Blackhawk of the 5th Battalion, 101st Regiment Southern Iraq April 2003
Decertificated by Corgi, no Limited Edition certificate
The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) boasts the largest fleet of rotary wirn aircraft in the world, with the 5th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, being just one of three UH-60L Assualt Battalions in the Division. In February 2003 the Battalion was ordrered to deploy to the persian Gulf for the upcoming offensive action. Not knowing when that operation would begin, the Battalion hadto load the equipment already prepared to roll off the ships and launch straight into combat. this is exactly what happened. All ground support forces were loaded ready for combat. The soldiers of 5-101st Aviation Regiment met the equipment in Kuwait in early March and crossed the Iraqi Berm as part of the first forces into country on March 22, 2003. the aircraft followed quikly moving the Division over 500 kilometers in the first week of the war. As the Coalition force moved north at a record pace, 5-101st Aviation Regiment remained the mainstay for transporting combat forces on time and on target mission after mission, leading to the taking of Karbala, a key city in the defense of Baghdad. The history of the distinctive 'Lancer' insignia which adorns this helicopter dates back to the Vietnam War. Today's current unit traces its lineage back to the 158th Aviation regiment of the 1960's, when the unit's aircrew had this horses head embroided onto patches which where worn on their uniforms in order to set them apart. Fast-forward to 2003, and today's modern day 'Lancers' are no different. They two wear the Lancer head with pride. When all the helicopters of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) arrived in Kuwait, there were over 115 UH-60 Blackhawks in the same area. In order for crews to quickly locate their aircraft on the flightline, 5-101st decided to paint the modern day Lancer Insignia on the nose of each aircraft.