The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) is a special operations unit of the U.S. Army, providing helicopter aviation to the world's most elite special operations forces. According to Fort Campbell, the Army owes its modern night fighting aviation capabilities to the SOAR who pioneered night flight techniques, shared in the development of equipment and proved their motto: "Night Stalkers Don't Quit!"

While Corpus Christi Army Depot artisans aren't quite Night Stalkers, they are equally important to the fight.

At this year's Luther Jones Aviation Forum, CCAD sat down with Col. John Thompson, Commander of the 160th SOAR who called the depot's record over the past year "phenomenal."

Thompson said they have a saying within the regiment: "Never judge your importance by your proximity to the target." He notes CCAD is as crucial as the guy pulling the trigger down range.

Depot commander Col. Carlile said the 160th is a national asset and requires CCAD's focus on getting their aircraft back to the fight quickly.

"With our ability to be a mile wide and a mile deep, all we need is the need to be there and employees here will jump in and make it happen," said Carlile.

CCAD conducts depot-level repairs on SOAR aircraft, from combat damage to regular wear and tear that comes along with being in sustained combat for ten years.

"This is where combat power originates," Thompson said of CCAD supplying the Warfighter at the grassroots.

Since 2003, the depot has saved over $21 billion, over the cost of new aircraft.

The 160th has high demand, low density aircraft, which often times requires CCAD to put them on the top of the list to get them back in the fight.

"When you look at the amount of money that's been saved, our vision and focus is on doing it faster, better and at a lower cost than anyone else," said Carlile.

Page last updated Tue December 6th, 2011 at 15:58