Taken at Camden Yards FARP. From left to right standing: Weasel, IKE, JoJo, Fuse, Spock. From left to right kneeling: Gash, Shoe, BT. Hanging from the Cobra’s wing in the back are three hellfire missiles and a full seven-shot rocket pod. pg 184
There are no pictures in After Action. Instead, I offer them here to round out the reader’s understanding of the men and environment I wrote about. Some of the pictures I took, some were taken by other members of my division. Spock took some of the best ones.
I have included page numbers in the description when the photographs correspond to specific actions and events in the book.
Gash (left) and I on the deck of the USS Belleau Wood as it pulls out of San Diego Harbor in 2002, about nine months before the invasion of Iraq.
Teddy Treadwell clowning around with empty TOW missile tubes at Ali Al Salem airfield in Kuwait, Oct 2000.
The view from the back seat of a Cobra. The difference between this one (flying in Hawaii) and ours in Iraq was the windscreen. In Iraq it would be covered with bug guts, soot, and sand. Gash could barely see anything from the back seat of our aircraft in Iraq.
Gash (left) and I pointing out bullet holes in our aircraft, 23 March 2003. Taken just after we landed from 19 hour flight that culminated in the fight at An Nasiriyah. pg 163.
Flying north along Highway 7 into the attack, 26 March 2003. BT and Spock’s aircraft are just visible above the highway and two friendly armored vehicles are underneath them. Visibility got worse before we called it quits. pg. 175
BT and Spock’s aircraft are just visible through the sandstorm, 26 March 2003. We fought several engagements in this weather before it became too dangerous. Here we are moving north toward Al Shatra. pg 177
A picture of me taken shortly after the dust storm forced us to land at Camden Yards FARP, 25 March 2003. pg. 184
Crew rest for Cobra pilots. Taken shortly after the sandstorm forced us to land at Camden Yards FARP. Near to far: Gash, Weasel, IKE, JoJo, Fuse, Spock. The rain didn’t start until nightfall. 25 March 2003 pg 184
Gash and I preparing to stand guard as the visibility dropped to less than 50′. 25 March 2003. pg. 185
After three days of dust storm, clear and cold weather greeted us on the morning of 27 March, 2003. We launched moments later for the engagement on pages 197-212. Left to right: Gash, Shoe, IKE, Weasel, Fuse, BT
Taken shortly after we finally made it back to Kuwait after the long sandstorm, 27 March 2003. From left to right: Weasel, Shoe, Gash, BT, Fuse, IKE. Missing are Spock and JoJo–still in Iraq after being shot down during the final mission of those four days. It would be several more days before maintenance Marines could repair all the damage and make their aircraft flyable again. pg 210
Weasel playing on a destroyed Iraqi ZPU-4 near Salman Pak airfield.
From left to right: Travis Ford, Ben Sammis, Nelson, Ski, Perona. Professionals all. pg 258
BT tracing the path of the bullet that narrowly missed his head. pg. 247
Prepping for a mission with MCSOCOM Det One, Baghdad 2004. Armed with an M-4 and a .45cal Kimber, the radio on my back was my most lethal weapon. pg 289
Relatively safe from enemy fire, I felt comfortable controlling airstrikes without my helmet on. It was well over 110 degrees in the building we were occupying–August in Najaf. pg 289
After several sleepless days and nights in Najaf, the heat and fatigue made simple actions difficult. The post-mission report I’m scribbling in my notebook is almost incomprehensible. August 2004 pg 289
My father, Dan Sheehan, before heading out on a mission in his OV-10 Bronco, Binh Thuy, 1969. His squadron, VAL-4, was the only navy squadron flying the OV-10 in a close air support role. His missions in Vietnam bore striking similarities to mine in Iraq.