BigWindow BackArrow top
War Stories

The Cav's Hunter-Killer Team Gets The Job Done



Vol 6 - No 6 - 22 March 1971

by SGT Mike Conroy


As a line soldier, you sometimes may find yourself in a situation that may call on the need of gunships. The Cobras that did the work for you came fro D Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry. Delta Troop is the Air Arm of the 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division.

D Troop's Cobra Gunships consist of six light scout teams. A light scout team is composed of a light observation helicopter (LOH), and one Cobra gunship. Also, there are two stand-by gunships ready for any unscheduled missions that might arise.

The LOH acts as the "Hunter" and is armed with 2 M60 machine guns or in some cases, a mini-gun. The LOH usually flys at tree top level in order to detect the presence of enemy soldiers or bunkers. If the LOH is taken under fire by the enemy, the Cobra is called in for support. The Cobra fulfills the role of the "Killer" in this deadly team.

Painted on the front of each Cobra is a large mouth of a Tiger Shark. Inside of the mouth is a deadly arsenal of weapons and ammunition. Each Cobra is armed with a mini-gun carrying 4,000 rounds of 7.62 ammo, that will fire at the rate of 2,000 to 4,000 rounds per minute, a 40mm automatic grenade launcher, carrying 200 to 400 rounds of ammo, and 4 rocket pods with a total of 52 various types of rockets.

The gunships are utilized on both preplanned missions and unscheduled missions when ground elements come unexpectedly into contact. The "Snakes", as the gunships are called by the pilots of D Troop, also provide security for downed aircraft, and D Troop's Aero Rifles.

Combined, the Cobra Gunship teams usually fly between 10 and 15 missions a day, giving them over 700 missions since the beginning of January. Since the start of the year, the Cobras have been credited with 11 of the enemy killed, along with the unknown number that have been dragged off, or unable to be spotted from the air. They have also been responsible for destroying numerous enemy bunkers and fighting positions.

When a gunship comes rolling in for a kill, any line soldier knows the good feeling he gets, knowing all that fire power is working out for him. the gunship crews are on call 24 hrs a day, and it is a big job, performing missions for the 2d Dbe, 25th Inf Div's area of operation. The crews deserve a lot of credit.