I was super excited to see that the US Army was getting the opportunity to execute Super Bowl flyover 2014. Yes it is less than ideal having dark helicopters do the job after sundown, and yes a quartet of F-15s or F/A-18s stroking their burners right as the National Anthem’s crescendo hits is spine tingling, but Army rotary-wing aviation is a very exciting and challenging business and they deserve a massive nod of thanks.
The reality is that CH-47s, UH-60s, and even AH-64s have had more impact in the last decade of America’s wars abroad than Air Combat Command or NAVAIR has. Additionally, I like the fact that this was a 101st Airborne operation, not the 160th SOAR or some other highly specialized unit. These are the guys and gals that haul humans and material around the battlefield without every gadget on earth to keep them safe. The AH-64 is also part of this integrated team and it is great to see them involved as well. Interestingly, a platform that was absent from the fly-over was the humble OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. The Kiowa Warrior community has served heroically over the last decade or so and really deserved to be part of that formation. The DoD does this sort of nonsense when they are trying to cut a platform from existence. Most notably, we saw this same type of thing with the F-14 during the last year of its service, and the Kiowa fleet is controversially on the budgetary chopping block at this very moment.
In the end I just thought it was very cool that the DoD chose to showcase rotary-wing aviation and the folks that deliver the goods the last tactical mile, whether it be beans and boots or an AGM-114 Hellfire onto the enemy’s forehead. We owe these guys and gals so much for their extremely demanding service over the last 13 years and I am glad that Americans got to see just how cool our Army’s combined helicopter force can look and sound. On a side note, I think the Fox producers blew the way they covered this impressive show of American military might. Weak sauce guys!
Oh, also I have to say to the crews that flew the mission, great work hitting your time over target just perfectly. You gave the fighter and bomber guys a serious run for their money!
Go Army Air & cheers to the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade!
Some videos of the flyover for your enjoyment:
Check out this post on Facebook, this may be the best video of the fly-over yet! https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10153742245745632&set=vb.660330631&type=2&theater