The United States Army Night Stalkers are a part of the Special Operations warriors used by the Army and known as the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. They were formed after a failed hostage rescue in Iran that caused a deadly Somalia raid. The unit is used to support other Special Operations warriors.
They are called the Night Stalkers because they are experts in night operations. They operate helicopters at night and take on some of the most demanding missions in the military. Their duty is to save American lives and this can take them into very deep enemy territory.
Beyond Mental Tough Training
Not everybody can become a Night Stalker. In fact, very few will ever have this title. The training is at Fort Campbell in Kentucky and includes many civilian instructors. There’s an A and a B company with aviation-related training and ground skills training. They are trained in life-saving skills with medics, crew chiefs, pilots and others as a member of the team.
The Green Platoon is the five-week training a Night Stalker received before they can become a part of the 160th Special Operational Aviation Regiment (Airborne). This training includes both classroom instruction and field instruction. Soldiers are evaluated on their basic skills when they first arrive and will learn about the history of the unit, along with the philosophies. Advanced methods are taught to the soldiers with five basic combat skills they must learn:
• Land Navigation
• First Responder
The training works with the basic skills soldiers already have to make them even better soldiers. The course is very mentally and physically demanding. It’s designed with the special operations mission at the center and assumes all members of the 160th will find themselves in a combat situation at some point.
The land navigation training will allow soldiers to go back to basics using a topographic map and compass. They have to navigate and learn how to use these stools to escape evasive exercises.
Combatives is a type of training known as the Modern Army Combatives Level one Instructor Course. It’s very physical and designed to prepare soldiers for hand-to-hand combat.
The First responder training takes the soldier through combat lifesaving training. It last six days with some field exercises and classroom instruction. Soldiers will have to complete the final exercise, which is a simulated recovery of an aircrew suffering from injuries.
Plenty of the training is spent getting familiar with the weapons they will carry and learning how to handle them. In addition, soldiers will have to go through a day-long test known as Black Day. It’s challenging and causes the soldier to be pushed to their limits. The information about the day cannot be disclosed, however.
Do Your Really Want To Know What it Takes
To become a Night Stalker, as with any other special operations unit, a soldier must be incredibly mentally and physically tough. It’s so difficult the Army has develops a 30-day training course to help prepare soldiers for Green Platoon training. It’s known as the best training offered by the Army and it’s very physically demanding.
As a Night Stalker, teamwork is vital. During the training, the Army looks for soldiers willing to work together as a team to complete the mission. Many volunteer for the assignment, while others may be selected. All the frustrations and challenges of the training help to build the unit into something special.
The Night Stalkers are a special group of soldiers and not everybody will be able to handle the training. However, those that do, get to war the maroon beret and become a part of something very special.