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Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) | The Unknown Role that Spies Play


Code Name Ndebele 14 is a follow up to the CSAR (Combat Search and Rescue) book, Code Name One Alpha.  

Here, we explore whether it is possible to rescue downed aircrew from within a city environment and not just any city, a hostile one like Mogadishu or Mosul in recent years.

This is a radically different approach from normal CSAR rescues which usually take place in rural areas. The scenario is where the aircrew are either kept safe by locals, spies or paramilitary spies (called Assassins in GMJ Books) already inside the city. Or, conceivably, the aircrew are held by the enemy after being captured and they must be rescued in the same way as any other hostage rescue with the crucial difference that it is behind enemy lines.

The first problem is establishing contact and deciding if it is worth trying to rescue them or not, something we discussed in detail in Code Name One Alpha. For an example, we look at the famous BAT 21 Bravo rescue of the Vietnam Era.

Even if the attempt is authorised, the friendlies inside the city need help to get the aircrew out or rescued from captivity. How do you infiltrate the Special Forces Team without causing even more hostages?  

In this book, we introduce you to what became known as the “Ndebele Approach” where three sections of the chosen Special Forces platoon go in. 

The first, underwater, using SDVs (Special Delivery Vehicles).  The SDVs were launched from a surface warfare ship and not a submarine, as could have been done, but wasn’t, for reasons that will become clear in the book.

The second infiltration takes place by way of a HAHO (High Altitude, High Opening) parachute drop from 33,000 feet into the sea, forty miles away from the enemy city.

The men land on drop zones prepared by the spies already inside the hostile city, but with quite an unusual twist.

Angelique Dawson has come up with the plan that, many experts state that although it can be done, technically, the idea is insane and will lead to mass casualties.


Spymaster extraordinaire, Angelique Dawson and her team are in the Eastern Cape, in the harbour city of East London, South Africa, conducting a training CSAR (Combat Search and Rescue) mission to liberate shot down pilots on the run or so she claims.

For the purpose of the exercise, called Code Name Ndebele 14, the pilots are held inside a “hostile” city that must be covertly penetrated by Special Forces working with spies and agents already in place.

Her bodyguard and later husband, Geoffrey Foxtrot and his friend, legendary Special Forces officer, Geelslang Peter Ndebele have their hands full to protect Angelique.

As usual, she is not revealing the real reason behind the exercise.

They penetrate the city first by submerged SDV (Special Delivery Vehicles). The second infiltration takes place by way of a night HAHO (High Altitude, High Opening) parachute drop from 33,000 feet.

In the meantime, the counter-espionage desk, sworn enemies of Angelique, is tasked to find her and her teams and if so a clash will take place between the two groups. As it is, they meet up during the exfiltration phase...

If you wish to read about Covert and Special Forces Operations in sub-Saharan Africa, the GMJ Books are the place to start. You will learn about covert operations, Special Forces techniques and military history not known outside the select few.

Code Name Ndebele 14 is the 36th book of the GMJ Series.

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