Huey Rifle Platoon
"Gory, gory, what a hell of a way to die!"
- – Blood Upon the Risers, unofficial Airborne theme song
The Airborne is possibly the most renowned formation in the history of the United States Army, with a legacy of honor stretching back as far as some general getting the idea that it would be a great idea to throw a bunch of men out of these newfangled airplanes.
In Team Yankee
Significantly larger than the other US Army infantry unit in game, the US Mech Platoon, the Huey Rifle Platoon is a great choice for commanders who love to overwhelm the opposition with
lightning-fast assaults a horde of infantry.
To compensate for their notably weaker firepower due to the lack of offensive transports (M113s or AAVP7s), the Airborne have 3+ morale. While Germans may find this unimpressive, consider that the strength of Soviet infantry lies in their morale combined with the raw number they can bring to bear, creating a unit which works as a battering ram. Airborne platoons function similarly, combining NATO weaponry with the bravery of motorstrelki.
Compared to the Marines, the Airborne have a far more specific niche: anti-infantry combat. With the ability to take M60 teams (the Machine Gun not the tank) on top of rifle teams, the sheer volume of fire tops out at an impressive 31 shots at 5+ firepower for an 8 point platoon with 2 M60s, or 18 on the move. Mortars lack smoke and therefore have little reason to be brought.
Should you wish to deploy your Airborne as defensive infantry who will hold the line while under heavy fire, consider taking a 5 rifle platoon with 2 Dragons for 7 points.
Ultimately, the Airborne are a somewhat questionable platoon due to their inferior anti-armor compliment and lack of transports; a source of free MG fire which excel against infantry in the open or pinning entrenched infantry. Should you require an infantry unit specializing in defeating enemy infantry, the Airborne delivers excellently.
For players concerned with historical accuracy, ditch the Hueys and pretend that your troopers have dug-in after landing or treat them as the 101st. For players who care naught for history, do whatever you want. Bastards.
Functionally, the Airborne serve a role as a quick-reaction force capable of deploying divisional strength forces to any point on the planet within 24 hours of notice. Like most Airborne infantry, US airborne forces are given a harsher level of training to prepare them for the violent reality of airborne deployment: fast, hard and unforgiving. With the purpose of paratroopers being to deploy behind enemy lines or days ahead of heavier army units, they can expect days of tense marching with minor skirmishes at best, or fighting to the last as their position is overrun at worst. With such a dangerous job having higher projected casualties, the Airborne have a strong esprit-de-corps, symbolized by their jump wings.
The US Airborne have strong ties to the Green Berets, Combat Controllers and Army Rangers, due to their shared airborne heritage and overlapping job scopes. In fact, many who wish to join the Rangers or Special Forces often start their career by volunteering as paratroopers, eventually swapping their maroon berets for green or tan ones.
Unlike their in-game depiction, the 82nd Airborne are true airborne infantry; meaning that they deploy entirely by fixed-wing aircraft. Rotor-wing aircraft like Hueys and Apaches lack the range to support Airborne troopers from carriers or the capability to evade air-defences, meaning that the 82nd rely on fixed-wing air support. This might be a problem in Team Yankee, as the 82nd would paradrop without heavy weapons for tanks or aircraft: these were dealt with using aircraft or avoided entirely in the best case scenario.
Conversely, the 101st Airborne are proper air-assault infantry. Incapable of swift deployment due to the logistic requirements of helicopters, the 101st provides a parallel role to the 82nd: shock troops specializing in air-assault operations, meaning that they can literally land on top of enemies lacking air defence, as demonstrated in Afghanistan and Iraq. Effectively, they are the slower but harder hitting brother of the 82nd. Why Battlefront ruined their rather accurate depiction of air assault troops with the wrong unit is anyone's guess.
|US Forces in Team Yankee|
|Tanks:||M1 Abrams - M60 Patton - M551 Sheridan|
|Transports:||M113 Armored Personnel Carrier - UH-1 Huey - AAVP7 - Bradley Fighting Vehicle|
|Troops:||US Mech Platoon - Marine Rifle Platoon - Huey Rifle Platoon - HMMWV Machine Gun Platoon|
|Artillery:||M106 Heavy Mortar Carrier - M109 Howitzer - LAV-M|
|Anti-Aircraft:||M163 VADS - M48 Chaparral - M247 Sergeant York - HMMWV SAM|
|Tank Hunters:||M901 ITV - HMMWV-TOW - LAV-AT|
|Recon:||M113 FIST- M113 Scout Section - HMMWV Scout Section - LAV-25|
|Aircraft:||A-10 Warthog - AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter - AV-8 Harrier|