February 13th, 2007 by alex
An article by James Glanz in today’s New York Times (Monday Feb 11) caught my eye for a couple of reasons.
In the first paragraph he quotes a deputy commanding general in Iraq who acknowledges that “the rash of recent incidents included a previously unreported downing of a Black Hawk late last month.”
According to the article, Maj. Gen. Jim Simmons said that on January 25, a Black Hawk was shot down by automatic weapons fire near the Euphrates River. All aboard were accounted for. There were no casualties. The article states that in 2005, Army helicopters logged 240,000 hours, in 2006 they logged 334,000 and in 2007 they are projected to log 400,000 flight hours. Simmons reports that on average, 17 helicopters have been hit each month.
Glanz writes; “As a result of those engagements, 29 Army helicopters have been shot down in the entire conflict. He did not immediately have the the total including Marine and other helicopters, but an unofficial tally by the Brookings Institute indicates that 57 American military helicopters have either crashed or been shot down.” (emphasis added) With seven going down in the last 21 days it looks like it’s only getting worse.