DESERT SKY began as a side project by former Army Aviator Captain Eric Simon of the 159th Aviation Brigade when he arrived at Fort Campbell in February 2003 just two weeks before they shipped off to fight in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Taking his miniDV camera with him, Eric began shooting footage of the deployment and war whenever the chance arose, with the hopes of producing an hour long 'Wings' presentation for the Discovery Channel. This changed in November 2003 when a helicopter crew from the brigade's 5th battalion was shot down north of Tikrit. A week later, two more helicopters collided over the city of Mosul raising the casualty toll in the brigade to 12. The brigade would never be the same. After the memorial ceremonies, Eric began searching for stories within the brigade that would tell a broader view of the unit's experience. With the help of Flight Operations Sergeant Jason Rhoades he collected thousands of photographs from throughout the brigade showing hundreds of stories.... Written by
The untold story of the 159th Aviation Brigade in Iraq... told by the soldiers.
2 May 2005 (USA)
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Did You Know?
The 159th Aviation Brigade is the modern day helicopter asset of the 101st Airborne Division. The 101st gained its fame during WWII and is featured in films such at Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers. The 159th had 132 helicopters during the deployment to Iraq (2003) and set a world record for the largest helicopter formation in flight - 29 helicopters. See more