August 6, 2011

Taliban shoot down helicopter and kill "30 Americans, most of them belonging to the same elite unit as the Navy SEALs who killed... bin Laden."

"It was the deadliest single loss for American forces in the decade-old war against the Taliban."

83 comments:

Rialby said...

Horrible. RIP brave SEALs.

rhhardin said...

It reflects a high level of training and skill that the tolls are so unbelievably low, in all the modern wars.

Charlie said...

Time to open up a can of whoop-ass.

SteveR said...

That particular helicopter has always seemed quite vulnerable. From accounts I've read about this incident, it looks to have been especially the case given the terrain.

edutcher said...

A hard loss for all the men - Army, Navy, and Air Force - on that op.

I'm sure SOCOM is looking very carefully at whether the bad guys has this set up.

Seven Machos said...

Of course it was a setup. A real credit to the intel of Al Qaeda and, you can rest assured, Pakistan. And a huge, devastating American fuck up. SEALS are tremendously great men, and they are quite an investment. Each one makes the Six Million Dollar Man look cheap.

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger SteveR said...

That particular helicopter has always seemed quite vulnerable. '

--------

It's the only one that can carry heavy loads at altitude.

--------------------------

Blogger Seven Machos said...

Of course it was a setup. A real credit to the intel of Al Qaeda...

------------------------

Sometimes it's just bad luck. perfect plans only exist inside the Beltway.

YoungHegelian said...

A real bad day for our side, guys. Just a real bad day.

RIP to 30 of our best and bravest, and condolences to their families.

MadisonMan said...

But it was a bloodbath on Thursday at the Stock Market.

Perspective.

The good die young. RIP.

jimspice said...

Cue the TPers claiming an inside job.

SteveR said...

It's the only one that can carry heavy loads at altitude.

I understand but that doesn't mean its not highly vulnerable.

Cedarford said...

I fear there is a good chance Seven Machos is right.

Imagine you are the enemy. You just lost your beloved Emir but the Americans foolishly made the identity of The Heroes globally known - with media falling over themselves to honor the heroes, the Hero Sniffer Dog that Obama personally petted, etc.
Then the next week you see the Heroes Who Took Out bin Laden back in Islam Land. Presence and movement pinpointed by Afghan informants and double agents and perhaps loose-mouthed US soldiers, media or diplomats.

Imagine just how much as an enemy you would like to take those people out and neutralize the victory they gained over the Emir - through revenge. Ideally, you would seek to plant information that a high value target is in a remote village, surrounded by "innocent enemy civilians". You can't muster in 400 Jihadis because the drone visual and IR would see that. But you can assemble a few teams armed with RPGs and maybe a 12.8 mm explosive rounds Soviet era machine gun right on mountain passes you and the innocent enemy civilians have tracked and recorded past American infidel dog helo flights going through, at what altitude.

You have the turned informant say that dozens of women and children away from the compound during the day return to sleep there at night. So you steer the Americans into a daytime raid when they are clear targets. You have the informant say that there are "many, many discs and laptops there" - to help convince the Americans not to just JDAM the place.

Then wait, and pray to Allah the scheme to avenge bin Laden is swallowed by the Americans. Pray too that they cram everyone on just one slow moving Chinook.

It could be the Islamoids got lucky and just one, illiterate but blessed by Allah Jihadi making, 20 bucks a month with a 100 dollar Chinese RPG paid for by Karzai heroin safe passage payments to the Taliban or just American money recycled through Pakistan's ISI nailed them.

It could also be a huge devastating American fuckup. From exposing the IDs of bin Ladens killers, the White HOuse glorification ceremony - right up to being so cocky to load 38 people on a single vulnerable helo coming from a base known to be compromised by Afghan double agents on an unprotected daytime mission. Where SOCOM was utterly clueless that Jihadis who read the NY Times too would do everything they could to shoot down the Yamamotos..

Mick said...

Dead men tell no tales. Their supposed killing of OBL never happened. Notice there was a fake first person account published in the New Yorker just before this. It's all a lie. OBL dead for years.

edutcher said...

Have to agree with Cedar on one point.

The White House may have some complicity in its eagerness to milk the bin Laden hit politically as much as possible.

PS Nailing Yamamoto was something of a different situation. How much publicity Lt Lanphier got would have been carefully monitored.

Cedarford said...

SteveR said...
It's the only one that can carry heavy loads at altitude.

I understand but that doesn't mean its not highly vulnerable.

==============
Yep, one RPG with its powerful shaped charge is just about guaranteed to take down any helo in the US Fleet and kill all aboard.

Same thing nailed 16 spec ops people on their very ill-conceived rescue mission for 3 SEALs already dead on the ground with one escaped..during the famous botched "Operation Redwing" in 2005.
=================

Seven Machos said...

Their supposed killing of OBL never happened.

Everything's a conspiracy for conspiratorial loons!

Tell us about the One World Banking Elite. I love that one!

John M Auston said...

And, in case it comes up, lets realize that Obama deserves ZERO credit for the OBL hit. I'm still amazed they managed to trick/pressure him into finally green-lighting it. If one is going to take credit for something, let it be for something that few others would have done, in the same circumstances. I doubt there is a single serious presidential candidate, let alone president, of the last several cycles, that would not have done the same thing. And much sooner.

Joe said...

More senseless deaths in a senseless war.

Seven Machos said...

Just to be clear: when I say it was a setup, I'm certainly not saying anyone in American government was involved. What I'm saying is that a lot of thought and action went into intelligence-gathering and getting people in place on the part of Al Qaeda and Pakistan.

Maguro said...

Well, I don't know if I would read too much into it other than it's war and sometimes the other guy gets you.

These guys have done hundreds upon hundreds of these helicopter raids over the past few years - who knows how many Taliban they've killed? - and odds are, sooner or later the bad guys will notice some patterns, get lucky and take down a chopper.

Doug Wright said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doug Wright said...

Today's terrible loss in Afghanistan is heartbreaking and difficult for the many families and friends involved.

There was an interesting discussion on local radio today "on war!" One caller mentioned that while a pacifist, he'd support total war only because it was so horrible.

Still, now that approach in Afghanistan might have some redeeming values. Our military is doing for the USA what is asked of them and doing that well.

But, maybe it's time to ask how much longer do we stay there in our current fashion? As for me, if we're going to wage a war anywhere, it must be to win and to destroy the enemy. That's not at all what our military is tasked to do there now and that's wrong.

Either we fight to win, to destroy the Taliban completely, or we leave. Also, the real enemy there includes the Pakistan ISI and many other Pak Islamists; we're still following the Cambodia strategy of a sacred sanctuary, which was always wrong.

But, we'll continue to suffer great losses of very good Americans there until we decide that another way is needed.

Seven Machos said...

SEALS kill Bin Laden in a daring raid. Al Qaeda is embarrassed and humiliated. Soon after, 30 SEALS die in a helicopter crash.

Sorry, too much of a coincidence. Give credit where credit is due. And then coldly kill all these fuckers.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Latest article, FWIW, is that they were en route to assist troops who were under fire. I think the most likely explanation is not that this was a betrayal, but that they flew into a hot area.


http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/08/06/afghanistan.nato.helicopter.crash/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

madawaskan said...

Shut the hell up Cedarford-

I know some guys think you're a genus around here but-

Ya a Chinook is "overloaded" according to C-4 the head internet Nazi at-

37.

And the Navy SEALS that died today are "Yamamatos"...

***

How any of you can hold the slightest "respectful" discourse with this piece of....

madawaskan said...

The Boeing Chinook is a tandem rotor, heavy-lift helicopter that meets tactical and combat support mission requirements for military forces around the world. The Chinook is the world’s most reliable and efficient transport helicopter, capable of handling loads up to 24,000 lbs. with a maximum gross weight of 50,000 lbs. (22,668 kg).

boeing.com PDF

Free said...

Republicans have to explain why they support this war. It is accomplishing nothing. We can maintain bases in Afg and take out al Queda training camps w/o having to send our people into daily, direct combat.

Free said...

Why so many on 1 aircraft. Are we trying to do too much with too little equipment?

Bill S. said...

May God bless those brave young men.

Bill S. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Free said...

Bush/Cheney had a much lighter footprint in Afg than Obama. Republicans in congress have gone along with Obama on the surge. Yet republican presidential candidates who seem to oppose the war are at the top of the polls. I see a disconnect between republican leadership and top media figures and the rank and file.

Free said...

according to a DOD email list that announces casualties, we lost 7 others since Thurs in Afg. It is not so much that the war is lost, it is that there is nothing to be accomplished by the US fighting on the front lines.

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

"Cue the TPers claiming an inside job."

Actually, you're the only one who's mentioned anything of the sort, asshole.

And not a word of dismay, or condolence? The first thing that leaps to your brain is to turn this into another shitty little political turd?

Grotesque.

The Drill SGT said...

Blogger SteveR said...

That particular helicopter has always seemed quite vulnerable. '

a couple of comments.

1. I always hated flying in Chinooks. It may have been irrational, but when something goes wrong in a Chinook, they go very wrong, very fast.

2. It was almost certainly a SOF MH-47. It was flown by literally the best pilots in the world, the 160th SOAR. So it wasn't some rookie mistake.

3. as others have said, it could have been a Flak trap, or maybe it was just that they were flying NOE down a mountain valley and happened to fly over 2 guys on outpost duty who let fly at 50 feet into the belly.

4. an RPG, if it was an RPG is very hard to use outside 100 yards.

5. They were supposedly a reaction force, if so, it's hard to believe they were caught in a landing hover.

Absent Companions

Cedarford said...

Madawaskan - Grow up, baby boy, and get off your self-righteous horse.

Others have accurately said that the Islamoids would LOVE to get SEAL Team 6 back for killing the Emir of Al Qaeda, bin Laden. Not just for the satisfaction, but as a smart war objective. Because a bad bloodying of those responsible for the Abbottabad raid helps cancel out the American propaganda victory and buttress a belief that God is on their side - and boost THEIR SIDE's morale.
We took out Yamamoto in the same way as SEAL Team 6 got nailed.. Set a well thought out trap...His death was not about "justice" for his military success - but to help help our side's morale and hurt the Japs.

Investigation to follow. Last fiasco, it was 16 spec ops nailed by an RPG in 2005. When they became easy targets on a very ill-conceived, rushed rescue mission for three SEALS - who already dead before they took off.

The Drill SGT said...

The downing was a stinging blow to the lauded, tight-knit SEAL Team 6, months after its crowning achievement

The WH F'd up in the first place when they put the SEAL Team 6 label out there with OBL. Now somebody has done the same dman thing again...

Covert units want to be and should be allowed to be covert.

Next thing you know, the WH or the NYT is going to print the names of all the dead SEALs and the families are going to have another worry.

AJ Lynch said...

Say a prayer for America's finest young men and women. If you can make a donation to the Wounded Warriors or USO but put politics aside for 24 hours please.

Michael Haz said...

A few days after UBL was killed. Vice President Joe Biden outed the SEALs as the special operations unit responsible for the job:

"Let me briefly acknowledge tonight’s distinguished honorees. Admiral James Stavridis is a, is the real deal. He can tell you more about and understands the incredible, the phenomenal, the just almost unbelievable capacity of his Navy SEALs and what they did last Sunday."

Joe Biden put a price on their heads.

As did the US media who flooded the military base where SEALs and their families live, seeking to identify those in the UBL mission.

It became simple for AQ to create false intel of a high value target in a specific area to lure in the SEALS.

LarsPorsena said...

"...Last fiasco, it was 16 spec ops nailed by an RPG in 2005. When they became easy targets on a very ill-conceived, rushed rescue mission for three SEALS - who already dead before they took off..."

Eerily similar. Both catastrophes involved fast reaction forces going to the rescue of some smaller beleaguered unit in the mountains..little to no chances of AQ knowing who was pulling duty for the reaction force....

Free said...

"...put politics aside for 24 hours please. ..."

what about the Americans who are going to be killed in combat in Afg next week? What are they going to die for?

Not all of Afg would fall to the Taliban if we withdrew to protected garrisons. And we could fight the Taliban on our terms if they openly controlled territory.

Marshal said...

Prayers to them, love and condolences to their families.

madawaskan said...

You're an idiot C-4.

You're the asshat sitting here stateside-sure in your "knowledge" that it was overloaded.

Riddle me this superNazi

At what point did the crash happen....

If it was "overloaded" how did it get to the objective...

Gawd you're a stupid jackhole.

And ya try to cover your brill analysis by yammering on about Yamamoto.

That's basically jumping through your own hulu hoop, and it's bent.

Fen said...

Not all of Afg would fall to the Taliban if we withdrew to protected garrisons. And we could fight the Taliban on our terms if they openly controlled territory.

Wrong. We stopped doing that [bunker mentality] precisely because it was getting us massacred.

rhhardin said...

The point of the war, and it's working, is to keep the bad guys from organizing anything big by keeping them watching their backs instead.

To do serious damage to the US takes a big organization, finances, transportation, planning, and so forth.

A big organization has a big footprint, and falls to informers and intelligence.

So long as our troops keep the bad guy organization size smaller than that the size needed to do damage, we win.

It goes on indefinitely, which is the price of ancient grudges with modern weapons, until Islam has a reformation and enlightenment.

A state isn't sovereign unless it controls all that goes on in its territory. If it can control bad guys and won't, then we have a conventional war. If it can't control the bad guys, then they're not a sovereign state and we control the bad guys for them.

The exit strategy is either we stay or we build up the failed state to one willing to do it themselves.

Staying is a possibility.

"Serious damage" is taking out a city, not some shopping mall news event.

DADvocate said...

I wonder if the Taliban knew who was on that chopper. God speed.

Credit rating lowered, deadliest day evr for American soldiers in Afghanistan. Our CIC is having a heckuva week.

DADvocate said...

Republicans have to explain why they support this war.

???

Is there no Democratic support? Is the commander in chief not a Democrat who is expanding our role in wars?

bagoh20 said...

These were our best men, so I assume they were doing the most dangerous missions, so this should not come as a surprise. This is what happens to great warriors in war when they don't get lucky, and such losses are why we should take going to war very seriously.

Seals = Point of the spear.

bagoh20 said...

"Republicans have to explain why they support this war."

And those who don't need explain why the alternative is a risk-free nirvana.

Cedarford said...

Madawaskan,

Spare us all your fake rage and baby boy posturing. I did not claim the helo crashed because it was overloaded...I said (as the Islamoid enemy planning payback would wish) "Pray too that they cram everyone on just one slow moving Chinook."

Just like the last one they potted with an RPG was a Chinook crammed with valuable spec ops assets - just not this many "6 million dollar men". That one they only got 16, plus the 3 already killed on a very poorly planned mission.

They pretty much know since Somalia how to ambush helos and wait for the chance to double down by nailing rescue missions that are hastily rushed in.

Why almost 40 people in a Chinook vs. a couple of Apaches, an F-16 with cluster bombs, or a gunship out of RPG range and pretty safe from 12.8mm fire? Probably those "hearts and minds rules of engagement" did not permit use of safer options.
Why squander such valuable assets instead of just usine fine Army troops adequate for the mission? Perhaps a mindset that if someone else is paying for the party, why not serve up Moet and caviar instead of punch and nachos?


Now run along, Madawaskan, this is an adult conversation...

jamboree said...

From the articles I've read, it was the same unit, but not the same people that took out Bin Laden.

Or maybe that's just misinformation.

Fen said...

"Republicans have to explain why they support this war."

??? Is there no Democratic support?

No kidding. Remember when Dems were touting AfPak as the "just war" while clamouring to get us out of Iraq?

Gary Rosen said...

"You're an idiot C-4."

Finally the light is beginning to dawn chez Althouse. Despite C-fudd's pretense to knowledge he is nothing but a barking loon who just makes up his shit and gets caught lying almost every time someone with actual knowledge shows up.

Two recent examples: 1) His claim that Mohammad's hatred for dogs was "universal" was instantly pwned when the stunningly obvious fact was pointed out that dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years. 2) His limited brain capacity could not digest the fact that wages are only a small part of the difference in cost between products made in China vs. the US. Anyone who has actually worked in manufacturing or production knows that besides taxes and regulation there is plant, real estate, inventory, marketing etc. - myriad other factors. But Fudd has probably never worked a real job in his life - the only thing he has produced is the splooge all over his flophouse room.

It was amusing in a recent thread to see this "conservative" chowing down on Bill Clinton's junk harder than Lewinsky ever did. I guess he himself is a "Bolshevik" after all LOL. Gives support to my theory that Fudd is himself a self-loathing Joooooo.

The Drill SGT said...

C4 said..pretty safe from 12.8mm fire?

I thought the first time you posted 12.8 that t was a typo, now, it's just wrong :)

likely everybody is safe from 12.8 mm fire. There aren't any barrels made in that Calibre anywhere, so the rate of fire is going to be uh, zero?

Warsaw Pact Heavy MG's were/are 12.7 (50 cal, though doesn't chamber in US weapons) and 14.5 mm :)

Maguro said...

Cedarford - You have no idea what the situation was or what the other realistic options were for the planners. None of us do.

Given that, your know-it-all Monday morning quarterbacking just makes you look like a pompous ass. Why not wait until you have some relevant information before you start pontificating like you're some kind of expert?

One thing is for sure - This was not these guys' first trip into battle on a Chinook. They had been there, done that many, many times.

Karl said...

The lucky RPP theory is not reasonable.

More likely is an Iranian supplied anti-aircraft missile.
Probably of Chi-Com origin. Think QW-2.

The Drill SGT said...

arl said...
Probably of Chi-Com origin. Think QW-2.


Why not an Iranian Mistral (French made) or an SA-18 (Russian made), or hell, a Paki Stinger

Cedarford said...

The Drill SGT said...
C4 said..pretty safe from 12.8mm fire?

I thought the first time you posted 12.8 that t was a typo, now, it's just wrong :)


-------------------
Drill - As I remember it was 12.8 mm Soviet heavy machine gun the Taliban had. You are right, it is a 12.7mm caliber.

Doug Wright said...

DS: Agree with your assessment as such! However, how this happened is more important along with the "why" if that's in doubt and I don't know about that! The 2005 event probably was a mish mash of events and probably errors along with a key accident, that Operator falling from a helio. But, there's a hint of something else in this that maybe tells something or maybe not.

We lost too many good people this week over there and that by itself needs to be thought about.

Nichevo said...

A hundred years ago it was Kipling's ten-rupee jezail. As long as foreigners are moving through AfPak, scum will be holed up at the right places in the mountain passes waiting for them.

A technological solution, or any solution, would be welcome. Right now ISTM we need CH-47 escorts of some sort, preferably a high-altitude-capable drone helo or fixed-wing well-matched to the Chinook's envelope, with ISR capable of spotting a two-man RPG team and a payload capable of blowing them to Allah in a box.

My condolences to the families of these wonderful men (that's HERO TROOPS to you, C4, or closer than you or I will ever be), and I will now say what I've been thinking for some time, that I don't care anymore about saving or improving these people. Oderint dum metuant. Let's just do CT, or better yet, come up with some well-tailored short-acting plague and kill everybody in the region. If we could just seize or destroy the Pak nuke program, nobody would have to give a damn...

Nichevo said...

I too thought the commie gun was a .51 caliber. But yes it is a 12.7 with a slightly longer casing. No es importa.

The Drill SGT said...

Nichevo said...
I too thought the commie gun was a .51 caliber. But yes it is a 12.7 with a slightly longer casing.


apparently the unfired bullet is in fact .511 caliber, but the barrel delivers it as .50 calibre due to compression into the lans/grooves.

regardless, the literature all describe both the Russian and the US HMG as 12.7 mm / 50 caliber

Karl said...

Why not an Iranian Mistral (French made) or an SA-18 (Russian made), or hell, a Paki Stinger

So if you were advising a Chechen fire team, and had one shot, what would you use?

Point being that Iran is heavily involved in Afg. China supplies Iran. All we read about is Paki involvement.
Def not pilot error or a random RPG. Something has changed. Also note that "IED" casualties have increased this month.

Let's see what Stratfor has to say.

The Drill SGT said...

Karl said...
So if you were advising a Chechen fire team, and had one shot, what would you use?


well if I were running an anti-SEAL op, it would depend on whether I was Iranian wanting it to look Paki or Paki wanting it to look Persian.

as far as weapons, US Stinger, with free batteries, if I didn't care about misdirection. I'd deploy 2 Stinger teams, at right angles to each other and attack from the rear and one flank, and have the rear guy launch first.

Doug Wright said...

Drill: explain why the Russki 12.7 seems to be a better anti-air MG than the Ma-deuce? At least that's what many articles about the Russki version indicate!

Skyler said...

On a positive note, if that's the heaviest loss in ten years of warfare, then we're doing something right.

But it's still very sad news. I'm sure everyone will over react.

Skyler said...

Doug Wright cited, "One caller mentioned that while a pacifist, he'd support total war only because it was so horrible."

I agree. I'm no pacifist, but the only morally correct way to fight war is through total war.

It's important not to exclude the civilian population from the horrors of war, if only to remind people of the consequences of allowing murderous people to rule them. If they allow Al Qaeda to control them, then they will suffer from Al Qaeda and they will suffer from us. Who is in a better position to keep Al Qaeda out of power? Us, or the people daily in contact with them?

Excluding the population from the ill effects of warfare only serves to make it easier to make war on us and limit our ability to end the war.

exhelodrvr1 said...

DOug Wright,
I don't think it is necessarily better - it's just had a lot more opportunity to be used against helos than the .50 has.

Karl said...

I'd deploy 2 Stinger teams, at right angles to each other and attack from the rear and one flank, and have the rear guy launch first.

Exactly.
Same tactic used by the mujahideen against the Soviet Mi choppers -- after being advised & armed by the US in the 1980's.

So - *somebody* has just raised the stakes.

Alex said...

Can anyone explain me why the Army is still using the ancient Chinook? With all those trillions we've given to the military this is the BEST transport helicopter they can do?

Free said...

I said: "Republicans have to explain why they support this war."

you said: "And those who don't need explain why the alternative is a risk-free nirvana. ..."

The risk is al Queda will launch another 9/11 attack on the US.

The more we are over there, attacking them, the more they are motivated to attack us.

If the objective is to prevent al Queda from setting up training camps in Afg, we can achieve that with a much lighter footprint than we have now.

I challenge republicans to explain their support for the war and loss of American life because I am a republican.

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

Alex said...
Can anyone explain me why the Army is still using the ancient Chinook? With all those trillions we've given to the military this is the BEST transport helicopter they can do?


I think you need to rephrase, let me break your question into 2 parts:

1. Is this is the BEST transport helicopter. basically yes, given all the other factors cost, experience, fleet in being, etc). The CH-47, has been around a long time, but it's very good at long haul, medium-hvy lift, non-assault transport. Nobody in NATO has anything better. In fact, it has better high altitude payload performance than anything in the world, except perhaps a couple of Russian death traps. NATO forces have had to beg or borrow Chinooks to take the A-stan.

2. Is it the best long range Special Ops bird? Well, we just got rid of the CH53 (of Vietnam Jolly Green fame, and Iranian Desert One infamy). The Airframe is old and ugly, but the avionics are 21st century. It recently won the Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR if you google) against lots of Euro-competition. Its not exactly the same mission parameters, but very close.

bottom line, the SOF community, knows what it needs, has more freedom in procurement, has money, and made a choice for the MH-47. I don't like them, but they were flying the MH-47 oth other day instead of 2 HH-60 Pave Hawks. You can second guess a lot, but I doubt it will come down to an old bird...

The Drill SGT said...

Here's the link on CSAR that gives good info on the MH-47 used by SOCOM

CSAR

traditionalguy said...

The Taliban guerrillas shot a possible Friday in the Afghan Live Fire Taliban training zone in terrain that is impossible to attack without Helos.

But then we have known that was true for 7+ years.

Why again do we keep on supplying them with a pinball game stocked with our men as live targets?

Rolling Thunder men have worn out several motorcycles each over the years, and covering 24 interments in one day is wearing the riders out.

But the Al Qaeda are being pinned down since they cannot travel around???

Tank said...

Does this mean the O'Reilly has to change his "bragging" shirts to

Seals 1 / Bin Laden 30 ????

Yes, we killed one old man.

They killed 30 of our best young Americans.

Luckily, we're building a wonderful new democracy there.


A total waste of money, time, effort, focus, and most of all, young Americans' lives.

For nothing.

If they (or others) have something truly dangerous to us, blow it up, then come home.

TWM said...

God bless those brave warriors. All the rest of this is bullshit.

Maguro said...

I don't like them, but they were flying the MH-47 oth other day instead of 2 HH-60 Pave Hawks

If I recall correctly, the main advantage that the Chinook has over the Blackhawk series (besides payload) is performance at altitude, important in Afghanistan since you need to fly over mountains to get anywhere.

Roger J. said...

Condolences to the families of these young men. War really sucks.

Jason said...

12.7, 12.8... Whatever it takes.

Nichevo said...

Can anyone substantively discuss the performance parameters involved? Is there any next-gen helo development going on to surpass these capabilities? Can the 'Hawk series be improved in this regime? Bigger, fatter, more blades on the rotor? Does it scale with size so that the biggest helos do best? Would V-22 do better? I wonder how Comanche/LHX would do.

My thinking is that we need helo escorts. Ideally little drones, whether helos or not, just big enough to carry IR, a camera, and a grenade launcher, so they can find and pound the shit out of these ambush teams in the passes. (A-10s would be massive overkill and small size and cheapness is probably the best defense in this role. Predator, Raven or such might suffice but I would prefer a gun over a missile platform.)

War is too expensive these days. The solutions we adopt are too intricate and, of course, gold-plated. A necessary evil with many causes.

Who now thinks Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld were wrong to go light-footprint in the Stans?

Nichevo said...

Oh, and Alex, they are new building Chooks, I think they're up to the CH-47F. It is an old design but continuously improved. In the same way our most useful cargo plane is the C-130 Hercules platform, also of 1960s origin. It would be nice to get some fresh blood in aerospace. Rutan, the last genius, has just retired, and I don't know who his successor would be.

Methadras said...

That fool Urkel shouldn't have said a thing about who killed bin laden and instead in his quest for re-election and poll number bounced we see the unintended consequences of what a major fail this human being is. My hatred for him has reached an all time high.