Military Helicopter Pilot Careers
A career flying military helicopters offers excitement, challenge, and adventure. Military helicopter missions include transporting troops and equipment, anti-submarine warfare, troop helicopter escort, anti-armor, reconnaissance, and inserting/extracting special operations personnel.
The US Army is the largest operator of helicopters within the US military. A career as an Army Aviator will give you access to some of the most advanced helicopters in the world. Army aviators fly AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters, CH-47 Chinook heavy lift helicopters, UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopters, OH-47 Kiowa scout/light attack helicopters and the MH-6/AH-6 Loach special operations helicopters.
The US Navy uses helicopters for a wide variety of missions. Pilots who fly SH-60 Sea Hawks track submarines. MH-53 Sea Stallion pilots detect and clear mines in advance of ship traffic. Navy helicopter pilots who fly CH-46 Sea Knights specialize in transporting personnel and equipment.
The US Marine Corps uses the helicopter extensively. In fact the Marines invented and developed vertical envelopment warfare (using helicopters to rapidly move troops to key tactical and strategic positions). The AH-1Z Cobra is used to provide support to Marines on the ground. The CH-46 Sea Knight is used for tactical assaults and the CH-53E Super Sea Stallion is used for heavy lift. The Marines also fly a modernized version of the UH-1 Huey, a helicopter made famous during the Vietnam War, on utility and VIP missions.
The US Air force uses HH-60 Blackhawks for combat search and rescue and MH-53E Super Stallions for deep insertions and extractions of special operations troops.
Though not technically a member of the US armed forces, Coast Guard Aviators have a strong history of flying and fighting alongside the US military in times of conflict. The Coast Guard's primary roles are homeland security, law enforcement and search and rescue. They fly three types of helicopters. The HH-65 Dauphin is a short-range rescue helicopter. The HH-60 Jay Hawk is a medium/long range rescue helicopter and the MH-68 Stingray is an armed interdiction aircraft.
Military helicopter pilots have very rewarding careers. They fly with and support some of the best people this nation has to offer. The road to a career as a military helicopter pilot isn't easy but it's certainly within reach of anyone who has the commitment and the desire to succeed.
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