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Blue Ghost 101
Posted: October 20th, 2005 @ 3:43pm
BlueGhosts was the callsign for F Troop 8th Cavalry. This was an air cav troop with roots all the way back to the horse cavalry in the 19th century. (Thank you Army for trading the horses for helicopters!)
We worked in teams and were organized in separate platoons consisting of scouts, weapons, lift, infantry & headquarters.
Scouts: This platoon flew OH-6 Cayuse helicopters (loach) at tree top level (or below) searching for signs of the enemy (intelligence gathering), doing bomb damage assessments for the Air Force and visual reconnaissance for ground units. The loach had a crew of three men, pilot, crew chief and observer. Contrary to popular belief, we did not fly low & slow to attract enemy fire! We didn't have to try - the missions we had made that easy enough for them!
Weapons: Also called "Guns" these pilots flew UH-1C, Charlie models & AH-1G Cobras (snakes) and kept their eyes on the loach. The first Weapons platoon used the Charlie model Huey with a crew of four. The Cobra crew was a pilot and an aircraft commander. When a scout started "taking fire", a gunship would drop down to fire rockets, mini-guns & 40mm grenades to allow the scout time to escape. The gun platoon was also called to help out other units in contact with the enemy or to prep LZ's prior to insertion.
Lift Platoon: Flying UH-1 Hueys (slicks), these were the backbone of the unit and of the whole war for that matter. They carried everything imaginable, inserted & extracted troops, performed medivac missions & most importantly for me, were always up there to do a recovery when a loach or Cobra went down!
Infantry Platoon: The "Blues" could be brought in by slicks to recover a downed aircraft. They also could be inserted to check out bunkers or something a scout had found and helped out other units who needed manpower.
Headquarters: This part of BlueGhost was the Commanding Officer, "CO", Executive Officer, "XO", Operations Officer, you get the idea.
Maintenance: These were the guys that kept us flying!
If you feel I have omitted something or made an error, feel free to let me know!