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USMC gunship: Bad guys run, good guys weep

It hasn't become so well known that you can play as its gunner in a video game -- yet -- but the Marines' KC-130J Harvest Hawk gunship is quietly making a name for itself in the skies over Afghanistan. Take a look at this official story about a ground-pounder's response when he met a crewman from a Harvest Hawk -- Gunnery Sgt. Brian D. Cook, of Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 269, picks up the story from here:

“2/7 didn’t have air support and were getting hit hard with enemy attacks on what seemed like a daily basis,” Cook said. So a few days after his detachment arrived in Afghanistan, Cook was brushing his teeth when a young Marine walked in.

“I started talking with him and he told me he was a motor transport Marine with 2/7,” said Cook, a native of Concord, N.C. “I told him that Marines from my squadron had just arrived to provide close air support for his brothers on the ground.”

Upon hearing the news that Marine aviators were in country to support, Cook said the young Marine became emotional, and thanked him for what they had come to do. “It is one of the memories I will never forget,” Cook said.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but
“I remember him starting to tear up and saying that when the aircraft were flying over head, the insurgents seemed to disappear,”  Cook said. “That moment made me realize how much my job means.”
The Harvest Hawk doesn't field an arsenal of cannons like its older Air Force cousin, the legendary AC-130 Spectre, but it gets the job done -- it carries Hellfire and Griffin missiles, and it has a target sighting system from the Marines' AH-1Z Viper helicopter gunship, according to the story. Show Full Article

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