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160th SOAR - Operation Just Cause

SOAR helicopters carried out a number of operations during the US invasion of Panama

  • Ahead of the main invasion, MH-6 and AH-6 Little Birds inserted USAF Combat Controllers
  • SOAR AH-6 gunships supported the Rangers mission to seize Rio Hato airfield
  • 160th SOAR support units set a FARP within Panama at which the 160th SOAR could rearm and refuel
  • AH-6 helicopters carried attack missions against Panamanian Defence Force (PDF) HQ at Commandancia, during which on AH-6 was brought down by ground fire, forcing the crew to escape and evade to safety
  • A SOAR flight of AH-6 Little Birds and MH-60 Black Hawks carried out an assault at a beach house on the coast of Colon. With the AH-6s providing close air support, the MH-60s inserted teams of Special Forces who raided the house, believed to contain several top PDF leaders. A AH-6 was shot down during this operations, resulting in 2 KIA
  • MH-6 Little Birds delivers Delta Force to a prison in order to rescue U.S. Citizen, Kurt Muse. AH-6 attack helicopters provided air cover
  • 2 SOAR MH-60 helicopters are used to move the captured Panamanian dictator, Noriega, from his point of capture to Howard Air Force base, where a USAF MC-130 flew him to the U.S.
  • 2 MH-47E Chinooks were deployed in support of Special Forces Foreign Internal Defence (FID) operations in post-Noriega Panama

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