|U.S. Army Special Operations Command
Operations Aviation Regiment
|Task Force 160 - The Night Stalkers
|The 160th Special Operations Aviation
Regiment (Airborne) provides aviation support to
Army special operations forces. The Regiment consists of
modified OH-6 light observation helicopters, MH-60
utility helicopters and MH-47 medium-lift helicopters.
The capabilities of the 160th SOAR have been evolving
since the early 1980s.
Shortly after the
failed hostage rescue mission, Desert One, in Iran, the Army
formed a special aviation unit. The unit drew on some of the
best aviators in the Army and immediately began an intensive
training program in low-level, night operations. The unit became
a battalion of its own on October 16, 1981. Designated the 160th
Aviation Battalion, the unit was popularly known as Task Force
160 because of the constant attachment and detachment of units
to prepare for a wide variety of missions. Its focus on night
operations resulted in the nickname, "The Night
Stalkers." On May 16, 1990 the unit was reorganized,
designated the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment
(Airborne), and assigned to the U.S.
Army Special Operations Command.
currently consists of three battalions. The 1st and 2nd
Battalions are located at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, while
the 3rd Battalion is located at Hunter Army Airfield,
Georgia. The organizational structure of the 160th SOAR
allows the Regiment to quickly tailor its unique assets to meet
mission requirements of special operations forces.
The 160th SOAR
actively seeks and assigns the best-qualified aviators and
support soldiers available in the Army. The unique mission of
the unit requires that it work closely with the Army Personnel
Command in the recruitment process. Once assigned, incoming
officers and enlisted soldiers go through Basic Mission
Qualification. The Officer Qualification Course lasts 14 weeks
while the Enlisted Qualification Course is three weeks in
duration. Two other qualification levels exist, Fully Mission
Qualified and Flight Lead. Associated progression times are
12-18 months and 36-48 months respectively.
professionalism and capabilities of Special Operations Aviation,
developed through a "train as you're going to
fight" mentality, were demonstrated in combat
operations in Grenada, the Persian Gulf, Just Cause, Desert
Shield/Desert Storm and recent actions in Somalia.
See also The Unofficial
Night Stalkers Page.
- PLEASE READ
|This page is an
unofficial document and does not represent information
endorsed by the United States Government, the United
States Special Operations Command or the United States
Army Special Operations Command. However, most
information is derived from those sources and has been
checked for accuracy. For comments, questions, and
suggestions, please go to the Communications
Gunnery Network - SOF