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Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 7:00am

Army Helo Unit Starts Memorial

An elite Army helicopter unit based in coastal Georgia is building a memorial to its fallen members.

A ground breaking ceremony was scheduled Thursday at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah for the new memorial for the 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. The unit, nicknamed the Night Stalkers, flies helicopters in extremely hazardous combat environments, often at night and at low altitudes with pilots wearing night-vision goggles.

The memorial will recognize members of the unit who have died since it was activated in the 1980s. To date, 20 Night Stalker soldiers have died — two-thirds of them in combat.

A civilian foundation has been set up to raise money for the memorial and to oversee its construction and maintenance.