Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Combat Story

Aug 19, 2023

Join our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter ( to get a short email from Ryan for people who love and support our veterans, service members, and their families. It has info on a significant event in military and/or intel history, a funny military joke, an update on a current event I'm following, something I'm doing that week in my life, a book I'm reading, a look at an upcoming interview, a reflection on a past episode and more! 

Today we go for our second Combat Story with a member of the Air Force’s aerial special operations community: Mike LaFeve, an MC-130 Navigator in the Air Force’s 8th Special Operations Squadron (8th SOS).

Mike was deployed consistently from 2001 to 2006 with the 8th SOS as the most deployed Air Force special operations squadron at the time. This included trips to both Afghanistan and Iraq as both the aircraft technology improved and bases in theater become more fortified. 

In the MC-130, Mike was responsible for a variety of mission sets supporting, primarily, the special operations community, including DEVGRU as we hear in this episode. The MC-130 is designed to support the special operations community with airdrops, delivery and extraction of special operators, refueling, combat search and rescue and so much more. 

In this episode, we pick up where we left off as Mike goes from the first deployment post-9/11 into the next and more established operational tempo going from Afghanistan to Uzbekistan to Kuwait to Iraq and back again and I hope you enjoy this set of combat stories in the versatile MC-130 as much as I did.

Find Ryan Online:
- Ryan’s Linktree
- Merch
- Instagram @combatstory
- Facebook @combatstoryofficial
- Send us messages at
- Learn more about Ryan
- Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle
Find Mike LaFeve Online:
- LinkedIn:
- Stronghold Freedom Foundation

Show Notes:
00:00 - Intro 
00:53 - Guest Introduction (Mike LaFeve)
02:02 - Interview begins
02:45 - K-2
11:30 - Coming back from first deployment and OIF
26:18 - Night the war kicked off
30:00 - OIF stories
36:50 - GPS guided DZ drops
42:30 - Kuwait deployment
46:22 - Big mission
50:28 - What makes a good crew in the cockpit
59:37 - Funny story from '05
01:05:39 - Keeping it light during missions
01:12:58 - Last deployment to Bagram 
01:44:40 - Military persona into the civilian world
01:54:06 - Strong Hold Freedom Foundation
01:57:17 -  Listener comments and shout outs