• December 21, 2014

Flying through battle

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Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 12:00 pm | Updated: 12:05 pm, Tue May 21, 2013.

Several thousand feet above ground, enemy forces attacked two helicopters during a simulated battle Monday at Forward Operating Base Forge at the Joint Readiness Training Center.

Although I was inside one of the Black Hawks, I didn’t realize what was going on until the Pvt. Christopher Hood, crew chief for Charlie Company, , 3rd Battalion, 227 Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, learned over the seats and yelled over the rotors, “we might be attacked.”

“Attacked,” I thought. “What exactly does mean for us?”

Moments later, I found out.

One helicopter was already down and it was reported that some crew inside were missing as insurgents drove their white trucks towards it to make sure everyone inside was “dead.”

Some aimed for the Hawk on the ground, others for the one in the sky.

As Hood started firing back, the soldier on the controllers was startled and the plane rocked from left to right before straightening out again.

We circled the forces on the ground about 10 times, avoiding fire and reciprocating with our own.

Eventually, the second helicopter received damage to an engine.

Once downed, a soldier used chalk to draw four bullet holes on the engine to symbolize the number of times the Black Hawk was hit.

Soldiers take the training seriously, following each intricate detail of the game to make sure the simulated environment of Afghanistan and combat scenarios are as realistic as possible.

The 1st Air Cavalry Brigade provided support to the 2nd "Black Jack" Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, during the training.

The skills Black Jack soldiers have learned at the training center will be crucial when they deploy the brigade deploys about 3,200 this summer.

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