SGT Carlos J. Lopez: Honored 3/160th Night Stalker

On February 3, 2020, SGT Carlos J. Lopez was honored by the Rotary Club of Savannah as its Military Member of the Month.  The description that follows details his selection by his command team at the 3/160th SOAR in Savannah.

Sergeant Carlos Lopez is a proud member of the Army’s 3rd/160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, better known as the “Night Stalkers,” stationed here at Hunter Army Airfield.

SGT Lopez is a native of Brooklyn, New York.  He enlisted in the Army in 2014, specifically to become a Blackhawk helicopter maintainer.  And, as he was promised, following basic training at Fort Jackson, in South Carolina, and then Advanced Individual Training at Fort Eustis, in Virginia, SGT. Lopez was assigned to the Night Stalkers at Hunter.

He progressed rapidly.  Following his three required maintainer training phases, SGT Lopez was later selected from among 25 of his peers to become a Blackhawk crew chief, a key leadership position, both on the ground and in the air.

During the past year alone, SGT Lopez has deployed twice in support of operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, and then, twice more, supporting operations in South America, in addition to the continuing training flights within the U.S.

Over the past year, as a crew chief, he’s flown over 200 flight hours, almost 3/4ers of which required the use of Night Vision Goggles.  Reason being, the Night Stalkers insert and extract Rangers, SEALs, and others special ops troops, via Blackhawks or Chinooks. And as the name clearly implies, the vast majority of these mission flights occur under cover of darkness.

SGT. Lopez has assisted in the training of a great many Special Operations Force soldiers, both American and from allied nations, in addition to his on-going aircraft maintenance assignments here, so critical to crew and Special Ops troop safety.

Of special note, he has completed the Army’s Basic Leadership Course, and has now been selected to attend Warrant Officer Candidate School, which is a very big first step toward his ultimate goal of then attending Army Flight School to become a Night Stalker pilot.  Quite a path of achievement for a soldier who has been in the Army less than 6-years. And on top of all that, he is currently working toward an Associate’s Degree, with the goal of completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering!

Understandably, SGT. Lopez is very highly regarded by his peers and his command team.  He has established an admirable track record as a Night Stalker, with even more significant achievements soon to come.