“We had been in Kabul since June, pretty boring until august 15th. We got launched early on the 15th and flew for 12 hours bouncing all around over Kabul. The 16th we woke up to the infantry showing up which was a relief.
Then we got a call to launch for a show of force to clear people off the runway. At first we made fast diving passes but quickly realized that wasn’t working.
We started hovering 5-10 feet off the ground to get people to clear people off the runway for a C17 to take off. The footage from that tells most of the story.
The part it missed that I haven’t heard anyone talk about yet is the people that were on the airfield just for the chaos. They weren’t trying to leave, they weren’t holding up passports when I flew by, they were trying to figure out where I was going to fly next to take a selfie with me in the background.
Normally they’d give up because of the rotor wash but a few would have friends sit on their feet to hold them in place when I got close. I’d fly passed them and see them just recording themselves for fun.
Along with the C17, we tried to keep them away from the guys on the ground. I hope we helped some but I know we made it harder a few times by creating a dust cloud that let them run closer.”
⁃ Apache Pilot. B Co. 1-82 AB. Kabul Afghanistan. HKIA. August 16th, 2021.