborne Battle Manager, surveilling the air over a battlefield and directing fighters and bombers to targets. Boner was a Senior Director in the E-3 AWACS on the opening night of Desert Storm. He's a graduate of the US Air Force's Weapons School and later an instructor in the Command and Control division. Some of his most interesting lessons...

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Centennial of Air Refueling show art Centennial of Air Refueling

Lessons From The Cockpit

Welcome to the sixty-third episode of the Lessons from the Cockpit podcast! I'm your host Mark Hasara, retired KC-135 pilot and veteran of four wars. On Tuesday 27 June 2023, the Air Force celebrated a 100-year anniversary. On 27 June 1923 was an event making aviation history! For the first time, fuel was transferred from one DeHavilland DH-4B Biplane to another DH-4B Biplane flown by Captain Lowell Smith and 1Lt John Richter over Rockwell Field on North Island near San Diego California. 1Lt Virgil Hine and 1Lt Frank Siefert flew the DH-4B tanker which John Richter had reconfigured with a...

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The Nerve Center of Air Mobility show art The Nerve Center of Air Mobility

Lessons From The Cockpit

Welcome to the sixty-third episode of the Lessons from the Cockpit Podcast! I'm your host Mark Hasara, a retired KC-135 pilot of the United States Air Force. After five fantastic years and the greatest flying assignment of my career at Kadena Air Base on the island of Okinawa Japan, it was time for an assignment change of station or PCS. I took a Headquarters assignment to a location all of us in the Young Tiger Tanker Squadron laughed at because they had absolute control over all air mobility operations around the world except us at the 909th! This assignment became one of those tremendous...

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Desert Storm Tanker Lessons Learned show art Desert Storm Tanker Lessons Learned

Lessons From The Cockpit

Welcome to the sixty-second episode of the Lessons from the Cockpit podcast and I'm your host Mark Hasara, a former Air Force KC-135 pilot, flying all over the world passing gas! Recently I had a conversation with a colleague on how far the Air Force tanker community had come since Deseet Stomr and the old Strategic Air Command days of the Single Integrated Operations Plan, the nuclear war plan. I felt the tanker community during Desert Storm was not prepared for high-density, high-ops-tempo air refueling operations because it wasn't our primary focus. This episode lays out what I feel are the...

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DoD Budget and Retiring Aircraft show art DoD Budget and Retiring Aircraft

Lessons From The Cockpit

Welcome to the sixty-first episode of the Lessons from the Cockpit podcast!  The Defense Department Budget is out and there are a number of aircraft coming into the inventory and a lot going to the Boneyard at Davis Monthan AFB Arizona. Platforms that I refueled from my KC-135 are going to be gone soon, and I voice my concerns about some of the aircraft being cut out of the inventory. My biggest concern is the health of the tanker fleet of course. There are some new aircraft on the horizon also and some of them are cosmic! This episode of the Lessons from the Cockpit podcast is supported...

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More Episodes

Welcome to the thirty-fifth episode of the Lessons from the Cockpit podcast!

In the fifth part of our series on the Battle of Roberts Ridge we talk with Warrant Officer Al Mack, the pilot of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment MH-47 Chinook callsign RAZOR 3 delivering SEAL Team MAKO 30 to the top of Takur Ghar mountain at 3:30 am Monday morning 4 March 2002. His Chinook comes under heavy fire from enemy forces and SEAL Neil Roberts falls off the back ramp, which begins the desperate search and rescue for him. Al goes into the small details of how this mission unfolded and the lessons learned from the Battle of Roberts Ridge. Numerous changes were made because Al wrote all of his lessons down!

There are several documentaries on the Battle of Roberts Ridge with Al Mack and other participants on YouTube. I suggest you watch these three videos on what happened on Takur Ghar here, here, and the CIA Predator UAV video of John Chapman's heroics here.

An article on the recovery of MH-47 Chinook RAZOR 3 called From a Great Height is a great read on how the Army recovered Al Mack's wounded helo from the valley his crew crash-landed in.

Two great articles on how a candidate becomes a 160th SOAR Night Stalker are found on the Office of the Command Historian webpage.

Support from the Lessons from the Cockpit podcast comes from Wall Pilot, aviation art for the walls of your home, office, or hanger. These very detailed images are printed on vinyl and can be peeled off and stuck to any flat surface or just framed.

Please share this and previous episodes of the Lesson from the Cockpit podcast with your family and friends  found on my website markhasara.com