AGM100
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Helicopters In Afghanistan

Tue Jul 28, 2009 2:10 am

I have heard from more than one place that ISAF is short Helicopters for operations in Afghanistan ... Why ?

How in the world are we having trouble resupplying our FOB's in Helmand ? How can we initiate a huge operation into Helmand and not have plenty of lift ! .

1. Should command add more aircraft to the aviation assets assigned to the brigades ? I understand that we assign a combat brigade and its air assets .. is the air assets enough? seems it is not.

2. Is it maintenance issues ... flight crew deployments , or is it just the number of helicopters.?

3. Do the use fix wing ? Like C130 C27 .. Is it a option ?

I guess it just worries me when we have problems getting the beans and bullets too our guys out there. I am no expert about it just a concerned citizen.
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AGM100
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:09 am

Another simple question .... are our Helos to "hightech" and less functional to operate in these hard battlefield areas and high use environments.-. Does the number of support personal and logistics hamper deployments of more aircraft ?
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dragon6172
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:09 am

Higher altitudes in Afghanistan mean each helicopter has less lift capability. Requires more aircraft to do the same job than it would at sea level.
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AGM100
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:23 pm



Quoting Dragon6172 (Reply 2):
Requires more aircraft to do the same job than it would at sea level.

Then it appears that command underestimated severely ,

The MI-26 shot down last week ... who was operating that aircraft .? Contractors I assume ?
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kc135topboom
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:39 pm



Quoting Dragon6172 (Reply 2):
Higher altitudes in Afghanistan mean each helicopter has less lift capability.

There are a lot of CH-47s in country. These are operated by the RAF, Italian Air Force, and US Army. They are the primary high altitude heavy lift helio in Afghanistan.

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 3):
The MI-26 shot down last week ... who was operating that aircraft .? Contractors I assume ?

That is correct.
 
MCIGuy
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:53 pm

Hinds and Mi-8s didn't seem to have issues in Afghanistan, till the locals got a hold of Stingers. I wouldn't worry, I think we have plenty of airlift to get guns and butter to the boots on the ground.
UH60FtRucker is our resident rotary-wing expert and our go-to helicopter guy, but I haven't seen him around lately.  Smile
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Arniepie
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:52 pm

The French just brought the Tiger to the scene;

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/art...r-helicopters-arrive-in-kabul.html

[edit post]
 
dragon6172
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:46 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 4):
There are a lot of CH-47s in country. These are operated by the RAF, Italian Air Force, and US Army. They are the primary high altitude heavy lift helio in Afghanistan.

I agree that the 47's are the primary aircraft being used in country. A mission requiring heavy lift in Afghanistan probably would require medium lift in Iraq though. I would guess that they are not heading out with full bags of fuel and max passengers.
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AGM100
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:50 pm



Quoting MCIGuy (Reply 5):
I wouldn't worry, I think we have plenty of airlift to get guns and butter to the boots on the ground.
UH60FtRucker is our resident rotary-wing expert and our go-to helicopter guy, but I haven't seen him around lately.

I have not heard much complaint from the US side of the coalition , but it is a big debate with the Brits. M Yon who is embedded with a rifle platoon in Helmand says that lift is very limited for them. Randy Gardie , a local reporter who has been with the french and Germans posted that they are having allot of problems as well.

Me thinks UH is somewhere over there making dust clouds.... I wish them well.
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AGM100
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:35 pm

Not too much interest in the thread , so what the hell here are some pics to show the tough operations going on in Afghanistan . It really must be a brutal task to keep the birds operating . Here is too the maintenance crews !

Big version: Width: 400 Height: 261 File size: 45kb
Big version: Width: 294 Height: 258 File size: 9kb
Big version: Width: 640 Height: 425 File size: 75kb
Big version: Width: 640 Height: 427 File size: 21kb
Big version: Width: 427 Height: 640 File size: 94kb
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UH60FtRucker
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:26 am

Nope. There's a very large demand for air assets, yes, but there is adequate support provided for essential mission requests.
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L-188
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:52 am



Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 10):
yes, but there is adequate support provided for essential mission requests.

Translation.

We can get the job done but we wish we had more....  Big grin
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ThePointblank
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:55 am



Quoting L-188 (Reply 11):

Translation.

We can get the job done but we wish we had more.... Big grin

Another translation: we have enough to do essential tasks, but in order to allow our forces to perform to its best, we need more helicopters.
 
UH60FtRucker
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:13 am



Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 12):
Another translation: we have enough to do essential tasks, but in order to allow our forces to perform to its best, we need more helicopters.

Actually that wasn't what I was saying.

Adding more aircraft the the BTOE/MTOE literally means a direct increase in almost every other MTOE requirement. More pilots, more crew chiefs, more fuelers, more equipment, more everything. The current design adequately balances the allotments against the needs. It is up to the specific unit level commands to insure those allotments are filled and/or manned.

Honestly - and it's not AGM's fault - but this sounds more like bitching, for the sake of bitching. And soldiers, airmen and marines can be quite good at it.  Smile

So anyway, no further translation is needed: there are enough helicopters here to meet mission requirements.
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
Arniepie
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:33 am

UH60,
When you say ;

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 10):
There's a very large demand for air assets, yes, but there is adequate support provided for essential mission requests.

Does that go for all the forces presently there or are you talking specifically about the US forces?
In other words , is there indeed a big helicopter shortage for the UK in Afghanistan much more so than the other nations involved (NL , DK , CAN , AUS , GER,..........) ?




Second question , a bit of topic, but how will the Tiger work out in Afghanistan, is it the right attack helicopter for the sort of work it has to do there (weapons, range, armour, high altitude performance ,.....) ?
[edit post]
 
AGM100
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:10 pm



Quoting ArniePie (Reply 14):
but how will the Tiger work out in Afghanistan

Speaking with some of our Apache pilots from AZANG who have been there and training to deploy again. The mission is patrolling at night around our ground forces and searching out enemy moving about in the dark. Mainly looking for "IED planting , and enemy pre positioning for ambushes.

Sounds like you need a damn good night vision IR package ... and a accurate 30mm chain gun. The sensor and NV camera work is very important for the mission.... I am sure it is far more complex than that but this is how it sounded to me.
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L-188
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:31 am



Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 13):

Honestly - and it's not AGM's fault - but this sounds more like bitching, for the sake of bitching. And soldiers, airmen and marines can be quite good at it.

Damm straight!!!

I look at it like having too much gasoline on a aircraft. Only when it is on fire!

If you aren't getting shot at you have enough, If you are getting shot at, there isn't enough firepower that can be brought in.
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Arniepie
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:55 am

If only the UK would had gone with the Blackhawk proposal:

http://www.u.tv/News/MoD-rejected-th...a0a2c0-4866-4b46-b780-1c2102d83259

and

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/ju.../mod-reject-black-hawk-helicopters

Quoting from the article:
Defence industry sources have also revealed that under the initial offer from Connecticut-based Sikorsky in 2007, 60 Black Hawks would already have been available for British forces in Helmand province, where they have sustained heavy casualties from roadside bombs in their renewed offensive against the Taliban.

The damaging revelations come days after the head of the army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, was forced to use an American-forces Black Hawk on a visit to Afghanistan due to the shortage of British helicopters.

James Arbuthnot, chairman of the defence committee, whose report last week condemned the Puma refit and expressed concern over its "poor survivability" in combat, said: "The Black Hawks are extremely good, they could be acquired in large numbers and the cost of running them would be low."

Would've been nice though
[edit post]
 
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STT757
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:09 pm

Has the aviation compliment been increased along with the latest "surge"? There are more boots on the ground now than during any other period since 2001, does that translate into more aviation assets as well?.

If what Secretary of Defense Gates is saying is correct US forces in Iraq should be down to 50,000 or so in 12-18 months, that would mean for the first time since the 2003 invasion there will be more US troops in Afghanistan than Iraq. Hopefully what force level and equipment needs commanders in Afghanistan feel they need will not have to compete against request from commanders in Iraq.
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UH60FtRucker
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:47 pm



Quoting ArniePie (Reply 14):
Does that go for all the forces presently there or are you talking specifically about the US forces?
In other words , is there indeed a big helicopter shortage for the UK in Afghanistan much more so than the other nations involved (NL , DK , CAN , AUS , GER,..........) ?

Well... I'm not an expert on what other nations are lacking, here in the 'Stan. In the vast majority of my dealings with them, they really don't NEED a large air support element. The majority of their missions are closer to the FOB, and more public relations and population security, aid and support. When their missions take them to unsecured, hot areas, they are often provided US support... who does have a large air element to lend support.

As for the Brits... they are a very self-sustaining force in many ways. They have their own organic air elements and they use them in conjunction with their operations. From my dealings, they do so efficiently and professionally. I guess if any nation needed MORE assets, it would be the Brits -- but it wouldn't stop at just more helicopters, they need more of a lot of things.

Quoting STT757 (Reply 18):
If what Secretary of Defense Gates is saying is correct US forces in Iraq should be down to 50,000 or so in 12-18 months, that would mean for the first time since the 2003 invasion there will be more US troops in Afghanistan than Iraq. Hopefully what force level and equipment needs commanders in Afghanistan feel they need will not have to compete against request from commanders in Iraq.

Well that's not how it works.

You don't just have a CAB lying around, and the pentagon suddenly says, "Hey! You're not doing anything, get yourselves over to Afghanistan!"

These rotations are mapped out quite literally YEARS in advance. So the draw down of troops in Iraq in 12-18 months does not automatically translate to an immediate increase in troops in Afghanistan.

Moving troops is extremely complicated and difficult.... and most important... it takes a good amount of time.

Quoting STT757 (Reply 18):
Has the aviation compliment been increased along with the latest "surge"? There are more boots on the ground now than during any other period since 2001, does that translate into more aviation assets as well?.

Yes.
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Lumberton
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Sat Aug 08, 2009 5:23 pm

Interesting article on the use of Russian helos in Afghanistan. Could probably warrant its own thead, but this one seems handy.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090808/...e_as/as_afghanistan_russian_planes

Quote:
MOSCOW – More than a year ago, the U.N. dropped the Russian air transport company Vertikal-T from its approved list of vendors after a fatal helicopter crash in Nepal.

Yet NATO continued to use helicopters owned by Vertikal-T in Afghanistan. And on July 19, one of those choppers crashed at southern Afghanistan's largest NATO base, killing 16 civilians on board.

The crash reflects a little-known reality behind NATO's military push in Afghanistan: It is relying on Russian aviators flying Soviet-design aircraft, who are clocking up lucrative contracts in a country Russian troops left two decades ago.

Aviation industry analysts say many of these contractors have bad safety records, and allege that NATO has hired some operators with questionable backgrounds through arms-length leasing deals. These same analysts say governments have outsourced crucial military contracts to little-known companies.

"Normally this would be handled by the military, but the military have been cut back. ... They are plugging the gaps with dodgy operators," said Hugh Griffiths, an analyst at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, or SIPRI.

"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
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Mortyman
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:26 pm

The Royal Norwegian Airforce uses Bell 412 SP in Afghanistan, mainly for medical evac of Norwegian and international forces:


Some pictures:

http://www.mil.no/luft/start/article.jhtml?articleID=174717

http://www.mil.no/luft/start/article.jhtml?articleID=166726

http://www.mil.no/start/article.jhtml?articleID=160999
 
AGM100
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:29 pm

Yon posted a interesting story this week about Helo operations . The Taliban are working to take the roads back by mining and IED's. Road denial just puts another huge strain on our Helo operators as described in Yon's article. I am sure some of our fellow Anet members have experienced this rotor effect .. man that is something .


http://www.michaelyon-online.com/the-kopp-etchells-effect.htm
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AGM100
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:39 pm

Another trip to the front-lines with Mike Yon... On-board with USAF PJ's on MH-60 Black-hawk MEDEVAC mission near Kandahar. Amazing pictures of a great squadron in action.

http://www.michaelyon-online.com/pedros.htm
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AGM100
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:48 pm

I read today in AWST that the UK is sending in the Merlins . Evidently the new rotors and high hot mods have been completed as well as squadron training at El Toro. I would say this is good news ... It makes sense that the troops have every helicopter available. I don't know much about the aircraft ... but " it looks good " . Godspeed to the squadron , good luck and good flying.
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columba
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:32 am

I know that the Germans have shortage of helicopters. Currently they are only using CH 53s since the NH 90 is not ready to be deployed.
Right now they are thinking of sending UH 1Ds to Afganistan. Helicopter shortage is a general problem of the German forces.
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CTR
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:47 am

The US Marines have now announced the V-22 Osprey is headed to Afganistan shortly.

CTR

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...us.ART.State.Edition1.3d4dc46.html
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GDB
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:45 pm

Yep, the Merlins should be in theatre starting years end, they will provide a major enhancement.

The RAF Chinooks are getting more powerful engines, some already in operation, including the one lost a few months ago, where it is reckoned that the extra power allowed it to escape out of immediate danger.
However being stranded where it was, damaged as it was, an A-10 strike was called to deny it to the enemy (and it's sensitive material on board).

On the down side, our wonderful Treasury vetoed a quick buy of 5 new CH-47's, the bastards.
Though replacements for the two lost this year are being sought still.

The Army and Royal Marine Lynx light helicopters have been very restricted hot and high wise in Afghanistan.
So an intial 12, later the remaining 10, of the last 'Classic Lynx' AH-9 version are being re-engined with the (35% more powerful) engines intended to the new generation Lynx A-159 Wildcats, to make them much more useable in theatre.

So there we have a typical snapshot of UK helicopter procurement, plenty of good ideas, sometimes stymied by penny pinching from those neurotics at the Treasury.
 
Spacepope
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:11 am

Word is that the USMC is sending in 12 Ospreys next month. Let's hope they have at least as much success as in Iraq.
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AGM100
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RE: Helicopters In Afghanistan

Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:03 pm

A sad weekend for Aviation forces in Afghanistan . We need to remember that this is deadly serious business and our guys do it day in and day out. Man I know some of these guys and gals .,. I cant imagine what they must be feeling today for there comrades. Our thoughts are with them...

From reports it appears that one of these incidents may be a hostile fire situation. Some reports say it involved a Chinook removing troops after a firefight / drug interdiction mission in the northern Afghanistan. The second incident appears to be a mid air collision between a UH1 and AH-1 (USMC) in the south.
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