25th CAB says ’aloha‘ to Kiowa

| February 12, 2015 | 0 Comments
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR HICKAM — The first six OH-59 Kiowa Warrior helicopters fly through the hazy morning air en route to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Feb. 9. The Kiowas are being retired from the U.S. Army inventory, and the 25 belonging to the 2-6th Cav. Regt., 25th CAB were brought here to be prepared for shipping to the mainland. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Sean Everette, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR HICKAM — The first six OH-59 Kiowa Warrior helicopters fly through the hazy morning air en route to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Feb. 9. The Kiowas are being retired from the U.S. Army inventory, and the 25 belonging to the 2-6th Cav. Regt., 25th CAB were brought here to be prepared for shipping to the mainland. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Sean Everette, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)

Staff Sgt. Sean Everette
25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — The wind was blowing hard the morning of Feb. 9, but not hard enough to stop the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade from flying its OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopters one final time.

The 25 Kiowas assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 25th CAB, were flown from their home, here, to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam where they were prepared to be shipped back to the mainland where they will be retired.

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR HICKAM — Kiowa Warrior mechanics Craig Lamadora, Erech Zych and Likelike Avilla fold up the rotor blades on a Kiowa, Feb. 9, in preparation for its being shipped to the mainland. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Sean Everette, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR HICKAM — Kiowa Warrior mechanics Craig Lamadora, Erech Zych and Likelike Avilla fold up the rotor blades on a Kiowa, Feb. 9, in preparation for its being shipped to the mainland. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Sean Everette, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)

The Army is calling this process “divestment.”

“The OH-58 Kiowa Warrior is going to be taken out of the Army inventory,” said Maj. Anthony Freude, commander, B Company, 209th Avn. Support Battalion, and Divestment Operation officer in charge. “What we’re doing here is getting these aircraft ready to get loaded into Air Force aircraft, and they are going to take them to their point of destination. These aircraft are going to go to Arizona.”

Civilian contractors have been a huge part of the operation on Oahu and were out in force to get the helicopters ready for shipping.

“For the past month and a half, we’ve had a divestment, working directly with the unit itself, 2-6th Cav., taking items off the aircraft that have to go to other flying units,” said Bruce Herd, URS/AECOM site manager, Hawaii. “Today, we’ve been tasked as contractors to come down and do the fold ups and preparation for load-out on C-5s and C-17s.”

The divestment operation entails not only the retirement of the aircraft, but also the closing of supply and maintenance chains and units. What it will eventually mean for the 25th CAB and 2-6th Cav. is new aircraft.

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR HICKAM — A 2-6th Cav. Regt., 25th CAB UH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopter lands here, Feb. 9. The Kiowas were brought here to be folded up and prepared for shipping to the mainland. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Sean Everette, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR HICKAM — A 2-6th Cav. Regt., 25th CAB UH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopter lands here, Feb. 9. The Kiowas were brought here to be folded up and prepared for shipping to the mainland. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Sean Everette, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)

“The discussion right now is to bring the AH-64 (Apache helicopter),” Freude said. “The talk is on the table that they are going to come here. As to when, they still aren’t ready to decide.”

It will still be a couple of years before any new helicopters come to the Army on Oahu. In the meantime, the 25th CAB says aloha and mahalo for many years of service to the OH-58 Kiowa Warrior.

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