Cavalry Scouts from Troop B, 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, dismount a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cav. Div., during an air assault training operation dubbed "Operation Dark Horse Lightning" at the St. Elijah Company Military Operations in Urban Terrain Site on Fort Hood, Texas June 30.

FORT HOOD, Texas - With 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division's upcoming deployment to Iraq early next year, the cavalry scouts of Troop B, 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment entered their train-up, and they started it with something completely new to most of them.

Capt. Eric Dunkley, of Spokane, Wash., and his 1st Platoon troops received a rare chance to assault a village and extract a target, not from their conventional ground vehicles, but from Company B, 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division's UH-60 Black Hawks during "Operation Dark Horse Lighting" at the St. Elijah Company Military Operations in Urbanized Terrain facility June 30.

According to Command Sgt. Maj. James Daniels, Dark Horse's top enlisted Soldier, as aviation assets become accessible for future operations, he and his squadron commander, Lt. Col. Andrew Shoffner, wanted to take advantage of adding air assault capabilities to their "tool kit."

"The intent was to show the Soldiers the different perspectives on how to execute an air assault mission - which could be a common practice in Iraq ... to get in quickly, secure the building, get your targets, get back on the birds and get out," Daniels, of Fort Gaines, Ga. said. "Normally, we'd come in with wheeled vehicles with the same methodology, but with guys securing from the ground. Coming in by helicopter, it's more of a surprise - get in ... no movement ... because anything that runs away, the guys in the sky can tip us off. There's an advantage in using air assets."

Page last updated Wed July 23rd, 2008 at 16:49