MH-47 Special Operations Aircraft (SOA)
My entire office couldn't help but get up out of their chairs today as we heard these 2 helicopters fly right over us. Because we are fairly close to a military base, they were quite low.
The MH-47 Special Operations Aircraft (SOA) is the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment long-distance, heavy-lift helicopter, which is equipped with aerial refueling capability, a fast-rope rappelling system and other upgrades or operations-specific equipment.
US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) aircraft contribute to the Joint Vision 2010 concept of dominant maneuver by helping to create asymmetric advantages for combined application of land, air, and sea power against enemy defenses within the joint environment. They are eminently capable, as modernized, multi-mission platforms operating within tailor-to-task organizations, of supporting precise, agile, fast-moving joint operations.
The three versions of the CH-47 in the Army inventory are the CH-47D, the MH-47D, and the MH-47E. The MH-47D and the MH-47E are air refuelable. Eight NVG equipped CH-47C were used by the US Army's Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) from 1981 as long range transports. An additional 16 CH-47D SOA (Special Operations Aircraft), equipped with improved navigation, SATCOM, and EW systems, entered service beginning in 1984 and remained in use by reserve forces.
The MH-47 conducts overt and covert infiltrations, exfiltrations, air assault, resupply, and sling operations over a wide range of environmental conditions. The aircraft can perform a variety of other missions including shipboard operations, platform operations, urban operations, water operations, parachute operations, forward aerial refueling point (FARP) operations, mass casualty, and combat search and rescue operations. With the use of special mission equipment and night vision devices, the air crew can operate in hostile mission environments over all types of terrain at low altitudes during periods of low visibility and low ambient lighting conditions with pinpoint navigation accuracy.http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/mh-47.htm