Editor’s note: Erik Meisner served in Attack Company, 2nd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment as a rifle team leader with deployments to the Middle East, Central America and Asia. He is also a licensed pilot. The following is his breakdown of the footage below:
This raw video shows how air assets can support ground forces in a dynamic environment. It appears that the Kiowa pilots try to initially slow down a pair of fleeing Taliban fighters on a motorcycle with warning shots. Maybe to allow the US forces in pursuit to catch up. Maybe because they don’t have clearance to engage yet.
Once they have the authority to engage the enemy, two OH-58 Kiowa helicopters coordinate fire and trap the enemy taking cover near a group of trees, firing both rockets and machine guns. From that point, it’s just a matter of time before they are eliminated. You can see how close the Kiowas are to the action as the crew hand signals the dismounted infantry while they assess what’s left of the enemy fighters.
While serving in 2nd Ranger Battalion, we used to coordinate with MH-60 DAP and AH-6 Little Bird helicopters in similar scenarios. Although the MH-60 isn’t as maneuverable as the Little Birds or Kiowas, they did carry a heavy compliment of weapons and were crazy accurate. And were always a welcome sight for any ground troops. Videos like this remind me how awesome it was to work with motivated pilots and air crews in the Army.