Take a seat next to a Huey helicopter door gunner on a close air support mission

Lance Cpl. Chris Eichelberger, a Huey door gunner with a Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169, unloads on a target at the Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range, California, Oct. 2, 2013.

Huey door gunners, whose role is firing and maintaining manually directed armament to provide cover to ground operations as well as to defend the helicopters from ground threats, participated in the close-air support exercise as supporting gunners for the student pilot to be able to learn to communicate and coordinate with the two gunners on the helicopter.

Gunners are particularly vulnerable to the ground enemy fire because of the helicopter’s open door that doesn’t shield them.

Image credit: U.S. Marine Corps

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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.