Did you ever wonder why Air Force Special Operations Command came into being? The many roles and missions of tactical airlift blossomed and grew during the Vietnam conflict to such an extent that the Air Force later established an Air Force Special Operations Command to retain and use those skills. They were combined with skills developed by Air Rescue and Recovery Service outside of the normal range of rescue. The remarkable capabilities of the Lockheed Hercules aircraft made much of it possible. Of course, the normal mission of moving cargo and people was retained. But added to that were flare dispensing, assault landings and takeoffs, electronic surveillance, forward air control, propaganda dispersion, personnel extraction and recovery, long-range air rescue, air refueling, gunships, helicopter landing pad establishment, and airdrops of both cargo and people at low, normal, and high altitudes. While many activities were accomplished before or after battles, there were occasions when the desperation of the need dictated landing or departure during a battle. This book attempts to capture the essence of these many missions.