Justin and Thomas both know how important it is to keep their emotions in check when someone’s life is in their hands. It is a battle they all fight on every mission. In this episode, three missions will test their mettle like never before.
Taliban attacks against soldiers and civilians rise during the summer, the busiest fighting season of the year. The unit gets a call to rescue two Afghan National Army soldiers injured in a gunfight with the Taliban. En route to the landing zone, the unit learns that some fighting may still be going on and a second attack could be imminent. Knowing they may end up in a fight, the crew tests the helicopters’ heavy machine guns. One of their big, .50 caliber guns breaks, leaving the team without one of the main methods of defense. Further complicating the rescue, the area has not been swept for enemy mines. Justin will have to use a metal detector to create a path from the helicopter to the wounded before the enemy launches a second strike. With the enemy close by, the team must move quickly, and carefully. One step in the wrong direction could detonate a lethal explosion.
Later, a second mission drops to the unit: an Afghan policeman has stepped on an IED planted by the Taliban. But the INTEL is confusing, as the order includes picking up an escort, an uncommon request for anyone but a child or female. In the TOC, or Tactical Operations Center, this is cause for concern; the Taliban often targets U.S. helicopters by planting bombs on or inside the bodies of escorts and the wounded. The PJs could be flying into a trap. Seth puts the order out, “I don’t trust anybody. Search him.”
The team lands and cannot locate the escort. The wounded is in critical condition with one leg amputated from the blast, and the helicopter is most vulnerable on the ground. But, the team cannot leave until they fulfill their orders and find the escort. Justin frantically tries to locate the man and determine if he is a friend or foe. As he and Thomas search, a man breaks out from the crowd and runs directly towards their helicopter. Thomas and Justin sprint to catch him before he reaches the aircraft and the crew inside.
Then, in the final mission, and it’s a nightmare: 40 miles away, a child has suffered a potentially lethal gunshot wound to the head. He is unconscious, a sign of increased brain trauma. To make matters worse, a storm has rolled in and blanketed the area in dust, reducing visibility to less than a mile. With no time to spare, the pilots decide to stay low to keep the mountainous Afghanistan terrain in sight. However, the move makes them more vulnerable to enemy attacks, which increase in bad weather.
They reach the child just as he vomits, another sign of brain trauma. Justin and Thomas have to stay focused and deliver a life-saving solution that will reduce the pressure on the boy’s brain. Unable to hit a vein in the boy’s small arms, Justin has to resort to a painful procedure- an IO line, drilling straight into the child’s leg bone. Pilots and PJs work together to do everything they can to save the young boy’s life, but their best may not be enough.
Tune in to Inside Combat Rescue: In the Crossfire Tonight at 10P