Lieutenant Chris Burnett is a top naval aviator who is frustrated that fragile geo-politics have kept him from what he knows best: flying F/A-18 Superhornet jets into combat. "We're watching, not fighting," he tells Admiral Reigart, who thinks Burnett hasn't really learned what it means to be a soldier. During a routine reconnaissance mission, Burnett photographs something no one was meant to see and is shot down. Trapped behind enemy lines, Burnett struggles to survive the relentless pursuit of a ruthless secret police enforcer, a deadly tracker and countless hostile troops. With time running out, Reigart makes the wrenching decision to set aside the rules of the tightly-controlled world in which he operates and risk his career to launch a renegade rescue mission to save the life of one solider.