25th CAB retires Kiowas, trains w/Kiwis, fights fires

| December 18, 2015 | 0 Comments

 

A CH-47 Chinook crew, assigned to the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, conducts a maritime validation exercise at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, Nov. 19, 2015.

A CH-47 Chinook crew, assigned to the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, conducts a maritime validation exercise at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, Nov. 19, 2015.

 

Sgt. Daniel K. Johnson
25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

 

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — In 2015, the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, accomplished a myriad of missions, from intense realistic training and fighting wildfires on the island of Oahu to the retirement of one of its key airframes.

The brigade bid aloha to the Kiowa airframe this year, retiring it under Army divestment. They were flown to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Feb. 9, to make the final leg of their journey aboard Air Force aircraft to Arizona.

Even with the Kiowa gone, training continued throughout the brigade. Only days later, a complex at sea maritime rappel and sling-load mission was conducted miles off the coast of Oahu, giving critical at-sea training experience to the aircrews of the “Hammerheads,” 3rd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment.

Aviation Week saw the coming together of Soldiers and family members from across the brigade. A week of camaraderie and team building helped to strengthen the ties between the members of the various units within the brigade, and helped to give back to the community in the form of $7,000 worth of scholarship funds raised.

The end of April brought about a bittersweet event. One of the last two Kiowa Warriors in the brigade was donated to the Pacific Aviation Museum. The airframe, which had been around since the 1960s and was retired this year, will now have a lasting legacy on Oahu at the museum.

2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regt. donated aircraft tail number 368.

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)

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)

One of the most important missions for an aviation brigade to be able to conduct is the recovery of downed aircraft. The summer saw this mission essential task put to the test with 209th Avn. Support Bn.’s Joint Downed Aircraft Recovery Team Exercise at Bellows Air Force station. 209th ASB collaborated with the Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard elements to ensure a wide range of successful training.

The summer also had some of the worst wildfires seen on Oahu. The Soldiers and aviators of the 25th CAB were brought in to help combat the fires. Black Hawks filled buckets with hundreds of gallons of water for repeated aerial assaults on the fires. This combined effort with the Federal Fire Dept. and the state Dept. of Land and Natural Resources helped to mitigate the damage that could be caused by the fires.

The 2-6th Cav. returned from a nine-month deployment to the Republic of Korea, Oct. 9. The squadron conducted various training, as well strengthened ties and enhanced regional stability in South Korea.

Pacific partner nations are instrumental in ensuring security in the Pacific region. October saw the 3-25th Hammerheads partner with the Royal New Zealand Artillery for a combined exercise on the Big Island. Forging these tactical relationships with Pacific partners is a critical mission of the 25th CAB.

Soldiers of 2-25th Avn. teamed up with 3-25th Hammerheads to kick off the University of Hawaii’s ROTC fall semester field training exercise with an air assault into Diamond Head Crater, helping to prepare future military officers with valuable realistic training for their roles as Army leaders.

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)

Helocasting

The end of the year helped the brigade look back upon those who came before us. The CAB hosted the Greatest Generations Foundation with aircraft tours and a meal shared with the Soldiers of the brigade.

The World War II veterans provided some insight to the younger Soldiers on how the military has changed since the 1940’s. It’s important that they remember the past to help them prepare for future missions in the Pacific.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Category: News, Year in Review

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *