No Room for Error: The Story Behind the USAF Special Tactics Unit
“John Carney is one of the few heroes I have.” –LT. COL. L. H. “BUCKY” BURRUSS, USA (Ret.) Founding member and Deputy Commander of Delta Force
When the U.S. Air Force decided to create an elite “special tactics” team in the late 1970s to work in conjunction with special-operations forces combating terrorists and hijackers and defusing explosive international emergencies, John T. Carney was the man they turned to. Since then Carney and the U.S. Air Force Special Tactical units have circled the world on sensitive clandestine missions. They have operated behind enemy lines gathering vital intelligence. They have combated terrorists and overthrown dangerous dictators. They have suffered many times the casualty rate of America’s conventional forces. But they have gotten the job done–most recently in stunning victories in the war on terrorism in Afghanistan, which Carney calls “America’s first special-operations war.” Now, for the first time, Colonel Carney lifts the veil of secrecy and reveals what really goes on inside the special-operations forces that are at the forefront of contemporary warfare.
Part memoir, part military history, No Room for Error reveals how Carney, after a decade of military service, was handpicked to organize a small, under-funded, classified ad hoc unit known as Brand X, which even his boss knew very little about. Here Carney recounts the challenging missions: the secret reconnaissance in the desert of north-central Iran during the hostage crisis; the simple rescue operation in Grenada that turned into a prolonged bloody struggle. With Operation Just Cause in Panama, the Special Tactical units scored a major success, as they took down the corrupt regime of General Noriega with lightning speed. Desert Storm was another triumph, with Carney’s team carrying out vital search-and-rescue missions as well as helping to hunt down mobile Scud missiles deep inside Iraq.
Now with the war on terrorism in Afghanistan, special operations have come into their own, and Carney includes a chapter detailing exactly how the Air Force Special Tactics d.c. units have spearheaded the successful campaign against the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
Gripping in its battle scenes, eye-opening in its revelations, No Room for Error is the first insider’s account of how special operations are changing the way modern wars are fought. Col. John T. Carney is an airman America can be proud of, and he has written an absolutely superb book.
From the Hardcover edition.
Insightful and Thought Provoking
By D. Smith "former National Security Analyst" - March 5, 2003
Col. John T. Carney, USAF (ret.) takes the reader through his professional career and the history of U.S. Air Force special tactics units from the early 1980s through 2002.Special Tactics, which has operated in most every American military action since Operation Eagle Claw (aka Desert One) in 1980, has its foundations in the Pathfinder units of WW2, and are often known as 'combat controllers.' They are often the first in and the last out.In a frank and engaging manner, Carney lays out the history of special tactics and their operations, including Eagle Claw, Grenada, Panama, Achille Lauro, Desert Storm, and Somalia, through Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Given his firsthand involvement in the majority of these operations, Carney offers a unique perspective and pulls no punches in his assessment of Air Force and U.S. Special Operations. Nothing is glossed-over and the reader gets the sense that Carney bears more self-imposed crosses than he probably should.If you are... read more
By John B. Alexander "apollinaire" - February 4, 2003
Special operations forces were all born from necessity, yet always treated as the bastard children of their traditional counterparts. So it was with the creation of the US Air Forces Special Tactics Units. They may not be as well known as the Army's Rangers and Special Forces, or the Navy's SEALs, but they are every bit as important.Colonel Carney was personnally involved in the creation and development of these critically important units. While they have played in the shawdows of all recent conflicts, the participation of these Special Tactics Units came to the fore during Operation Enduring Freedom. There, in Afghanistan, their courage became legendary as they directed devastating bombing missions that quickly broke the back of al Qaeda and Taliban forces. With other special operations units, they fought on the ground where it gets up close and personal.This book will give the readers an insight into a world they seldom hear about and a historical perspective of the battles... read more
Must Reading for Students of Military History
By Ray Calafell - November 12, 2002
I am privileged to have received and read an early copy of this book, a timely reminder to all Americans that "Freedom is not Free." Colonel John T. Carney, Jr. (Retired), is President of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a very special charity that provides full scholarships to the children and families of fallen special operations soldiers, sailors and airmen. As a member of a fraternity of men known as "Quiet Professionals," it must have been terribly difficult for him to put into words acts of incredible courage which have heretofore been closely held knowledge among very few people. On the verge of retirement from the Air Force after a disappointing and stalled career, Carney gets a word of advice from an old friend, changes his career track and begins a journey down a lonely road towards the creation of a special Air Force unit that expertly handles air assets during special operations missions. The road for his "Brand X" unit is full of... read more