The ??Spanish ?helicopter pilot: Rescue Under Fire – #WeAreNATO
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The ??Spanish ?helicopter pilot: Rescue Under Fire – #WeAreNATO

September 8, 2019

I am Major Barbancho, I serve with the 5th
Transport Helicopter Battalion. I am the Staff Officer of this battalion. My job as a pilot consists of flying helicopter
missions when ordered and also testing the helicopters when they’re under maintenance
or damaged. One of the most inspiring and at the same
time stressful moments of my career occurred in Afghanistan, when we had the chance to participate in the rescue of a Spanish Air Force helicopter that had crashed, by rescuing
some US military personnel who had been injured in an explosion. We started off at dawn, to attempt in a first
phase the rescue of the injured crew and in a second phase the rescue of the helicopter. The operation was complicated since it took
place in a hot area, an area surrounded by insurgents and with high Taliban activity. During the rescue we were under gunfire, rocket fire. We were supported by attack helicopters that were sealing off the zone and by land forces that were repelling gunfire. Finally, 18 hours after the accident, we could
complete the rescue of the crashed helicopter and its crew and with all the personnel participating
in the operation unharmed. You are not afraid, you are concerned about
your people, concerned that something might go wrong and someone could not return. A Spanish production company read an article
and decided to make a movie about this action. The movie is based on the events that occurred
in Afghanistan on that 3rd August. We have been deeply involved in the filming
of the movie. All the pilots and helicopter crews who appear in the movie were the ones who took part in the real rescue operation and all the military extras appearing in the movie are personnel who participated in the operation to a greater or lesser extent.

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  1. Well done movie! The Spanish soldiers are among the very best in this world… humble, professional, dedicated, hardworking, effective with less available means, no bull-shitting, ….exceptional people, heritage of the great and glorious Tercios tradition!!!

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