Let’s get a few things straight.
There is no doubt that DEVGRU -more commonly known as SEAL Team Six- are an elite team of nearly superhuman warriors. The press certainly seems to think that they stand alone on the pinnacle of military power. But if you consider the airborne chariots that delivered DEVGRU to their insertion point, exposed themselves to provide air cover, and then extracted the SEALs when the bad guys were full of 5.56 NATO, you might realize there is another group that deserve as many accolades as the SEALs, if not more.
May I be perhaps the only person in the free world currently without an uncontrollable hard on for SEAL Team Six to acknowledge and thank the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, better known as the Nightstalkers, for their care and seriously professional skill in delivering DEVGRU to their glory. Even with the loss of one Blackhawk, they did not suffer a casualty.
In regards to the Blackhawk that bumped…….
Firstly, helicopters -just as a concept- really only fly on paper. The ones you see over your freeways or wildfires or neighborhoods (if you live in Oakland) are really held up by wires and made to appear to fly by little men in suits in Pasadena. And you think I am clowning around here. Really.
Secondly, based on the firstly fact that they really don’t fly without a little man in a suit furiously flapping his arms and rowing his legs to and fro in an angular plane, helos crashing is an all too common scenario. Hot, heavy, and high. It’s killed more helo pilots in the high desert terrain of that god forsaken shit hole called Afghanistan than you know about.
There was an unexpected change in temperature. The mission planners calculated the load for another temperature. The Blackhawk couldn’t hold a hover and she bumped. It happens. The difference here is that any other pilot would have most likely screwed the machine into the ground and there would have been loss of life. The Nightstalker PIC either manhandled the Blackhawk into staying aloft until the SEALs were off the ropes and clear, or he never let them out when he realized he had a problem on what would have been a hellaciously fast decent, and then safely got the thing on the ground so the SEALs could deplane. Either way, the reason no one was killed were the men in the right seats of those Blackhawks.
There were big, blacked out MH-47Gs just minutes away and in place for just such a contingency. The unfortunate lessons learned from the valiant and brave actions of the crews of the Super Sea Stallion Dashes at Desert One and Mike Durant’s Super Six Four have taken root and the deadly Chinooks raced in with guns blazing for the extraction. Add to it that Nighstalkers never quit, and the result is nobody died this time, that is except for the those with the Nighstalker reticle on their foreheads.
I am biased, of course. Two good friends are deep into helos. One is a DoD test engineer that has worked closely with the 160th SOAR developing various projects. The other is just beginning his Army helicopter career with the mighty Bell 209 and is on his way to making a fine military pilot. I wish them both good luck and good flying. Like me, their respect of SEAL Team Six is undeniable, but their hearts and souls were flying with the Nightstalker crews and their Blackhawks.
The Nightstalkers make no secret of their mission or their creed, my pinheaded friends. Death waits in the dark. It’s as simple as that.
The following video contains naked chicks, folks of the Middle Eastern persuasion disappearing before your very eyes into a silky red mist, and the absolute baddest helo pilots in the entire world.