aviation brigade

Plucking Troops From A Hot LZ

Reprint from: SKY SOLDIER Time Life Books

Photo Credit: National Archives (negative7680) #11C6

A Casper Platoon UH-1 Huey, its door gunner firing at a well-concealed enemy, prepares to extract troops of the 173d Airborne Brigade pinned down near the Ai Loa River in the Binh Dinh Province on March 29, 1970.  

With circling gunships providing support from above, Sky Soldiers return VC sniper fire and Casper completes the extraction.  Such rescue missions were frequent, necessary and fraught with danger.

Troop-carrying Huey “Slicks” often had to descend into determined VC & NVA fire to pluck the stranded soldiers from their predicament.  Often these missions succeeded, with largely inconsequential damage to the helicopters.  At other times, the toll on the choppers was a heavy one.


Endless brown and blue.

UH-60 Black Hawks, operated by 3rd Battalion, 238th General Support Aviation Battalion, 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade, fly overhead after conducting an air assault with soldiers from 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, as part of Operation Intrepid Centurion in Kuwait. The 42nd CAB, New York Army National Guard, provided rotary winged aviation assets to Intrepid Centurion, an annual exercise between the U.S. and Kuwait militaries designed to strengthen their tactical proficiency and familiarity with each other’s operations.

(N.Y. Army National Guard photos by Sgt. Harley Jelis, 19 FEB 2014.)

US Army Soldiers, assigned to 2nd “Black Jack” Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, secure a landing zone after exiting UH-60 Black Hawks, from 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, during a training exercise at Rodriguez Live Fire Range, Republic of Korea, Aug. 20, 2015.

U.S. Army photo Staff Sgt. John Healy

An AH-64E Apache helicopter with the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division leads an Indonesian army MI-35 during flight instructions for attack operations training at Ahmad Yani Army Aviation Base, Semarang, Indonesia, Sept. 9. US Army Apache helicopters are participating in Garuda Shield 14, a bilateral exercise promoting regional peace and security.

(U.S. Army photo by Chief Warrant Officer 3 Christian Muir)

Able, ready and willing.

U.S. soldiers of Able Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team secure the uppermost floor of a building during a mission rehearsal exercise (MRE) at a Bundeswehr training area in Oberviechtach, Germany. The MRE was conducted at the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Commands Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels Training Areas in order to prepare the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade to deploy to Afghanistan to provide medical evacuation and combat support to the NATO International Security Assistance Force mission.

(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Bryan Rankin, 20 MAR 2014.)


Lightning Troop, 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment - Wolfpack and A Co., #210AHB, and B Co., 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, teamed up for some air assault training April 6, 2017 at Grafenwöhr Training Area.


Daytime Landing Qualifications.  HD Video by Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Sandberg   |  Commander Task Force 56   |   08.11.2013  –  U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility - U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and AH-64D Apache helicopter, assigned to 36th Combat Aviation Brigade, conduct daytime landing qualifications aboard the Afloat Forward Staging Base USS Ponce (AFSB 15). Ponce is deployed to support maritime security operations and mine counter measure efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy Video by Mass Communication Specialist Michael Sandberg / Released.)


Farewell old friend, you served well.

Aerial Cavalrymen of 6th Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), fly all 30 of the squadrons’ Observational Helicopter-58D Kiowa Warriors in formation over Fort Drum, N.Y. and surrounding areas. After more than 20 years at the installation, the OH-58D will be retired after a final flight July 28, 2015, as a part of the Army’s Aviation Restructure Initiative, which will replace the Kiowa Warriors with a combination of Attack-Helicopter 64 Apaches and unmanned aerial vehicles. 

(Army Photo by Spc. Osama Ayyad, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) Public Affairs Office), 27 JUL 2015.)