New Book Describes Experiences of the 167th AW Members Fighting Global War on Terrorism

  • Published
Members of the 167th Airlift Wing are telling stories of their war experiences in a new book written by one of their own. The Speed of Heat: An Airlift Wing at War in Iraq and Afghanistan, published by McFarland and Company, features interviews with about 70 servicemen and women from various sections around the base. 

Senior Master Sgt. Thomas W. Young, a flight engineer on base, spent nearly four years compiling The Speed of Heat. The book includes stories of flight crews who dodged surface-to-air missiles, mechanics who made combat repairs, Aeromeds who treated and transported the wounded, and Aerial Porters who worked under mortar fire at Balad Air Base. 

The book opens with a chapter on the training that prepared the unit for the deployments of recent years. Another early chapter features 167th members talking about their activities on Sept. 11, the day that changed our lives as citizen- airmen. By twists of fate, there were members of the wing on hand at all three sites of the Sept. 11 attacks: New York, the Pentagon, and rural Pennsylvania. Later chapters discuss the initial deployments for Operation Enduring Freedom, and then the missions involved with Operation Iraqi Freedom. The book closes with members discussing what motivates them to serve their country and offering final thoughts on the profession of arms. 

"I'm lucky enough to serve with some fantastic people," said Young. "What they're doing is part of history, and I wanted to make sure it got preserved on a written record." 

The book is available through and other online booksellers. It's also available on the publisher's website at, and any brick-and-mortar bookstore can order it. The ISBN number is 978-0-7864- 3798-6. The author can be contacted in the flight engineer section for a signed copy.