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Night Stalkers Don’t Quit: What you should know about 160th SOAR

If you want an Army pilot career, the 160th SOAR is the crème de la crème.  And, if you want to be a part of...

If you want an Army pilot career, the 160th SOAR is the crème de la crème

And, if you want to be a part of a generally top-notch team, then 160th SOAR — AKA the “Night Stalkers” — checks the box. 

The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) is for individuals who aren’t afraid of challenges, heights, or worldwide missions. Best known for their nighttime flying techniques, Night Stalkers are dedicated to striking targets undetected on even the darkest of nights.

Curious about the 160th SOAR’s “train as you fight mentality” and vigor?

Read on to learn more about this exclusive Special Ops airborne team.  

What is the 160th SOAR? 

 MH-60M Blackhawk 160th SOAR mission
(U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt Kevyn Stinett)

In the Army, the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) is the appointed aviation unit for Special Operations. Due to the nighttime operations proficiency required for their roles, the 160th SOAR soldiers are known as “Night Stalkers.” 

Together, the 160th SOAR involves a regiment headquarters, four battalions, and a training company. Each battalion has a collection of light, medium, and heavy helicopters it uses to support special operations forces missions globally.

What Do Night Stalkers Do?

160th SOAR in flight
(U.S. Marine Corps photo/Cpl. Carlos Jimenez)

This specially-trained group has one core mission: “To organize, equip, train, resource, and employ Army special operations aviation forces worldwide,” according to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command website.

These soldiers fly the DELTA Force and Navy SEALS into high priority U.S. secret missions. They’re responsible for flying in the most undesirable and dangerous conditions — like enemy fire — with ease. 

Since October 2001, 160th SOAR Soldiers have flown into missions globally using highly-modified Black Hawk, Chinook, and Little Bird helicopters.  The Night Stalkers also support missions for the U.S. Southern, Pacific, Africa, and European commands.

What are the 160th SOAR Requirements? 

If you’re interested in a career in Special Operations, specifically 160th SOAR, you’ll first need to speak with a Special Operations Recruiting Team Member. 

At a minimum you must: 

  • Be trained in an authorized MOS
  • Qualify for a secret security clearance
  • Pass a standard APFT and be within Army body composition standards
  • Be financially stable

Enlisted

As an enlisted individual, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Qualified MOS or can reclassify
  • Have a secret (or higher) clearance
  • Be financially stable
  • Have a 100 GT score minimum 
  • Airborne is MOS Dependent 
  • Mission/team-oriented spirit
  • In good physical condition 
  • Pass a standard APFT and be within Army body composition standards
  • Have a Military Physical Profile Serial System Factor (PULHES) of 111211 with no physical limiting profiles

Download the enlisted application here.

160th soar
PATTAYA, Thailand (May 31, 2019) – Special Operations Command Pacific units from Naval Special Warfare, 1SFG, 160th SOAR and 353rd SOG conducted Exercise Tempest Wind 2019 (TW19). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Eric Chan)

Officer 

Aviation (rated) officers must meet the following requirements: 

  • Be a U.S. citizen 
  • A Pilot in Command (PIC)
  • Open to active duty
  • Financially stable
  • Qualified in an authorized MOS 
  • Have the ability to obtain TOP SECRET clearance 
  • In good physical condition 
  • Pass a standard APFT and be within Army body composition standards
  • Have a Military Physical Profile Serial System Factor (PULHES) of 111211 with no physical limiting profiles

Note: You also must have 500 Total Rotary Wing Hours (or 50 PIC Rotary Wing hours if less than 500). National Guard and Reserve Officers must contact a 160th SOAR recruiter to discuss any transfer requirements before beginning the application process.

Download the officer application here.

Warrant Officer

This role is open to Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard. Aviation (Rated) warrant officers must meet the following requirements: 

  • Be a U.S. citizen 
  • A Pilot in Command (PIC)
  • Financially stable
  • Qualified in an authorized MOS
  • In good physical condition 
  • Have the ability to obtain TOP SECRET clearance 
  • Pass a standard APFT and be within Army body composition standards
  • Have a Military Physical Profile Serial System Factor (PULHES) of 111211 with no physical limiting profiles

Note: You also must have 500 Total Rotary Wing Hours (or 50 PIC Rotary Wing hours if less than 500). 

Download the warrant officer application here.

Where Can I Find a Special Operations Recruiter? 

Special Ops recruiters are located at 11 different military installations across the globe. The following locations have 160th SOAR specific recruiters on site: 

  • Ft. Campbell
  • Ft. Lewis/JBLM 
  • Ft. Stewart 
  • Dt. Drum 
  • Ft. Bragg 
  • Ft. Riley 
  • Ft. Bliss
  • Ft. Hood 
  • Ft. Carson
  • Hawaii 
  • Germany 

What Does 160th Soar Training Look Like?

Army Rangers conduct training operations
(5th Special Forces Public Affairs Office/ Staff Sgt. Iman Broady-Chin)

Once selected, 160th soar training includes a six-week course known as Green Platoon. This includes training on weapons, land navigation, combat, and basic soldiering skills. 

Some of the challenges include:

  • Pull-ups
  • Rope climb
  • Four-to-10-mile road marches (with a 45-pound rucksack)
  • Four-to-six mile runs

Interested in heading to flight school? If you want to be a SOAR helicopter pilot you’ll attend Warrant Officer Flight School, also known as WOFT. This training includes basic operations and advanced combat maneuvers.

160th SOAR is Designated for Top-Notch Soldiers 

160th SOAR for aerial nightime refueling
 (U.S. Marine Corps photo/Cpl. Carlos Jimenez)

If you’re looking to be a Night Stalker, you’ll need to make hard work and professionalism your top priorities in your Army career early on. 

This role requires timeliness, accuracy, perseverance, and beyond in order to ensure the safety of fellow service members assigned to the most important U.S. missions.

As a SOAR soldier, your ultimate goal is always to complete flight missions safely under pressure. Bad weather, enemy fire, and tricky terrain are all secondary to the fact that you’re under pressure to regularly fly missions in the darkest part of the night. 

If taking to the sky and flying challenging missions sounds like the career for you, consider applying to be a part of 160th SOAR. 

Above all, remember the motto: “Night Stalkers Don’t Quit.”


Want to know more about Army basic training, combat tests, and fitness requirements? Learn more about Army life here.

 

Feature image courtesy of Airman 1st Class Joseph Pick, U.S. Air Force

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