A website dedicated to UK special forces has posted the censored raw footage of the rescue mission in Afghanistan last week during which four Royal Marines flew strapped onto the stub wing pylons of a AgustaWestland AH1 Longbow Apache helicopter.

The two marines were strapped to each of two two-seat attack helicopters on the mission, to rescue a colleague shot by the Taliban during an offensive the previous day, the UK's Ministry of Defence says. A third AH1 provided cover.

Sound-free infra-red footage (below) of the mission has been released by the MoD and was aired on several UK news channels yesterday. Elite UK Forces has posted what it claims to be the raw footage, cleansed of sensitive data, on to popular video sharing web site youtube.com as well as reports from British Broadcasting (BBC) and Sky News. The amazing footage from one Apache shows the marines exposed to ground fire as they fly into Jugroom Fort in Helmand province to recover the body of L-Cpl Matthew Ford who was shot last Monday when more than 200 UK troops attacked fort.

"This is believed to be the first time UK forces have ever tried this type of rescue mission ... It was an extraordinary tale of heroism and bravery of our airmen, soldiers and marines who were all prepared to put themselves back into the line of fire to rescue a fallen comrade," said UK Task Force spokesman Lt Col Rory Bruce.

The wing harnesses are used only for emergency troop carriage.

Source: FlightGlobal.com