The Telegraph has a nice article about American helicopter crews that are decimating the Taliban in southern Afghanistan:
Lt Denton and Capt Staley were in one of the two-man aircraft, escorting two Black Hawk helicopters, when they spotted eight motorcycles, with a rider and passenger on each. It seemed unusual and the Apache broke away to take a closer look.
Dropping to 200ft, it swooped close to the motorcyclists – and the two men could not believe their luck: some of the passengers were holding the parts of a long-barrelled heavy machine-gun.
Six of the bikes slewed to a stop, their passengers leaping off and aiming their weapons at the helicopter in what appeared to be a well-practised drill, while the others took off across country. The Apache banked away to begin its attack run.
“Some of them were trying to get the heavy machine-gun up a small hill to engage us,” Lt Denton said. “Capt Staley used the 30mm gun to take out the two guys who had taken off, and then we fixed on the ones with the heavy machine-gun. They were huddled around a large boulder and we shot them. We put as many rounds around it as we could, because if they got to it they could cause us trouble. But they never had a chance to set it up.”
*** After the shooting stopped, 12 Taliban were confirmed dead.
American commanders believe that the uncompromising use of airpower in recent weeks has been a key factor in preventing the Taliban from launching their expected full-scale spring offensive against coalition forces and forcing them to rethink their tactics.