Night Stalkers activate Black Hawk company

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http://www.soc.mil/UNS/Releases/2011/September/110913-02.html

Last Chinook-only active Army unit welcomes MH-60s

By Kimberly Tiscione
160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment Public Affairs
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (USASOC News Service, Sept. 13, 2011) – Black Hawk helicopters are expanding the 2nd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) fleet.
Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 160th SOAR(A), was activated in a ceremony at Fort Campbell, Ky., Sept. 9.
Maj. Keith Sandoval and 1st Sgt. Thomas Hale assumed command and responsibility, respectively, of the new formation. Their Soldiers were hand-picked from within Regiment for their airframe expertise.
“There is no history to talk about or great feats of merit or valor to highlight about this unit. Not yet at least,” said Lt. Col. Phil Ryan, commander of 2nd Battalion. “These Soldiers, with their new chariots – some of which still have the new car smell, will write their own legend over the next few months, years and decades.
It is just a matter of time when the ‘Warhorse’ (company) will cement their place in both ‘Darkhorse’ (battalion) and Night Stalker history.”
Ryan emphasized there are, however, historical aspects of the new company itself. Tactically, the company will be the first to operationally employ MH-60M helicopters for the regiment. Historically, this activation starts a new chapter for the battalion - which was the last standing operational pure-Chinook unit in the active Army, while completing Regiment’s years-long transformation aligning and standardizing the 2nd, 3rd and 4th battalions.
The 160th now has three battalions with Chinook and Black Hawk helicopters and one battalion with Black Hawk and Little Bird helicopters. Regiment’s training battalion has a representative fleet of all the unit’s airframes.
The “Warhorse” will receive an initial five aircraft and begin crew training this fall. Regiment anticipates the company to be fully fielded in about three years.

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Maj. Keith Sandoval (left), commander of C Company 2nd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), and Lt. Col. Phil Ryan, commander of 2nd Battalion 160th SOAR (A), watch as the company colors are unfurled for the first time during an activation ceremony at Fort Campbell, Ky., Sept. 12, 2011. (160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment courtesy photo)
 
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