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Air Commando Association Press

My Thirty Year Journey with Special Operations Giants by Larry Ropka

MY THIRTY YEAR JOURNEY: In the Shadow of Special Operations Giants

By Larry Ropka

Published by: Air Commando Association Press, 2024, 80 pages

Excerpts from backcover: Larry Ropka, the very definition of a “Quiet Professional,” has done us a great service by shining a light on some of the least known but most consequential chapters in US Special Operations history. As an operator, a planner, and a policy-maker, Colonel Ropka left his fingerprints on American national security and offers his insights on how he did it—his framework is a veritable roadmap for making a bureaucracy move.  General Jim Slife - Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force

Larry Ropka’s life’s work is well documented. I worked with him a number of years and was fascinated by his early special operations activities...Tibet, Laos, North Vietnam. Colonel Ropka was an exemplary person during his service in the Air Force and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Erich F. von Marbod - Former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)

Some people are content to watch world affairs. Others want to be active participants. Colonel Ropka is the latter. Whether in Asia or the Middle East, he served with equal amounts of courage and moral clarity. He did this with a unique American blend of humor, humility, and self effacement. He is one of those described by Joyce Kilmer as ‘Going to meet the fires of hell against him hurled’. God, where does our nation find such men? Colonel Ropka’s name will be inscribed next to those with whom he served— another legend in the annals of Air Commando history.  Richard L. Armitage - Former Assistant Secretary of Defense and former Deputy Secretary of State

Valor Untold: Air Commandos During the Jonestown massacre Recovery, 1978

By Richard D. Newton

Published by: Air Commando Association Press, 2021, 38 pages

It has been over 40 years since the tragic November 1978 mass suicide/murder of American citizens at the Peoples Temple Agricultural Settlement in Jonestown, Guyana. In the intervening four decades, so much has happened to US special operations forces and the US Air Force, brought about in large part by world events that demonstrated the unquestionable need for fully resourced, trained, and ready joint special operations forces.
This monograph tells the heretofore untold story of what the Airmen who would, a few years later, form the nucleus of Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), did to help recover the victims’ bodies – a special air operation that pushed the limits of what their training and previous combat experiences had prepared them for.


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