UH-60 Black Hawks
* screen colors may vary from print colors
Print Size: approx. 31" x 16"
All prints are sold unframed
A New Dawn: Afghanistan
by Matt Hall
High in the remote mountains of Afghanistan, where once Alexander the Great defeated the Persians, America’s warriors patrol the ancient land. Far from their homes and loved ones, they risk their lives to seek and destroy an empire of terror that lurks in the shadows. Shoulder to shoulder, they bring light to the darkness. All will give Afghanistan the hope of a new dawn, but some will be called to give their last breath for a better world.
82nd Combat Aviation Brigade

2001 limited edition prints,
each signed by artist Matt Hall.

Also includes a COA with "History Behind the Art" stories/trivia facts

(All prints are sold unframed)

200 limited edition prints, each signed by decorated UH-60 Black Hawk pilots Captain Eric Carlson & CW2 Eric Fry who flew & fought in Afghanistan.

Also includes a COA with "History Behind the Art" stories/trivia facts

UH-60 Black Hawk
(All prints are sold unframed)

200 limited edition canvas giclees, each sized at: 37" x 14.5"
- ships rolled -

Includes a COA with "History Behind the Art" stories/trivia facts!

For Operation Enduring Freedom veterans we recommend you have your brothers in arms autograph your print or giclee to turn it into YOUR OWN PERSONALIZED work of art similar to the examples below! Please note that all Valor Studios prints are sold unframed & unmatted.
82nd Airborne theme
82nd Airborne in Afghanistan
10th Mountain theme
101st Airborne theme
173rd Airborne
10th Mountain
Army Special Forces theme
US Marine Corps theme
Commander of "The Cavemen"
B-Co., 2nd Battalion
82nd Combat Aviation Brigade
UH-60 pilot with "The Cavemen"
B-Co., 2nd Battalion
82nd Combat Aviation Brigade
Only 3 months after graduating the UH-60 Blackhawk Aircraft Qualification Course, Eric Fry deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan as part of the Alpha Company Redhawks, 2nd Battalion, 82nd Aviation Brigade. The Redhawks were the only regular army Blackhawk Company in the country during this time. The 82nd’s mission was simple…clean up what was left of the Taliban. Eric's experience gained with the Redhawks was valuable, but nothing would prepare he and the 82nd Aviation for their return trip in January 2007.

Eric served again in Bagram, Afghanistan with the Bravo Company Cavemen from January 2007-February 2008 as an Aviation Safety Officer, Air Mission Commander, and Pilot in Command. During the 4 year hiatus from the first trip to Afghanistan, the Taliban had regained strength and its presence was very much known. Bravo Company had returned as one of 4 Blackhawk companies in Afghanistan, as the first indication of the escalation. Eric took part in many missions throughout the year long deployment, from air assaults, to immediate response to vehicles hit by IED’s, to casualty evacuation, to close air support for a trapped convoy. Over the course of two deployments to Afghanistan Eric flew over 1,000 combat hours, 14 air assault missions, earned two Air Medals, two Army Commendation Medals, and the Combat Action Badge for numerous enemy fire near missions.
Eric Carlson served in Afghanistan as an Air Assault Company Commander and UH-60L Black Hawk Aviator from 2007-2008. Under his command "The Cavemen" would fly in excess of 10,000 combat hours conducting diverse missions ranging from resupply and troop movements to several high-risk air assaults in support of the 10th Mountain, 173rd Airborne, 3rd and 7th Special Forces Groups (Airborne), and many other units.

On one harrowing mission, Carlson would spend in excess of nine hours flying without any illumination under NVGs attempting to rescue a unit from the 173rd who were ambushed on November 9th, 2007 near FOB Bella. Two days later, on Veteran’s Day, he would respond to a "troops in contact call" after three Special Forces convoys were ambushed in a well coordinated attack by over 100 Taliban fighters. Carlson and his crew would spend the entire day under heavy enemy machine gun, automatic small arms, and RPG fire suppressing the ambush that was too close for most attack aircraft munitions. For his actions in Afghanistan, Carlson would be presented the Bronze Star Medal, and Air Medal for Valor, among other decorations.

The Cavemen would leave Afghanistan as a unit recognized for its dependability and would be known for never turning down a mission or request by ground, even under the highest threat conditions.

alor Studios developed “A New Dawn: Afghanistan” with the input of veteran

Black Hawk pilots, most notably, Bronze Star recipient and former leader of the "Cave Men" helicopter company, Cpt. Eric Carlson. It was his stories that helped artist Matt Hall capture the juxtaposition of the world's foremost warriors operating cutting-edge equipment in search of an enemy from the dark ages in the land before time.

Valor Studios drew inspiration for this painting from "The Long Green

Line," a Vietnam helicopter painting by William S. Phillips, showing Hueys flying through a lush jungle. We felt that the warriors of today deserved a similar tribute.

We hope that this inspiration, coupled with the detail described below, and the brilliant brushstrokes of Matt Hall, will result in a modern-day classic that all Americans will look upon with pride.

1. The Army Infantry often live and operate out of small Combat Outposts (COPs) and Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) in the most isolated regions of Afghanistan. Often times helicopters are often the only means of transportation and resupply. This has forged a strong bond between the Infantry and Aviators in Afghanistan who rely on each other to accomplish missions. "Above the Best" is the Army Aviation motto and also its song, it refers to the Aviation Branch supporting the best ground forces in any military.

2. The United States Military conducts joint operations to train and advise the Afghanistan National Army and other Afghan defense forces so they will be able to maintain their own security once American forces compete their mission. They often live together in FOBs. It is not uncommon for Lieutenants and other platoon level Soldiers to attend meetings with village elders to discuss projects to improve the quality of life for Afghans in addition to fulfilling their traditional combat role.

3. This Black Hawk may appear to be out of formation. Often the Air Mission Commander would have his flight fly "free cruise" allowing aircraft to switch from side to side within the formation and vary the altitude and distances between them. This allows them to be less predictable to the enemy attempting to shoot them down. At night the Black Hawk, as well as other Army Aircraft, have lights on the top that allow trailing helicopters to determine their position in relation to those in front of them.

4. The terrain of Afghanistan consists of the world's most extreme mountains to desert. The highest mountain, Noshaq, towers 24,580 feet into the air and is located on the Hindu Kush mountain range. The mountains and terrain have been a challenge to Soldiers who are often climbing, living, and fighting at altitudes in excess of 8,000 feet. That is over five times the height of the Empire State Building. Aircrews undergo special high altitude training prior to deploying to Afghanistan due to the impact they have on the aircraft.

5. Flare dispensers on each side of the aircraft fire a combination of different types of flares automatically depending on the type of weapon that is fired at the aircraft. The pilots can also manually dispense flares from the cockpit.

6. The UH-60L is designed to carry 11 Soldiers with all of their combat equipment, which is the same number you find in an Infantry Squad. It can carry up to 20 Soldiers if the mission dictates. Kevlar sheets placed on the floor protects passengers from gunfire. The kevlar floors were developed after the invasion of Grenada when casualties were taken as a result of small-arms fire penetrating the floors.

7. The mirrored "disco light" device found on many Army aircraft is the ALQ-144. It is an infra-red guided missile countermeasure device (IRCM). It was developed in the 1970s to counter the threat of infra-red guided surface to air missiles. While decoy flares were effective at jamming first generation infra-red guided missiles, each flare was only effective for a short period of time, if an aircraft needed to loiter over a high risk area, or was slow flying it would require a large number of flares to decoy any missile fired at it. The IRCM allows for constant protection against infra-red guided missiles.

8. Door Gunners are usually equiped with 7.62mm machine guns which are primarily meant for the defense of the aircraft and suppression of the enemy. Often times the same crewchiefs that provide maintenance to the aircraft serve as the gunners. The Black Hawk was not designed primarily as an attack aircraft, however an attack version is found in the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.

9. Black Hawks are sometimes seen flying with the pilots doors off in order to assist them in visual references during dust or "brown out" landings and challenging one or two-wheel landings that are often a necessity based on the harsh terrain of Afghanistan. Some pilots will also claim that the doors off assists in keeping them cool during the extremely hot summers. Armor "wings" protect the pilots from gunfire.

10. AN/AAR-57 Common Missile Warning System (CMWS) Electro-Optic Missile Sensors sensors are observed on many loactions on the Black Hawk. This system passively detects the presence of energy generated from missiles and works in conjunction with other defensive systems to keep the Black Hawk and its passengers safe when engaged.

11. After the United States Army Air Corps grew into the Army Air Forces and split into the new service, the United States Air Force, the Army was left its aviation units flying L-2 observation planes for artillery units. The Army would develop a new concept of aviation using the helicopter, that would show promise during the Korean war and revolutionize warfare during Vietnam. In recognition of the demonstrated increasing importance of Aviation in Army doctrine and operations, Aviation became a separate branch on April 12th 1983. The Black Hawk was officially introduced into service in 1979 with the US Army 101st Airborne Division, it made its US combat debut in the 1983 Invasion of Grenada with the the 82nd Airborne Division. It was designed to replace the aging UH-1 Huey that is depicted in "First Boots on the Ground."
Valor Studios is proud to announce a new artist in our family of masters---Matt Hall---who formerly worked as an Art Director for Dream Works under the master visionary, Steven Spielberg!

Matt’s journey to Hollywood began in Missouri, as a teen, when by chance he met leading Western Artist Bob Tommy, who just moved from Texas. Tommy encouraged Matt to try his hand at painting, and, upon seeing Matt’s “natural talent,” he became Matt’s mentor, teaching him the technique he had amassed from a lifetime of work.

In college, Matt studied classical painting then broadened his abilities after graduation, by working for an architectural firm (architectural renders), a greeting card company (painting landscapes and still life), and a television production company (painting animation backgrounds). It was there that Steven Spielberg’s Dreamworks company found him, and lured he and his new bride, Michele, a Texas small town girl to Hollywood.

There, Matt rose through the ranks at Dreamworks, painting concept art for movies and video games. When Steven Spielberg had an idea brewing about the Battle for Iwo Jima, Matt painted an “epic concept” for him. Spielberg’s idea later became the film, Flags of Our Fathers. Eventually, Matt was named Franchise Art Director for Dreamworks’ Medal of Honor video games series, one credited with generating interest in WWII history among young people.

Matt grew as an artist through Spielberg’s critiques of his work. They were “actually fun” according to Matt, because Spielberg was enthusiastic about what he liked, and when there was something he didn’t like, he balanced that “hard critique” with a re-emphasis of what was positive and how it could be enhanced.

“I also learned from Steven Spielberg the value of listening to my ‘creative instincts’” Matt explained. “A lot of times, marketing dictates if an idea will be well-received, but Spielberg would often fly against the grain, if he believed in an idea. There was a time when the marketing guys said ‘WWII is done and dead,” but Spielberg followed his instincts and passion and made Saving Private Ryan!”

Matt soon discovered that he, too, possessed a deep-seeded passion to tell the stories of America’s war heroes when Dreamworks put him on a new assignment, to paint a painting a month for the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. Working from just a citation and a portrait of a long-deceased recipient, Matt brought their stories back to life. There, he discovered his calling, but he couldn’t act on it. That was just an assignment. He was a concept artist.

Then, in summer 2008, Matt underwent brain surgery to remove a growth behind his eye. He had an epiphany. “It was a wake-up call for me that we don’t really know how long we have on earth,“ Matt explained. “That got me thinking, ‘What kind of legacy will my art leave? Will it tell a story of something important? Will it be something people will appreciate 50 or 100 years from now? It was tough to look in mirror and say ‘maybe not’ since the art I was doing would be locked away in a vault once it served its purpose.

Valor Studios had long followed Matt’s career and approached him after his surgery, with an offer to publish his work, if Matt would paint the heroes of military past and present. The timing couldn’t have been better, and Matt heartily agreed.

“It was an epiphany on a lot of levels,“ he explained, “Spiritually, artistically, and career-wise. Like that leap of faith when I went to paint for Hollywood, I decided to follow my passion and paint the stories of men whose legacies need to be preserved.”

With the release of “Angels from Above,” Matt’s first limited-edition print with Valor Studios, one can safely conclude that, Matt’s “creative instincts,” like those of the great Steven Spielberg, are on time, on target!