“Predator: The Remote-Control Air War Over Iraq and Afghanistan: A Pilot’s Story” by Matt J. Martin

Wow! This is one well written book. The story is well told. The book is surprisingly interesting exceeding my expectations.
My thought going in is a book about flying remote control airplanes from half a world away? What I found was a compelling story that kept my interest and had me viewing modern warfare through a new set of eyes … and I am a former US Army officer! The book will make an amazing movie.
You travel with Gen-X author Matt Martin from his graduation at Purdue University and commissioning as a second lieutenant in the US Air Force through his navigator training and his RC-135 crew experience. We see how his passion to pilot an aircraft fly leads him to apply for the Predator.
The stories are amazing. I laughed when his growing up on a farm experience lead him to identify the suspicious object between the two builds as a manure pile that was generating heat. The chases of the green Toyota was both educational and spell binding. The story of the rocket man and their motivation to get the bad guys had me turning each page.
I loved the chapter with the Peugeot chase and surveillance, especially with the Abrams Tank pointing its main gun at the driver. In another chapter I was amazed when they blew off the front end of the vehicle with the machine gun surviving. The story of the double air strike’s success in taking out the mortar crew made me glad I am no longer a mortar platoon leader as I was 35 years ago!
I enjoyed the human side of the stories in the book. You realize how warfare has changed. You realize people go to war for their shift and then go home at the end of their work day. You learn how both restrictive the rules were on the US and yet see how hard we work to protect the innocent.
Lt. Col. Martin gives some of the best historical background on the conflict I have read. It helps explain both Iraq and Afghanistan. He also looks at the morality of war in a very personal way that helps show the human side of our military. The book deserves more attention as it is a significant contribution to the literature of modern warfare. When I first received the book to review my initial thought was we are too close to the war. I highly recommend the book giving it five out of five stars. You will not be disappointed when you read “Predator: The Remote-Control Air War Over Iraq and Afghanistan: A Pilot’s Story” by Matt J. Martin.
The book has a few typos that a forward explains. They did not impact my enjoyment of the book. It looks like “quarters” being replaced with “Bobby” … so you have the word “headBobby” instead of headquarters a few times as well a “quarters” being replaced with “Bobby”. It was no big deal.
Well done!

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