Former Special Forces pilot from Orange County talks history-making mission days after the 9/11 attacks

Former Army Special Operations Pilot Alan Mack remembers like yesterday the dangerous mission of America’s immediate response to 9/11.

“We were determined to succeed,” Mack said. “We didn’t think we would survive. By October 3rd and he by the 4th, we will be in Uzbekistan or K2.”

Mack’s historic rescue and attack missions with the elite SOAR Air Regiment inspired the 2018 film 12 Strong starring Chris Hemsworth.

Now a retired, highly decorated police officer lives in Wallkill and serves as the Deputy Commissioner of Orange County Emergency Services.

He sat down with News Friday 12 to share his experience piloting thousands of hours of special missions that ultimately led him to become Al Qaeda’s most wanted leader.

“We were finally able to reach Bagram Air Force Base, an important strategic airfield for the entire country,” Mack said. “This allowed us to track down bin Laden, who was in a place called Tora Bora.”

During one mission, Mac crashed the Chinook he was piloting with the team and nearly died.

Meanwhile, his wife back home, battling an opioid addiction that cost her life, rendered incapacitated a man who helped so many Americans.

“You want to do all these things for your country, for your public, for your community, but you have family members at home who can suffer while you are away.”

Mac is now remarried and has five adult children and four grandchildren in a blended family.

Looking back on his current service and role, he says he will do it again.

“People always ask me if I miss flying and the answer is usually no. I miss missions. is.”

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