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U.S. Army Special Forces
"The Green Berets"

U.S. Army Special Operations Command

160th Special 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.

160th SOAR Crest

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.

The Regiment 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.

The 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.


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 Center.

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