May 2006. Pilot Ed Macy arrives in Afghanistan with a contingent of Apache AH Mk1. It's the first operational tour for the deadly, difficult machines and confidence in the cripplingly expensive attack helicopter is low. It doesn't help that for their first month 'in action', Ed and his mates see little more than the back-end of a Chinook.
But when the men of 3 Para get pinned down during Op Mutay, the Army's reservations about their fearsome new fliers are thrown out the window. In the blistering firefight that follows, Ed fires the first ever Hellfire missile and, with one squeeze of the trigger, changes the war in Afghanistan forever. What had been looking like a £4.2 billion mistake quickly becomes the British Army's greatest asset, as the awe-inspiring Apache is dramatically redirected to fight the enemy head on.
In this gripping account of war on the ground and in the skies above the dusty wastes of Helmand, Ed recounts the intense months that followed : the steep learning curve, the relentless missions, the evolving enemy and the changing Rules of Engagement. As he comes to grip with the Apache, his early career as a paratrooper stands him in good stead, as does his operational baptism as a pilot. Both shaped his ability to fly, fight and survive during that fateful first Afghanistan tour against a cunning and ruthless enemy.
Ed will need every ounce of willpower and skill to succeed over the long, hot Helmand summer, as he and his colleagues find themselves on trial for their lives and for the reputation of a machine on which the British government had staked a fortune. The crucible of fire that awaited them would cement the fate of man and machine forever.
About the Author
Ed Macy left the British Army in January 2008, after twenty-three years' service. He had amassed a total of 3,930 helicopter flying hours, 645 of them inside an Apache. Ed was awarded the Military Cross for his courage during the Jugroom Fort rescue in Helmand Province, Afghanistan - one of the first ever in Army Air Corps' history. Apache is his first book. He hopes it won't be his last.
'Ed Macy is a 21st Century Top Gun. His journey to the gunship pilot elite is truly awesome.' -- Andy McNab
Praise for Apache: 'Puts you right in the cockpit with your finger on the trigger. A truly awesome read; and a climax that Hollywood couldn't invent...' -- Andy McNab
'Macy is the real deal. Nobody could write that powerfully about combat, or emotionally about the men fighting with him, unless he has been at the gunship's controls. A fantastic, totally exhilarating rollercoaster read. Forget his Hellfire missiles, the book itself is enough to blow you away' -- Sergeant Major Dan Mills, author of number one bestseller Sniper One
'An honest account of exceptional bravery' -- Ross Kemp
'Macy ! does for the Apache helicopter's gunships what Dan Mills did for the infantry in Sniper One. He puts readers in the cockpit of an aircraft that requires great skill and attention to keep in the air' -- Publishers Weekly
'Apache' is at its heart a ground-busting infantry tale told from an entirely new perspective. By the time these gutsy Uglies land in an occupied Taliban fort to join the ground fight, there is no doubt that attack helicopter pilots are flying grunts. What happens next is extraordinary' -- Owen West, author of Sharkman Six
'A truly amazing portrayal of the technical, the emotional, and the courageous. Macy puts the reader in the cockpit of our most lethal attack platform' Dick Couch, author of The Sheriff of Ramadi and Chosen Soldier