There haven’t been any fatal helicopter attacks since February. Two servicemen were injured in an attack on a Kiowa helicopter May 8. A Black Hawk helicopter was forced down by heavy machine gun fire April 5. No one was injured, the Army said.
The raids on the insurgents, which gave allied forces more control in the skies over Iraq to aid the three-month-old security plan, were an intelligence and military success, Simmons said. “It has helped us in our ability to conduct operations without significant interference from the enemy,” he said.
U.S. forces have increased the use of helicopters in Iraq in order to reduce the number of ground convoys, which are vulnerable to roadside bombs. “It offsets the threat of IEDs on the road networks,” Simmons said, referring to roadside bombs, or improvised explosive devices.
Helicopters come under attack 90 to 100 times a month in Iraq, Simmons said. Most attacks are ineffective small-arms fire.
The thing to remember is that everything goes in cycles. We were able to fly choppers pretty safely for a while, so the bad guys figured out new ways to attack. When they were successful, we reacted and altered procedures and hunted down some of them. Now that we’ve “routed” them, we need to understand that they’re studying the new situation as we speak and formulating plans to counter our counter-ambushes once again.
Caption for the picture below.
U.S. Army Soldiers prepare to board a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter after conducting an air assault mission in Kif, Iraq, Dec. 19, 2006. The Soldiers are with Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. (U.S. Air Force pho to by Staff Sgt. Samuel Bendet) (Released) Location: KIF VILLAGE, KIRKUK PROVINCE IRAQ 3 Camera Operator: SSGT SAMUEL BENDET Date Shot: 19 Dec 2006
Pic from DVIC.