AH-64E Apache Guardians deploy for RIMPAC

| June 27, 2014 | 0 Comments
An Apache helicopter flying over Pearl Harbor near the USS Arizona Memorial.

PEARL HARBOR — An AH-64E Apache Guardian with 1st Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Avn. Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, turns toward Wheeler Army Airfield moments after lifting off from Pearl Harbor, June 19. This flight historically marks the first time the Apache has flown in the state of Hawaii.

Story by Sgt. Jessica DuVernay
Photos by Sgt. First Class Crista Mack
25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

PEARL HARBOR — Eight Army AH-64E Apache Guardians with 1st Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Avn. Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, arrived here, June 17, for a two-month deployment, marking the first time an Apache aircraft has been to the state of Hawaii.

The aircraft and approximately 40 Apache pilots and maintainers, who deployed out of Fort Carson, Colo., are scheduled to conduct joint and unit training in multifunctional operations to include the Navy’s 2014 Rim of the Pacific exercise, the world’s largest international maritime exercise.

To celebrate the arrival of the Apache Guardian, the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor hosted an Apache welcoming celebration, June 20, on Ford Island.

Gen. Vincent K. Brooks speaking  at a podium.

FORD ISLAND — Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander, U.S. Army-Pacific, talks about why it is important that the AH-64E Apache Guardian be present in Hawaii for upcoming training at the welcome and blessing ceremony on Luke Field, here, June 20. The aircraft, which belongs to 1st Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Avn. Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, began its two-month deployment on the island earlier in the week.

Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, commander of U.S. Army Pacific, was the guest speaker at the event where Kahu Kordell Kekoa performed a traditional Hawaiian blessing on the aircraft.

“We’re here to commemorate the arrival of the first AH-64E, which is the most modern version of the Apache helicopter coming to Hawaii,” said Brooks. “It’s been a tradition to do that for aircraft that come to Hawaii for the first time, and it was particularly significant today because this is where the Army had its first footprint.”

During the public event, pilots and leaders were present to answer questions from the community and explain the role of the Apache in upcoming training exercises.

A soldier explaining his helicopter to schoolchildren.

FORD ISLAND — Chief Warrant Officer 3 Matthew Gottschling, an AH-64E Apache Guardian pilot with 1st Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Avn. Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, speaks to children about the operations of the aircraft on Luke Field, here, June 20. Gottschling, along with other pilots and Soldiers from 1-25th ARB, attended a Hawaiian blessing ceremony where an Apache was blessed and welcomed to the island of Oahu.

“The overall goal is to show 25th CAB’s capabilities with all of the aircraft that are part of 25th CAB,” said Capt. Nathan Peper, commander, Company A, 1-25th Avn. Regt. “We are going to integrate our aircraft into everything we are trying to do in the Pacific area of responsibility.”

Following RIMPAC, the Apache unit will also participate in Tiger Balm 2014, an exercise in Hawaii that will strengthen the partnership between U.S. and Singapore armies promoting stability and security in the Pacific region and enhancing interoperability.

“For us to now have the most advanced Army attack helicopter brought here and to be honored here brings it full closure,” said Brooks. “So that’s the significance of today, Army aviation, a long history and still going, with the most modern capability being brought forward.”

After the deployment in Hawaii, some of the aircraft will move further into the Pacific to take part in the inaugural Pacific Pathway that will be conducted later in the year.

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Category: News, Training

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