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01 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment Night Stalkers Bin Laden raid Special Operations Army Support Our Troops

Undisclosed Location. (May 10, 2024): They are an aviation unit so elite it can promise to deliver special operations forces anywhere in the world within 30 seconds of the desired time, day, or night, and in all weather conditions. In the above unclassified photo, a member of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) pilots a MH-6 Little Bird helicopter while training for America’s most secretive and dangerous missions.

Formed from Soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky in 1981, the 160th SOAR is known as the "Night Stalkers" for their skills flying with night-vision equipment and infrared devices to navigate through enemy territory. Their specialty is combat insertions and extractions of special operators in missions most aviation units would not even attempt. The Night Stalkers famously transported SEAL team members into Pakistan to capture or kill Osama bin Laden. Flying “nap-of-the-earth” over hilly terrain in total darkness, the Night Stalkers delivered and recovered the SEALS and transported them, along with Bin Laden’s body, undetected back to Afghanistan.

Besides Little Birds, the 160th also flies highly modified versions of the MH-60 Black Hawk and MH-47 Chinook helicopters for combat assaults and reconnaissance. They are often equipped with expanded fuel tanks and in-flight refueling capability for long-range operations. In addition to airborne insertions, the Night Stalkers also conduct resupply operations of special operation units and search and rescue missions deep behind enemy lines. Surprisingly, the selection process for joining these elite units is tough and, once accepted, the training is exhaustive. The result is a collection of the world’s best aviators living up to their motto: “Night Stalkers Never Quit.”