TV tonight: Inside Combat Rescue on National Geographic Channel

83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron secures area during Afghan mission.

Photo: USAF/SSgnt. Jonathan Snyder/Inside Combat Rescue

WASHINGTONFebruary 18, 2013 —Tonight, something new and rare will air on the National Geographic Channel at 10 p.m.: a reality show that’s genuinely worth watching. Inside Combat Rescue is a six part series that documents the exploits of Pararescuemen, (a/k/a Para Jumpers, a/k/a PJs) in Afghanistan. PJs are an elite Air Force Combat Rescue unit whose mission is to extract and provide medical assistance to U.S. forces and our allies who are injured in combat.

Conspicuously absent will be the usual contrived drama that inevitably dominates in structured “reality” shows. The drama here is real and immediate and needs no profit hungry producer urging phony or exaggerated conflict to make the show more appealing to viewers.

Unlike most reality shows, the NatGeo “cast” wasn’t chosen for their heart-warming back stories or particularly photogenic faces. They were chosen instead for the very real job they have to accomplish on the battlefield.

And what a job it is.

Operating on “The Golden Hour” rule, these teams of elite soldiers know the chances of survival depend on their efforts to get someone back to the combat support hospital within 60 minutes of an injury. Utilizing strategically placed cameras on airmen’s helmets and more than 40 cameras mounted on the Air Force’s HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, NGC accompanied these angels from above on the front lines during a four-month deployment to Kandahar, one of the most dangerous places in Afghanistan. 

The obvious pride this group of soldiers takes in doing their job is nothing short of amazing. Their motto says it all. “That others may live,” is amply demonstrated time and time again as the unit drops into combat zones and extracts wounded soldiers.

PJs have saved more than 12,000 people since September 11, 2001, including 4,000 during Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath in stateside action. This group of selfless and heroic soldiers is just one of many examples of the skill level and dedication of today’s American troops.

Say what you may about why we are at war, but never doubt the quality of the troops who serve on the front lines. While America struggles to define its soul, we can take comfort in the fact that our soldiers are very clear on what their job is, a fact that’s exemplified by what they’re doing every day in defense of our freedom.

Here’s a link to a trailer-preview video for tonight’s program. Note: an advertisement will appear first. The trailer will follow.

To contribute to the Wounded Warrior Project please go here:

Tonight’s viewing:

All times are EST:

8 p.m.

ABC: The Bachelor: (New) Sean travels across the country to visit the hometowns of the final four women; one woman is eliminated.

CBS: How I Met Your Mother: (New) When Ted receives an unexpected call from The Captain; the gang reminisced about their last awkward encounter with him.

FOX: Bones: (New) Brennan is critically injured while working late at the lab.

NBC: The Biggest Loser: (New) The competition heats up when the contestants go head-to-head in a battle to stay above the yellow line and avoid elimination.

CW: The Carrie Diaries: (New) Carrie (AnnaSophia Robb) gets in way over her head when she tries to cook the perfect Thanksgiving dinner for her family, her new boyfriend George (guest star Richard Kohnke) and his dad Harlan (guest star Scott Cohen), so she enlists Mouse’s (Ellen Wong) help.

8:30 p.m.

CBS: Rules of Engagement: (New) Liz wants to have a baby, so she turns to Russell for help. Meanwhile, Timmy takes Jeff’s advice on how to attract a coworker, but it all backfires.

9 p.m.

CBS: 2 Broke Girls: (New) Max and Caroline pay a high price for attempting to remove a street performer away from the entry to their cupcake shop.

FOX: The Following: (New) Claire receives a call that might lead her to her son; Carroll turns to a lawyer from his past to send a message that could have deadly repercussions.

CW: 90210: (New) Liam experiences some symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder while preparing to testify against Ashley (guest star Natalie Morales), while Annie is furious when Naomi tracks down their half-brother Mark (guest star Charlie Weber), a chef who owns a gourmet food truck. Wolfgang Puck has a cameo role as a celebrity judge in a cooking competition.

9:30 p.m.

CBS: Mike and Molly: (New) Mike studies male fertility and visits a clinic to ensure that his swimmers are up to the task of starting a family with Molly. Meanwhile, Vince gets a new job selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door.

10 p.m.

ABC: Castle: (New) A murder investigation reveals a plot to kidnap a wealthy businessman’s daughter; FBI Agent Harris (Dylan Walsh) helps Castle and Beckett investigate.

CBS: Hawaii Five-0: (New) It’s an All-Pro football weekend in Hawaii and while Danny obsesses about the big game, Five-0 investigates the murder of a tech executive with the help of a star football player.

NBC: Deception: (New) Joanna follows a lead into danger; the tension between Edward and Julian gets physical.

PBS: Independent Lens: (New) Remembering Whitney Young, who led the National Urban League from 1961 until his death in 1971 at age 49. During those years, he played a pivotal role in expanding access to jobs, education and housing for blacks.

Basic cable:

New episodes of:

Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden at 8 p.m. on NGC

Continuum at 8 p.m. on Syfy

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills at 8 p.m. on BRAVO

Finding Bigfoot: Further Evidence at 8 and 9 and 10 p.m. on Animal Planet

Top Gear at 9 p.m. on BBC

Kourtney and Kim take Miami at 9 p.m. on E!

American Pickers at 9 p.m. on History Channel

Love it or List it at 9 p.m. on HGTV

Bizarre Foods America at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel

Being Human at 9 p.m. on Syfy

Cake Boss at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on Food Channel

Dallas at 9 p.m. on TNT

The Devils Ride at 10 p.m. on DSC

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives at 10 p.m. on Food Channel

Inside Combat Rescue at 10 p.m. on NGC

Monday Mornings at 10 p.m. on TNT

Hotel Impossible at 10 p.m. on Travel Channel

Lizard Lick Towing at 10 p.m. on truTV

For movie lovers:

8 p.m.

Gone in 60 Seconds on AMC

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button on FMC

Suicide Kings on IFC

Poltergeist on TCM

Reservoir Dogs on TMC

Agent Cody Banks on FLIX

9 p.m.

Think Like a Man on STARZ

You Only Live Twice on REELZ

Red Riding Hood on HBO

Fast Five on HBO

Later tonight:

The Bourne Supremacy at 9:40 p.m. on ENC

Paul at 10 p.m. on HBO

Victor/Victoria at 10 p.m. on TCM

The Mechanic at 10 p.m. on TMC

The Karate Kid at 10:30 p.m. on FX

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

More from TV Den
blog comments powered by Disqus
Lisa King

I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter.

I’ve been employed as everything from a quality control technician in industrial construction, to a mail processing plant manager, to postmaster of a small town. I’ve been to forty nine of the fifty states, as well as many other countries. Traveling will always be a passion I indulge, and something I’ll call upon often in my writing. 

I come from a long line of story tellers, and will shamelessly exploit a family tree resplendent with colorful and unique characters, both past and present.

In short my perspective will reflect the pride and familiarity I have of my Appalachian heritage. My stories will be a reflection of the values I believe we hold dearest here, all embellished with a healthy dose of Southern Appalachian flare.


Contact Lisa King


Please enable pop-ups to use this feature, don't worry you can always turn them off later.

Question of the Day
Photo Galleries
Popular Threads
Powered by Disqus