The United States Army 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), abbreviated as the 160th SOAR (A) and also known as Night Stalkers, or within JSOC as Task Force Brown, is a special operations force of the United States Army that provides helicopter aviation support for general purpose forces and special operations forces. Its missions have included attack, assault, and reconnaissance, and are usually conducted at night, at high speeds, low altitudes, and on short notice
The 160th SOAR fly MH-47G Chinooks, A/MH-6M Little Birds and MH-60M Black Hawks
In October 1993 in Somalia, Night Stalkers became involved in the Battle of Mogadishu, which later became the subject of the book Black Hawk Down, and its film adaptation. Two Night Stalker Black Hawks, Super 6-1 (piloted by Cliff Wolcott), and Super 6-4 (piloted by Mike Durant), were shot down in the battle. Five of the eighteen men killed (not counting a nineteenth post-operation casualty) in the Battle of Mogadishu were members of the SOAR(A) Night Stalkers team, who were lost along with the two Black Hawks
The Night Stalkers continue to be deployed to Afghanistan as part of NATOs Resolute Support Mission after Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan ended in late 2014 and was replaced with Operation Freedom's Sentinel.
The Night Stalkers spearheaded Operation Just Cause, the 1989 invasion of Panama, and they were also used in Operation Desert Storm in 1991
In June 1988, the unit executed Operation Mount Hope III. Two MH-47 crews flew 490 miles (790 km) deep into Chad to retrieve a crashed Mi-24 Hind medium-attack helicopter.
A new Night Stalker arrives to his unit Basic Mission Qualified (BMQ); after a series of test qualifications, experience and leadership, the Night Stalker is designated Fully Mission Qualified (FMQ)
After three to five years as an FMQ, the Night Stalker will have the chance to assess for flight lead qualification. The 160th previously recruited only men for combat positions,but as of June 2013 has opened those positions to women as well.