"The days of Congo and Angola when you had the image of mercenaries as drunken guys going around shooting up the place... has gone - the people you find now... are well-trained, professional soldiers, special forces trained." - Neall Ellis Praise for Al J. Venter: "A disturbing insight into the ever growing world of unconventional private armies. Like it or not, Venter tells it to us the way it is."- John Le Carre "…a gripping and hugely informative read.…highly recommended. …impressive and enlightening." - The Herald A former South African Air Force pilot who saw action throughout the region from the 1970s, Neall Ellis is the best-known mercenary combat aviator alive. Apart from flying Alouette helicopter gunships in Angola, he has fought in the Balkan War (for Islamic forces), flown Mi-8s for Executive Outcomes, and thereafter an Mi-8 fondly dubbed"Bokkie" for Colonel Tim Spicer in Sierra Leone. For the past two years, as a "civilian contractor," Ellis has been flying helicopter support missions in Afghanistan, where, he reckons, he has had more close shaves than in his entire previous four-decade career; twice he turned the enemy back from the gates of Freetown, effectively preventing the rebels from overrunning Sierra Leone's capital. Known as Nellis to his friends, he was also the first mercenary to work hand-in-glove with British ground and air assets in a modern guerrilla war. This book describes the full career of this storied aerial warrior, from the bush and jungles of Africa to the forests of the Balkans and the merciless mountains of today's Afghanistan. Along the way the reader encounters a multi-ethnic array of enemies ranging from ideological to cold-blooded to pure evil, as well as well as examples of incredible heroism for hire.