Picture this, you’re at your briefing at a US Forward Operating Base, or a FOB. Command Sergeant Major B gives you the details of the raid which you will be involved with. This mission has been in the planning for almost eight years. After the briefing your unit, Alpha 3336 loads up into special helicopters. Your metal horses this mission is the MH-47 Chinook, being operated by the best of the best. The Night stalkers. The 160th Special Operation Aviation Regiment has been operation top secret helicopters for many years now. The Nightstalkers are famous for several raids, Operation Mount Hope III which involves a CH-47 stealing a MI24 from the Libyans in the 80s. In 1993 the Nightstalkers were involved in the Battle of Mogadishu, later the events would become the movie “Blackhawk down”.
In 2002 the Nightstalkers MH-47 flew Operation in the Philippines to rescue American missionaries from Jihadist groups. The squadrons MH-47s became involved in killing Abu Sabaya, leader of Islamic State – East Asia Province.
In December of 2003 the US went after the most wanted man in the world at the time. Saddam Hussein, The 160th used MH-6 Little Birds and extracted Hussein from his location with MH-47s.
In 2006 the Nightstalkers again used MH-47s to support Operation Red Wing. One of their MH-47s were shot down killing the crew with eight SEALs.
In 2011 the 160th again provided MH-47s and cool guy top secret MH-60 Blackhawk helicopters. Their target Usama Bin Laden the worlds most wanted terrorist.
In 2019 the 160th again made international news after the US went after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS. Using the MH-47E again to support the raid. So let’s find out more about the MH-47E.
The helicopters involved in the al-Baghdadi raid were MH-60L/M medium helicopters and MH-47. Both the MH-60L and MH-47 are specialized versions of helicopters used by the rest of the U.S. Army, heavily modified to support long distance special forces raids at night and in bad weather.
The MH-47, available in -E, -F, and the latest -G model, is designed to transport larger numbers of special forces troops, or heavy equipment and light vehicles. The MH-47 is equipped with long-range fuel tanks, an aerial refueling probe, multi-mode radar and floward-looking infrared sensors. The MH-47 also has a rear ramp for loading and unloading troops and cargo. Alternately, troops can fast rope from the rear of the aircraft. The helicopter has a crew of five and up to four machine guns, including two 7.62 millimeter miniguns and two M240 medium machine guns.