61st Assault Helicopter Company

Fire Base 173rd Airborne Contents From VOL. III, NO. 24 November 9, 1970

Lucky Star is Lucky Safe

LZ ENGLISH - The 6lst Aviation Company (Assault Helicopter) was designated the "Lucky Star" from its outset. It has lived up to its self-styled nickname. Since being assigned to support the 173d Airborne Brigade in March of 1968, the "Lucky Starblazers" have kept intact a long standing record. They have never lost a ship or crew member as a result of hostile action.

It's no wonder. A typical gunship of the "Lucky Starblazers" packs enough firepower in its arsenal of weapons to support its own pacification program. Armed with "intent to bring bodily harm," a single Huey-type Assault Helicopter carries 14 seven-pound rockets, two mini-guns, 6,000 rounds of mini-gun ammunition and two M-60 machine guns with a thousand rounds of ammunition each. The mini-guns alone can. devastate an area the size of a football field in three seconds, pouring out 4,000 rounds per minute.

If this isn't enough to alarm "Charlie" just a "tee-tee" - there's more in the offering. It's called the "Hog Frog." In addition to having the typical storehouse of artillery aboard, it also is equipped with a 40 millimeter grenade launcher - capable of firing up to 240 bursting rounds per minute. The 'Hog Frog' is primarily utilized in open-terrain and light scrub areas where shrapnel is most devastating, according to Captain Michael Kenney, Platoon leader for the Starblazers. "For dense jungle," said Penney, "we prefer the mini-gun for its greater penetrating power."

The primary mission of the 61st Aviation Company is support of the 173d to include Log Missions (re-supply), Fire Support, Dust-Off cover, Long Range Patrols, MedEvacs, Troop movements (insertions and extractions) and Charley-Charley's (command and control missions). In addition to six gunships which are in "24 hour readiness", Lucky Star also maintains 22 H-model "Slicks," employed mainly for Charley-Charley's, Combat Assaults and log missions. Approximately 70 Commissioned and Warrant Officers assigned to Lucky Star put in around 2,500 hours of flying time a month on missions in support of the Sky Soldiers.

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This story used by permission of the 173rd Fire Base Web Master.