The MCNS (Media Center for National Security) has posted a story about a rescue mission conducted in November 2001 to evacuate a Commando from a 8man Recce Team injured in an AP mine.
Both before and after the recent escalation of hostilities, a few such isolated rescue missions were planned but only a few were executed after brave soldiers from the Special Forces and Commando Regiments made their way back from the dead. Some however were less fortunate.
One such incident occurred in 2006 (names and places withheld) when the location of a small team of LRRP was compromised by accident. The LTTE surrounded the entire area with around 3000 auxiliary and elite soldiers and started combing the jungles. The unit was so very well camouflaged that the Tigers could not find them. Unfortunately, the Tigers laid siege to the area for many days and the team was forced to make a move.
The unit broke through the LTTE cordon and made to the unguarded forest area beyond. Unfortunately, a highly seasoned Sergeant from the unit was hit on the knee and the bullet traveled through-and-through, making him completely immobile.
His colleagues carried him on their shoulders with the LTTE units on hot pursuit. The unit's getaway was being delayed by the Sergeant's injury. Finally the Sergeant convinced his colleagues to stop running and to listen to what he had to say.
He then took his gun and a few grenades and asked his colleagues to leave him behind. His arguments were very convincing and he spoke without the slightest fear. After many arguments the rest of the team had no option but to leave the Sergeant behind.
As the team sadly retreated without their colleague and leader, the Sergeant started engaging enemy troops, even managing to kill a few of them and prolonging the advance of the enemy.
Finally, short of ammunition, injured by enemy fire and facing possible capture by the enemy that could jeopardize the secretive mission, the brave soldier committed suicide by removing the pin from a grenade in his person and bid farewell to his motherland.
Like in the MCNS story, Armies around the world use helicopters to evacuate elite units from the battlefield. US Special Forces, for example, use the Black hawk for infiltration and extraction of elite troops.
There are other much faster methods of evacuating trapped units from the battlefield. The Skyhook or variations of the Fulton surface-to-air recovery system are in use in most developed militaries. The system uses a lift line tied to a balloon, a harness for upto two men and an air hook fixed to a C130 plane for speedy extraction of troops from the ground.