“The chopper skipped across several mountaintops, wending its way back toward the abandoned airfield for refueling. Only then did Dawson start to come out of operational mode and downshift mentally to consider what had happened. The idea had been to sneak in, grab the specimen, and sneak out with no trace left behind. They had lost one man, and another was wounded. Worse, the enemy—whoever the enemy was in this case—now knew the general location of their source.”
I spent a lot of time in helicopters in both Iraq and Afghanistan overlooking views like this. The gunner shown here was scanning the mountains around Naw Zad as we established that the landing site was secure before beginning our descent.