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160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment

Unit name

160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne)
160th SOAR (A)


Night Stalkers


U.S. Army


Provide aviation support to U.S. Special Operations Forces


Fort Campbell, Kentucky
United States of America


Night Stalkers Don't Quit (NSDQ)


3 batallions,
Training Company,
2 forward-deployed companies located in the U.S. Southern Command and the U.S. Pacific Command


1st & 2nd Battallion:
Fort Campbell, Kentucky

3rd Battallion:
Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia

Equipment / Craft

MH-60 Black Hawk
MH-47 Chinook
AH-6 Little Bird
MH-6 Little Bird

Insertion date

October 16, 1981

Reason of creation

Consequences of
Operation Eagle Claw

The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne)160th SOAR (A)— of the United States Army, is a military unit specialized in providing aviation support to Army special operation forces. The unit's headquarters are based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky (USA).

The unit is also known as the Night Stalkers and their motto is Night Stalkers Don't Quit (NSDQ).

Table of contents
1 Background
2 History
3 Famous Night Stalkers
4 Books and Movies
5 Related topics
6 External links
7 References


The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) provides aviation support to Army special operations forces. The regiment flies MH-6 and AH-6 Little Bird light helicopters, MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and MH-47 Chinook heavy assault helicopters. The capabilities of the 160th SOAR (A) have been evolving since the early 1980s. [1] [1]

The regiment currently consists of three battalions, a headquarters company, the Special Operations Aviation Training Company, and two forward-deployed companies located in the U.S. Southern Command and U.S. Pacific Command areas of responsibility. The 1st and 2nd battalions are located at Fort Campbell, Kentucky (USA) while the 3rd Battalion is located at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia (USA). The organizational structure of the 160th SOAR (A) allows the Regiment to quickly tailor its unique assets to meet the mission requirements of special operations forces.

The 160th SOAR (A) actively seeks and assigns the best-qualified aviators and support soldiers available in the U.S. Army. The unique mission of the unit requires that all members be three time volunteers: Army, Airborne, and 160th SOAR (A). Once assigned, incoming officers and enlisted soldiers go through special training programs in preparation for the unit's unique missions.


Shortly after a failed hostage rescue mission in 1980Operation Eagle Claw in Iran— the U.S. Army formed a special aviation unit.

The unit was originally formed from attachments from the 101st Aviation Battalion, 158th Aviation Battalion, 229th Aviation Battalion, and the 159th Aviation Battalion, who immediately entered into a period of intensive night flying and quickly became the Army's premier night fighting aviation force, and the Army's only Special Operations Aviation force. It was called Task Force 160, and was officially recognized as a unit on October 16, 1981 when it was designated as the 160th Aviation Battalion. Since that time, the 160th has become known as the "Night Stalkers", because of their capability to strike undetected during darkness.

The U.S. Army owes its modern night fighting aviation capabilities to the 160th SOAR (A) who pioneered night flight techniques and shared in the development of equipment.

The 160th was first used in combat during Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada (1983). Since 1983, the unit has responded to numerous missions at the request of the National Command Authority. This includes Operation Mount Hope III in June of 1988.

In Operation Prime Chance, the Night Stalkers successfully used night vision goggles and forward looking infrared devices for the first time in night combat.

The organization continued to grow. In 1986 it became an airborne Unit, redesignated as the 160th Aviation Group (Airborne). It was officially activated as the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) in May of 1990. Responding to an increased demand for elite highly trained special operations aviation assets, the Regiment activated three battalions, a separate detachment, and incorporated one National Guard battalion.

Night Stalkers were called upon to spearhead Operation Just Cause in Panama, and they were also used in the First Gulf War in 1991.

In October of 1993 in Somalia, Night Stalkers became involved in the incident called the Battle of Mogadishu, which later became the subject of the book and movie Black Hawk Down.

The crew of Super 64 a month before the Battle of Mogadishu.
From left: Tommy Field, Bill Cleveland, Ray Frank and Mike Durant.

Photo by: Phil Lepre (Handout)


The 160th SOAR (A) has provided air support to most U.S. Army Rangers missions. Because of this, both units share most of their operations.

Famous Night Stalkers

See also: List of actors who played Night Stalkers at movies.

Books and Movies

Related topics

External links

Official sites

Former-Night Stalkers websites


  1. US Army 101st Airborne Division (2003). 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) Fact Sheet. United States Army. Fort Campbell, Kentucky (USA).
  2. USASOC (2003). 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) Fact Sheet. US Special Operations Command. United States Department of Defense. Fort Bragg, North Carolina (USA).