Fresh out of the PJ schoolhouse, first-time deployers Chris and Lucas move from the beach to the battlefield when they are thrust into the war in Afghanistan with no experience in real combat. Friends since medical school, the two PJs will be the primary medics on the a.m. shift, responsible for saving the lives of the most critically wounded.
Chris’ interest in medicine started when he was a lifeguard; a man collapsed on the shore, and Chris had no idea what was wrong or how to save him. Having someone’s life in his hands was one of the most motivating, yet scariest feelings. After making it through the training pipeline for pararescue, Chris is confident that when the time comes, he will know what to do.
Lucas’s single mother played a huge part in instilling the drive and morals it takes to risk it all for another. His goal is simply to help people, and he feels war is the perfect place to positively impact someone’s life other than his own; it’s an opportunity he anxiously awaits.
Both rookies are thrown into the fire when the call to rescue drops: four Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers and one American are in critical condition after an enemy attack and a deadly IED blast. Danger waits for the PJs too; reports say that insurgents are still in the area of the attack, ready to strike again. As the teams launch, commander Seth worries it could be a set up.
While preparing their weapons to fight their way into an area still hot, one 50-caliber machine gun malfunctions. Lucas’ team will have to risk landing right into a firefight, one gun down. Their information on the wounded changes by the second, but knowing multiple soldiers are clinging to life, they push on. Chris’ team lands first, while Lucas’ helicopter provides cover with their operating machine gun.
Dust blinds Chris’ team when they touch down. When it clears, they see chaos. There are numerous soldiers wounded, but none are in the serious condition the INTEL reported. Thomas, the commanding PJ on Chris’ team, makes the call for his aircraft to take them onboard. Suddenly, two Afghans drag an injured soldier onto the aircraft without a litter. He’s bleeding profusely from his wound, his left leg amputated by an explosion. They quickly lift off, but can’t leave for the hospital until Lucas takes the remaining casualties on the lead helicopter. The clock ticks as the Afghan loses more blood in flight. Saving the soldier will be up to Chris.
After the mission, Chris and Lucas meet by the restaurants at Kandahar Airfield’s boardwalk. The two PJs feel like they have been transported from the desert to the Santa Cruz beachfront, as they order ice cream shakes and watch servicemen play volleyball. Chris says he’s ready for the next challenge.
The final call to rescue is for a civilian injured by an IED blast and in critical condition. Chris’ team spares no time taking the man onboard. He struggles to breathe, and his face is bloody from severe lacerations. The pilots fly at low altitudes to help the flow of air, but the civilian struggles against the oxygen mask. Chris sees blood pooling in the civilian’s mouth and makes the call to perform a “cric,” a last-resort procedure. He hovers over the man’s throat with a scalpel, knowing the right move will save him, but missing the mark could prove fatal.
Back at base, the team debriefs on how the mission went. Afterwards, Lucas voices that too many civilians are caught in the crossfire of this war. He recognizes the bitter price innocent people have had to pay in Afghanistan, and that it is their duty to save them. If the PJs weren’t there to help them, who would?
Tune in to Inside Combat Rescue: Fog of War tonight at 10P