Apache Guardians perform first deck landing qualifications

| July 31, 2014 | 0 Comments
A Task Force Lightning Horse AH-64E Apache Guardian from 1st Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Avn. Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, conducts deck landing qualifications, a historical first for the E model of the Apache, on the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) while underway for Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014, July 19. (Photo by Chief Warrant Officer Mark Leung, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division)

A Task Force Lightning Horse AH-64E Apache Guardian from 1st Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Avn. Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, conducts deck landing qualifications, a historical first for the E model of the Apache, on the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) while underway for Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014, July 19. (Photo by Chief Warrant Officer Mark Leung, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division)

Sgt. Jessica DuVernay, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division

USS PELELIU (At Sea) — AH-64E Apache Guardians from 1st Armed Reconnaissance Battalion (ARB), 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Avn. Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, conducted deck landing qualifications aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5), off the coast of Hawaii, July 19, as part of the Navy’s Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2014.

The deck landing qualifications, a first for the E model of the Apache, are one of several maritime training events the Apache unit participated in to take advantage of terrain not available to them in their home station at Fort Carson, Colorado.

According to Chief Warrant Officer 3 Matthew Gottschling, a company instructor pilot with 1-25th ARB, before the deck landing qualifications and other maritime training could take place for the pilots, instructors were trained and certified through the U.S. Army Evaluations and Standards Department.

A Task Force Lightning Horse AH-64E Apache Guardian from 1st Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Avn. Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, conducts deck landing qualifications, a historical first for the E model of the Apache, on the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) while underway for Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014, July 19. (Photo by Chief Warrant Officer Mark Leung, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division)

A Task Force Lightning Horse AH-64E Apache Guardian from 1st Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Avn. Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, conducts deck landing qualifications, a historical first for the E model of the Apache, on the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) while underway for Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014, July 19. (Photo by Chief Warrant Officer Mark Leung, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division)

“With all the deck training, the reason it’s interesting and different is because the Apache is a land-based piece of equipment,” said Gottschling. “By training us how to do the ship landings on a larger ship, it enables us to forward project our force by doing the cross training with the Navy and the Marines.”

A primary goal of the joint training is to build greater maritime flexibility for the Pacific joint commander to use when determining capabilities during mission planning.

“It allows us to land on their ships, refuel, rearm and project power further forward as opposed to just being a land-based unit,” Gottschling explained. “It just gives us additional capabilities and additional experience. In the event of conflict, we would be able to deploy our aircraft via a ship to land and be able to operate in a maritime environment.”

This occasion is the first time the E model of the Apache has conducted deck landing qualifications, and the event was even more historical as this time is the first any Apache model has deployed to Hawaii or participated in a Rim of the Pacific exercise.

“We came out here in support of RIMPAC, but also to see how we integrate with the rest of 25th CAB,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ian Corbin-Deutsch, aviation life support equipment officer, 1-25th Avn. “With us being out at Fort Carson, away from our home unit, presented a bunch of challenges, and it’s nice to finally be a part of the unit.”

The eight Apaches still have some training ahead of them before returning to Fort Carson. Four of the Apaches are scheduled to push further into the Pacific for the Pacific Pathways exercise. The other four aircraft are scheduled to conduct training at the Pohakuloa Training Area in Hawaii prior to returning to Fort Carson in mid August.

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Category: Exercises, News, Safety, Training

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