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Discussion Starter #1

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All good things ......... Establishing the 160th was arguably the finest move made by the pentagon in 50 years.
 

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I worked on F4 Phantoms while in the Marines in the early 1970's and loved those planes with a passion. Years later a co-worker went out to the plane graveyard somewhere in Arizona and sent me a photo of row upon row of Phantoms that had been scrapped for parts. Back in my day, the Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy were all flying F4's so it was quite a shock to realize that I had gotten so old that my beloved Phantoms were no longer the front line plane they once were. Ah, the memories. I still get all misty-eyed when I see one in a museum like at Dayton.
 

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At Quantico, in 1968, while on TDY training with the Marines, we oriented with a strange vehicle called the M50 Ontos. It was lightly armored, about the size of a large VW beetle, and had 6 recoilless rifles (106 mm), 3 on a side, with .50 spotting rifles ballistically matched to the rifle rounds. They were intended to shoot and scoot against Soviet armor, as they were small, fast, and maneuverable. They were light in weight, and could be airlifted or air dropped where needed.



The gunner would fire the .50 spotting rounds, watching for the puff on impact. When on target, the main guns fired.

Once the main guns were fired, individually, in pairs, ripple fired, or salvoed, crew members had to exit the vehicle to reload.

After short service in Vietnam, they were withdrawn due to a lack of survivability, even though the Marines liked their firepower for direct support in the field.




Sent from my Huawei Phablet using Tapatalk
 

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MH-60s...nice LITTLE helos...
F-phour phantoms-being used today in the Middle East by Iraq. They weren't exactly the bee's knees. Fast but not maneuverable. Old Smoky showed its presence at a distance. And no guns unless the gun pod was installed. But it was kind of moot since it wasnt a dogfighter. It's best role was as an interceptor. Used to watch them in the pattern going in and out of the factory.
 

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MH-60s...nice LITTLE helos...
F-phour phantoms-being used today in the Middle East by Iraq. They weren't exactly the bee's knees. Fast but not maneuverable. Old Smoky showed its presence at a distance. And no guns unless the gun pod was installed. But it was kind of moot since it wasnt a dogfighter. It's best role was as an interceptor. Used to watch them in the pattern going in and out of the factory.

The F4 is also the mainstay of the Iranian Air Force.
 

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Well, I know how all feel when our favorite airframes are sent to the graveyard. I was never given the opportunity to be a "Rotor Head" during my career, but I did fly in a few over the years. I played with the following: A7/A/B/C/D, A-6E, F4J/S, and FA-18A. Most of my wrench turning was in the "Light Attack" airframes; when I moved into the "Medium Attack" and "Fighter" airframes, I was the Maintenance Senior Chief and Maintenance Master Chief assigned to the Maintenance Control Department. But, that is all in the past and is only important to me. I do miss those days!
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Spent a little time in those airframes (A & L models only), started back when the stabilator was giving us fits. Great platform for troop lifts and loved it for IFR but not so much for NOE, too nose high.

Due to the heavy weight of the MH-60K and MH-60L, the stabilator was biased differently to trailing edge up instead of zero degrees to keep the nose up because of the refuel probe and there was so much more avionics equipment up front compared to a standard army hawk. I was an avionics mechanic while I was in, I still am, as a civilian, working for the same unit.
 

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Are we talking about all Blackhawks or just the earlier models ? With the way the Air Force is trying to kill the Warthog nothing surprises me.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The active army has gotten rid of the old alpha and lima model hawks due to the new Mike model, national guard got all the old models. The MH-60k on the other hand was a one of a kind airframe lasting a 20 year stretch. I don't recall how many were built but 1st battalion 160th was the only unit in the world to have them. They did do their job well but due to it being the heaviest hawk made and the amount of flying they have done it has put a lot of strain on the airframe causing them to crack in critical areas and under go major repairs. When we got the MH-60M they started phasing the Kilos out. Its not that the Kilo is better than the mike, its just growing up on that airframe, knowing all the little tricks and quick fixes on it. It was just sad to see the last one in existence go, but it went to a good museum rather than being ripped apart and scrapped.
 

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Due to the heavy weight of the MH-60K and MH-60L, the stabilator was biased differently to trailing edge up instead of zero degrees to keep the nose up because of the refuel probe and there was so much more avionics equipment up front compared to a standard army hawk. I was an avionics mechanic while I was in, I still am, as a civilian, working for the same unit.
I was sent an invitation to visit your unit (I think) back in the early 90s, but I was looking at retiring at the time and my wife had been counting the years that I had been away from home. Seems I had spent 5.5 years away in my last 8 years in, it was time to stay home.

You going to work on the glass cockpit items too or is that a pull and replace type item?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I was sent an invitation to visit your unit (I think) back in the early 90s, but I was looking at retiring at the time and my wife had been counting the years that I had been away from home. Seems I had spent 5.5 years away in my last 8 years in, it was time to stay home.

You going to work on the glass cockpit items too or is that a pull and replace type item?

Everything we have is glass cockpit. The Kilos were the first of the glass cockpit aircraft we got in the early 90's. The MH-60L COM/NAV was a hybrid, mostly analog though. In the early 2000's the MH-60L COM/NAV's were upgraded to MH-60L CAAS which is full glass cockpit and integrated avionics. The MH-60M also uses CAAS compared to the UH-60M which is completely different. We still have the MH-60L's in CAAS, they are what you might have heard before, the "DAP". 160th SOAR - MH-60L DAP - Special Ops Photos The one in the picture is an MH-60L COM/NAV before being upgraded to CAAS.
 
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