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The Helicopters That Made the U.S. Army’s ISIS Raid Possible

The helicopters that took part in this weekend’s raid that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi raid were from an elite U.S. Army helicopter unit created to transport American commandos on high risk missions. The MH-60 and MH-47 helicopters were from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, also known as the ?Night Stalkers.?

Since their inception in the early 1980s, the Night Stalkers have participated in a number of high profile missions, including the attempted capture of Somali warlord Mohammad Farah Aidid chronicled in ?Black Hawk Down? and the killing of Osama bin Laden.

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Jumping into algorithmic warfare: US Army aviation tightens kill chain with networked architecture

NAVAL AIR WEAPONS STATION CHINA LAKE, Calif. ? In the skies above China Lake, California, from the back of an MH-47 Chinook cargo helicopter, an operator with a tablet takes control of a Gray Eagle drone and tasks it with firing a small, precision-glide munition at an enemy target located on the ground. But at the last second, a higher level threat is detected and the munition is rapidly redirected toward a different threat, eliminating it within seconds.

This was made possible through the architecture, automation, autonomy and interfaces capability, or A3I, built by the Army?s Future Vertical Lift Cross-Functional Team under Army Futures Command.

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