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hawkwrench

Operation Gothic Serpent Aircraft references

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On 10/17/2018 at 2:53 AM, KrankenPz said:

I'm wondering if anyone has some detail pics of the M134 mounts for the -60s that were i use at the time - I have detail pics of the external mounts use for both M134 and M2s but i'm not certain whether these were the ones in use at the time of Gothic Serpent.

 

The US Army does not use the external gun mounts.  They are a USAF HH-60G only feature and are a recent setup fielded in the last few years.  160th SOAR M134s are mounted on heavy swing arm mounts in the internal window mount position.

 

Current MH-60M, but the same basic set-up that was used during Op Gothic Serpent.

 

message-editor%252F1497448518482-3524497

 

The proper mount comes in the Academy 1/35 MH-60L kit (listed incorrectly as an AH-60L).  Another option is the very nice Live-Resin version.

s-l640.jpg

Edited by HeavyArty

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Brilliant - I'm waiting for the KH kit, will see what the mounts are like, but I could definitely add some more to my stash of live resin gear

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On 9/11/2018 at 9:58 AM, 11bee said:

Specifically, if your father in law can add any information on a couple of non-standard Littlebirds that were apparently part of this operation. 

 

 

 Damn those disposable cameras of that time that had zero focus adjustment. If they were being flown by the squirrel nut zippers I'm disappointment they didn't go with the 4 blade quiet tail rotor. COTS since before 1987 thanks to the 'Quiet One'.

Unknown+MD-530F+Copy.jpg

 

 

Edited by snake36bravo

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I happened to stumble across this photo a few days ago and have been trying to figure out what exactly these two helicopters are. Here is my assessment of them.

 

They both appear to be MD530Fs (along with an OH-58D!).

 

Both 530Fs appear to be in standard 160th "Black" and not Olive Drab or Helo Drab.

 

The farthest one appears to be unarmed but has a FLIR (similar to Barber 51?), an IR Exhaust system and Batwing antenna.

 

The OH-58D also has a Batwing antenna fitted, interestingly enough. Could it be a 160th OH-58D?

 

The nearest 530F has the IR exhaust, Batwing antenna, possibly another blade antenna over the rear door and, most interestingly, what appears to be a Wescam camera ball mounted on a pylon, fitted to the rear compartment floor. Whether this is a daylight-only or a day/night camera, it's hard to tell. The camera could be a specialy commissioned buid by one of the electronics companies and mounted in a standard Wescam ball. Who knows?

 

https://imgur.com/5vKDNXY

 

The photo was found on tumblr during a normal google search so this image has been in the public domain for God knows how long. It was just a case of one of us stumbling across it and posting it here. Again, I am not trying to out classified hardware but I'd imagine the EH-6/SIGINT Little Bird is now redundant for the most part and has been replaced by fixed-wing drones. What is amazing is that no other photos of these 530Fs have come out in the years since 1993. 

 

I had never heard of any scout Little Birds being used in Somalia until I found this photo and started to do a little more research. I had seen a few photos from Somalia 93 that showed troops posing, with a pair of OH-58Ds and their distinctive MMS/FLIR sights visible in the distant background. At least two OH-58Ds appear to have been present. I found a copy of the Osprey "Gothic Serpent" book by Clayton Chun. On page 33, he mentions;

 

"By 1403hrs, three helicopters – one OH-58 Kiowa and two Little Birds – launched to observe the area near the Olympic Hotel."

 

Later on the same page he writes;

 

"Observers flying in OH-58s, Little Birds, and an EP-3E watched vehicular traffic."

 

Could these be the OH-58 and two Little Birds? The number of helicopters and configuration certainly indicate that they might be. I could be wrong but I don't recall any mention previously of Little Birds being used on scout/recon missions prior to the October 3 battle in any other books or references. If anyone does have any other mention of Little Birds being used in the scout/recon/C&C role, please post it up. The photo caption on tumblr mentioned the "North FARP" so it's possible these three ships are back being refuelled mid-battle before heading back out over the city on October 3rd.

 

LD.

 

PS. If anyone knows how to make the photo appear on the page, please let me know. Thanks.

Edited by Loach Driver

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I've had these photos for a while and could not release them.  Guess it doesn't matter now.  Yes these 530s were from another unit, NOT Task Force 160th.  I won't elaborate on that anymore.  The OH-58D is also NOT Task Force 160th.  They are the unarmed variant.  I have the unit designation somewhere.  Now you know where the videos of the crashing Super 61 came from.  The 530 filmed it.  

 

There job was observation and intelligence gathering.  

Floyd

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Found this:

DphZxUq.jpg

Quote

From the Horn of Africa, October 1993. Fall weather in Somalia is still hot:

Major, USAR (Ret)
160th SOAR, 2-17 CAV
Black Mesa Ranch, San Miguel County, New Mexico
Raising Fine Cattle & Horses since 1879

http://www.akfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=342814

 

OH-58 with new tailboom Somalia

somalia77-700x500.jpg

somalia83-700x500.jpg

CH-53 over Mogadishu

somalia108-700x500.jpg

https://warrperformance.com/?page_id=136

Edited by Whiskey

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4000a4c699b4aeee8a3f6251ad9a9c95.png

7794afced6c109fedc7219cc6bd4238b.jpg

049d36f859cecbe92f4d73f3acf3dbaa.jpg

tumblr_nczq2xXU4B1s5kgq3o1_1280.jpg

c9a411d8a881eaaad60d03cd1687c652.jpg

66bf1cb1b7ed50619d3f090d6c811a0f.jpg

AH-6-launch-battle-mogadishu.jpg

cc9bebfd181f82556297faa9a6f68c6e.jpg

 

These two I am not sure about the validity of it being in Mogadishu during OGS.

d9807a0afa43b01b167b77d546458ddc.jpg

c7fd3f68821c78c53ff2607ee5573a6c.jpg

Edited by Whiskey

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Cool pics, thanks! Is the top one of the last sent from Mog? I see a Tower Air 747 in the background. I didn’t know if it was ever safe enough for charter flights, especially in something that big. 

 

On a side note. You probably won’t find anything on the two mystery little birds. They weren’t 160th, or CIA. Primary signals intel. 

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tumblr_pfya2nmPlM1vwmv18_540.jpg

tumblr_pfya2nzjFz1vwmv18_1280.jpg

 

Anyone have more information regarding the caption in this photo about the AH-1F engaging AAA guns firing at the Little Birds?

$_57.JPG?set_id=8800005007

42869650_685663571804419_919074044397119

42431675_837097653332819_529588444601606

 

And this one I found said it was Super 6-3

43913398_2069396443098521_89272583517035

 

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All those pics have already been ID'd. Some by me ironically. To back up what Floyd said. A trusted source of mine who crewed in Mog talked to me about "other" birds in Somalia. I too, will leave it at that!

 

Tim

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2 hours ago, Whiskey said:

tumblr_pfya2nmPlM1vwmv18_540.jpg

tumblr_pfya2nzjFz1vwmv18_1280.jpg

 

 

 

I think that might be "Barber 51" lifting from the FARP while in the second photo, the tail of one of the 530Fs is visible over in the corner, under the distant flag pole.

 

LD.

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18 hours ago, DJ328 said:

On a side note. You probably won’t find anything on the two mystery little birds. They weren’t 160th, or CIA. Primary signals intel. 

 

I kinda figured that was what they were about.   I think a few years later, those guys were referred to as Task Force Orange, amongst many other names.   Given how many pics were apparently taken by the troops who deployed over there, I'm still thinking that at some point a pic or two will come out that shows these helo's in much better detail.  

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Maybe these 530s were flying in support of these guys?

 

https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/05/01/nagata-islamic-state-terror-obama-pentagon-syria-special-forces/

 

Very interesting article.

 

LD.

 

PS. A quote from a forum on Reddit commenting on the Wescam.

 

"It's called the WESCAM Ball. It had FLIR, a regular IR lens, and a telescopic lens and was used to transmit imagery back to JSOC/ISA personnel. Delta's E Squadron used it in places like Bosnia and Mogadishu. Basically, it served the purpose that Predator drones do now."

 

If the Wescam 530 was broadcasting back to the Ops Centre, then it was probably fitted with a downlink antenna. MDHC tested such an antenna on a company test ship in the late-80's and it was attached to the skid, similar to current Police 500S. It might be just visible on the left skid behind the forward skid leg.

Edited by Loach Driver

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Hi, I'm new to the forum, like most of you I have been following/researching Operation Gothic Serpent for quite a few years and have gathered quite a lot of information during this time.

I just thought i'd add something with regards to the 530 and 58D questions.

According to Col. Caspers (10th Mountain 10th Aviation Brigade. (Task Force Falcon) A.A.R he lists in his Event Log that 2 x H-530s and a OH-58D were launched on a Recce at 14.03hrs as Reef Point was previously on Station.

 

Thanks,

Jay 

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Thanks for the info, Jay. Is "Reef Point" a call-sign for another surveillance or CnC aircraft and if so, do you know waht it might be? 

 

LD.

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Hi LD,

From what I have read Reef Point was a special variant of the P3 Orion. I will try and dig out some additional info. 

Jay

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Leigh Neville also has a good section on this in his book Day of the Rangers (The Battle of Mogadishu 25 Years on).

Jay

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Hi all,

Not sure if this was posted before but thought it may be of interest. It is a list of tail Serial numbers and a brief of what happened to the airframe. 

http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1991.html

If you change the year at the end of the web address there are loads of aircrafts issued to the 160th that could have been available in 1993.

Hope it's of use.

 

Jay

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Just a quick question that I am sure gets asked all the time, how do i upload pictures that are larger than 100kb? if I resize them the zoom quality becomes grainy.

 

Thanks,

Jay

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12 hours ago, 7165jay07 said:

Just a quick question that I am sure gets asked all the time, how do i upload pictures that are larger than 100kb? if I resize them the zoom quality becomes grainy.

 

Thanks,

Jay

Just use an image hosting site.  Take your pick of them.

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Any good pictures showing the interior window gunners area when fitted with the M134s?  Like to see where the ammo boxes were positioned on the floor, routing of the feed chutes, control boxes, etc.  Also, were the two seats just behind the pilots seats installed?  It seems like with the ammo boxes, there would be no room.  If not, where did the window gunners sit?

 

Same questions on the interior with the M230 chain gun install.  TIA.

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Posted (edited)

There are many options on how the ammo cans and gunners' seats are positioned.  In the standard set-up (like the Academy kits) the ammo cans fit between the gunners' seats.  As below, with the ammo feed chutes fed forward.

CSAR18.jpg

07.jpg

 

They can also be turned sideways and individual ammo cans placed inside the gunners' windows.

31_rear_crew_compartment_2.JPG

 

 

When the M230 is used, it's ammo can is placed either further back in place of the center rows of troop seats, or with seperate ammo cans for the M134s stacked on top of it.  Below is how SUPER 68 is set up at the Army aviation museum.

DSC_3402-1_zpsdovbebx3.jpg

DSC_3416_zps0457e95f.jpg

 

Edited by HeavyArty

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Posted (edited)

As far as the MH-60 setup during Gothic Serpent, I have been given  information and a photo from Somalia aircrews that show the setup. 

This was the crew chief station setup. 

FB_IMG_1514856115355_zpsapvkvukh.jpg

The gray box is the junction box where the power cables from the minigun were hooked into.

Next pic was drawn from pics and info I can't release,  so that's why it was drawn.  This was the C2 helo setup, that's all I can say. If you look at the #2's, you see how the minigun was fed along with spare boxes of ammo on the other side of the crew chiefs seat (#3). For Super 61, 62, 64,65,66,67 and 68, in place of the C2 console (#4) their was a large orange life raft bag stuffed in between the 2 crew chief seats.  Clipped to the top of the crew chief seats was where the survival kits where stored. Except for Super 63, they were clipped to the sides of the internal fuel tank. 

 

received_147972545861641_zpsvzdwcxqz.jpe

This was how the setup was on Super 63. She had the internal fuel tank with the survival kits and water cans clipped to the sides. On all the other helos, the water cans were stuffed around and in front of the liferaft.

22_fuel_tank_zpsxnsifgaa.jpg

Hope this helps!

 

Tim

 

Edited by hawkwrench

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41 minutes ago, hawkwrench said:

As far as the MH-60 setup during Gothic Serpent, I have been given  formation and a photo from Somalia aircrews that show the setup. 

This was the crew chief station setup. 

FB_IMG_1514856115355_zpsapvkvukh.jpg

The gray box is the junction box where the power cables from the minigun were hooked into.

Next pic was drawn from pics and info I can't release,  so that's why it was drawn.  This was the C2 helo setup, that's all I can say. If you look at the #2's, you see how the minigun was fed along with spare boxes of ammo on the other side of the crew chiefs seat (#3). For Super 61, 62, 64,65,66,67 and 68, in place of the C2 console (#4) their was a large orange life raft bag stuffed in between the 2 crew chief seats.  Clipped to the top of the crew chief seats was where the survival kits where stored. Except for Super 63, they were clipped to the sides of the internal fuel tank. 

 

received_147972545861641_zpsvzdwcxqz.jpe

 

Tim

 

#5 - Huey seats??   How would the CE’s get out?  Through the gunner’s window?   Any more details?

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