Okay, so this is the Marine Corps Cobra attack helicopter that you know and love. I took this picture out on the range during some Call For Fire training in Afghanistan about six years ago. Things started to get really interesting during the night fire when our IR lasers stopped about 50 feet in front of us due to a giant cloud of dust created from previous gun runs. The Marine pilots thought were were lazing something right in front of us and went ahead and dumped cannon fire from their minigun almost down on our laps. Good times.
During a familiarization brief one of the pilots began telling us about how they had a HVT squirt off an objective a few months before we arrived in country. Showing their now familiar gusto, the pilots landed, picked up several Rangers and flew them off in front of the HVT's evasion route for an intercept. "Huh, what?" was our initial response. How did they pull that one off?
The pilot explained to us that in an emergency situation, or in a moment of inspiration like the squirter incident, that the door on the side of the helicopter that closes over where the minigun's ammunition is loaded from can be dropped down where it would stay horizontal. In this manner, several operators could snap into the handles on the ammo crate inside and ride while sitting on the open hatch sort of like the external pod on a Little Bird helicopter.
I was instantly having some John Wayne type fantasies about actually doing this but had never actually seen this done and remained unsure of how it would all shake out in combat conditions. Pics or it didn't happen, right?
Before anyone goes nuts on me about OPSEC violations, these pictures were not taken by me or anyone I know. These turned up on a Chinese language message board recently. If there was any OPSEC regarding this TTP it is already well and truly blown so I'm not hesitant to re-post these images. If anyone has any additional details about the events pictures above, please drop us a line!
Kit Up! contributor Jack Murphy is a former Ranger, Special Forces Soldier and is the author of the military thriller Reflexive Fire.