160th SOAR - Operations
1983 - Grenada - Operation Urgent Fury
160th SOAR (then Task Force 160) were known to be involved in several operations in Grenada:
- Richmond Hill Prison
TF-160 MH-60 Black Hawks attempted to insert Delta Force and C Coy, Rangers in order to seize Richmond Hill Prison. Forced to attempt the op in daylight, the MH-60s were shot up by ground fire and had to abort, landing on US ships to offload the wounded.
- Governor-General's Mansion
2 TF-160 MH-60s inserted a team of SEALs for an assault on the Governor-General's mansion.
- The Radio Transmitter
2 TF-160 MH-60s inserted SEALs for their mission to seize a strategically important radio transmitter on the west coast of Grenada.
1987 - Persian Gulf - Operation Prime Chance
SOAR MH-6 and AH-6 helicopters supported US Navy operations to secure shipping in the Persian Gulf.
read more : operation prime chance
1988 - North Africa - Operation Mount Hope III
2 SOAR MH-47 helicopters flew into the disputed zone between Chad and Libya to extract an abandoned Soviet-built MI-24 HIND gunship.
1989 - Panama - Operation Just Cause
SOAR helicopters carried out a number of operations during the US invasion of Panama
read more : operation just cause
1991 - Kuwait / Iraq - Operation Desert Shield / Desert Storm
The 160th SOAR flew multiple missions during the US-led liberation of Kuwait of it's Iraqi invaders.
- When Saddam Hussein held a large number of western citizens captive, the 160th SOAR, along with a host of other US and allied SOF, took part in planning for a hostage rescue operation, which thankfully was not needed as the westerners were eventually released.
- MH-47Es provided on-the-ground refueling for a joint MH-53 Pavelow/AH-64A Apache assault on Iraqi air defence radars, an attack that signaled the start of the allied air campaign
- SOAR MH-60s and MH-47Es acted as Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) units, flying missions to rescue downed allied air crew
- SOAR MH-47E Chinooks and MH-60 Black Hawks inserted and extracted Delta Force units into North West Iraq, as part of allied efforts to find and destroy Saddam's mobile SCUD missile launchers, which were attacking Israel. MH-60 DAP gunships also hunted for and engaged SCUDs.
- SOAR helicopters also inserted and extracted Special Forces ODAs into Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq, who were carrying out reconnaissance operations. On one occasion, a SOAR MH-60 conducted a hot extraction of a compromised ODA unit from inside Iraq.
1993 - Somalia Operation Restore Hope / Gothic Serpent
The Night Stalkers were part of a U.S. Task Force (TF Ranger) deployed to Somalia. The 160th SOAR flew missions in support of Delta Force, Rangers and other SOF, often inserting and extracting units from the heart of the capital, Mogadishu. In the 'Black Hawk Down' incident, made famous in print and in a major hollywood movie, 2 SOAR MH-60s were shot down during a TF Ranger mission to arrest Somalian militia leaders
2001 - Present - Afghanistan Operation Enduring Freedom
The 160th SOAR deployed into Afghanistan, along with the 1st American Special Operations forces. The hot, high-altitude flying that the theatre requires has meant that the regiment's MH-47 Chinooks (with occasional escorts from MH-60L DAP gunships) have flown the majority of missions.
- SOAR Chinooks, operating initially from Uzbekistan, inserted and extracted Green Berets, SEALs, Rangers and Delta Force units. As the war progressed, they would begin to operate from within Afghanistan, from airbases such as Bagram.
- October 20th 2001 - SOAR Chinooks and Blackhawks flew a combined Delta Force and Ranger team into Kandahar for a raid on Mullah Omar's compound
more info : Delta / Ranger raid Mullah Omar's compound
- During Operation Anaconda, March 2002, 2 SOAR MH-47s were shot down whilst inserting SOF units onto mountain LZs in the Takur Ghar valley. Razor 3 was forced to abort an insertion of SEALs when it came under heavy ground fire. During the abort, a SEAL fell out of the Chinook. Razor 3 undertook a controlled crash after which the SEALs attempted to rescue their comrade, sadly without luck. Razor 3's crew were extracted by Razor 4. A quick Reaction Force of 2 SOAR MH-47s (Razor 1 and Razor 2), carrying Rangers, responding to the initial incident, came under attack. Razor 1 was hit by an RPG as it was inserting the Rangers. An intense firefight ensued, with the American forces eventually victorious
2003 - Present - Iraq - Operation Iraqi Freedom
- In advance of the allied push into Iraq, AH-6 Little Birds flew a number of sorties against Iraqi border positions, destroying watch towers, communications relays etc.
- 160th helicopters flew in US SOF on operations to seize and search Saddam's palace compounds.
- The 160th flew a combined JSOC / Rangers task force on a mission to raid a suspected Iraqi WMD complex.
read more on : Mission at Al Qadisiyah
2008 - Syria
Helicopters flown by the 160th took part in an operation against a terrorist orgranisation in Syria
more info: Syria Helicopter Raid
2009 - Somalia
160th assets, including AH-6 gunships, neutralized a wanted terrorist in Somalia
more info: Raid in Somalia