160th SOAR: The Only Special Operations Regiment in the World

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The 160th SOAR (A) is the only Special Operations Aviation Regiment in the world. Things to be discussed will be the unit’s operational history that the soldiers have done. These soldiers are known as the Night Stalkers due to their proficiency in night time operations. They go through special training and use special helicopters and other special equipment to accomplish their mission during all weather operations during day or night. The Night Stalkers start their history with Operation Eagle Claw. This Operation was to be the rescue of the 66 hostages from the Iranian U.S. embassy. The mission was simple get the 8 navy RH-53D (Sea Stallion) helicopters to Desert One (FARP) refuel and load a 120 man assault team proceeds to the U.S. embassy, extract the 66 hostages and get back on the helicopters and extract through Tehran. This lead to the Holloway commission which reviewed Operation Eagle Claw and made it a lessons learned experience. Some additional factors were training, intelligence, pilots, aircrew, helicopters, and weather. So they decided to make a small unit of dedicated personnel and equipment to make sure the mistakes would not happen again. Naturally they wanted to pull personnel and equipment from a unit that had some experience. So they turned to the branch and unit that had the most of both the 101st Airborne, having had the experience of flying in Vietnam. So they pulled Charlie and Delta Companies from the 158th Aviation Battalion with their new UH-60 Black Hawks, they also need some heavy lift capabilities and picked up Alpha Company of the 159th Aviation Battalion with CH-47C and then they needed some light scout aircraft so talked to Bravo Company 229th Attack Helicopter Battalion with the OH-6A... ... middle of paper ... ...vival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) level C+, and helicopter overwater survival training (Dunker School) just to name a few of the school these soldiers will go through. They use special equipped helicopters that include AH-6, MH-6, MH-60’s, and MH-47 helicopters. Soldiers in this unit also have to maintain a SECERT security clearance. Briefly discussed was the operations that the 160th has taken part in and outlined some of the additional schools and requirements and the special equipment these soldiers know as Night Stalkers use to arrive time on target plus or minus 30 seconds. These men have become a vital part of USSOCOM and the US Army, with their ability to fly at night and in any weather. There have been many lost due to training and combat and they will not be forgotten and their names are on the Night Stalk Memorial wall at Fort Campbell, KY.

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