Helicopters: The Multi-Mission Aircraft

The romance of flying will always be with fixed-wing aircraft. But for nearly 60 years, helicopters have played an increasingly important role in American combat operations. Vertical takeoff and landing and the ability to hover gave helicopters a distinct advantage in the difficult terrains of Korea, Vietnam, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Delivering troops or firepower, rescuing a downed pilot or evacuating a seriously wounded soldier, scouting enemy positions or a potential field of battle—helicopter crews have served their country with ingenuity as well as distinction.