War game ‘hell’ reigns during practice landing zone assault
August 16, 2005
K-16, South Korea — A young door gunner “let hell rain” on a tree line surrounding the landing zone as five Black Hawk helicopters assaulted 50 soldiers south of Seoul on Tuesday.
Pfc. Mike McArthur, 19, of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division was manning an M-60 7.62 mm machine gun out of the right door of one of the Black Hawks in the exercise.
“It was a simulated hot zone so we came in, slammed it down and they jumped out. We had intelligence saying there were two snipers at the landing zone so I was letting hell rain on the tree line,” said McArthur, who fired 80 blank rounds. “As soon as they cleared the aircraft we got out as fast as possible.”
It reminded the Newport News, Va., native of a scene from the Vietnam war movie “Full Metal Jacket,” in which a door gunner shouts “Get some!” as he fires his M-60, he said.
1st Lt. Anthony Freude, 25, of Akron, Ohio, said the operation began when the Black Hawks took off from 2-2’s new home, K-16, in Seoul. The pilots collected the troops from Rodriguez Range and flew them to the landing zone, he said.
Under the mission scenario the landing zone was supposed to be harassed by North Korean forces, he said.
“We had to look out for rocket-propelled grenades and air-defense artillery assets. Anything that would shoot us down,” Freude said.
The exercise was mainly to train Company C, which is in the “green” cycle of its training. When 2-2 companies are at “red” they are assigned to details within the unit. At “amber” they prepare to train. And at green they fly two weeks of training missions, he said.
“We have already done two platoon level training missions and now we are doing it at company level,” Freude said. “There will be a day and night missions with night vision goggles.”