2-6th Cav. coordinates and fuels RIMPAC aviation assets

| August 17, 2016 | 0 Comments
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A Scout Weapons Team of Task Force Saber AH-64D Apache attack helicopters fire an AGM-114L Hellfire missile at the decommissioned frigate USS Crommelin. (Photo by Sgt. Erin Sherwood, 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs.)

 1st Lt.  John Zeidler
25th Combat Aviation Brigade
25th Infantry Division

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — Soldiers of 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, served as the headquarters of the  Army Aviation Task Force for Rim of the Pacific, June 30-August 4th.

As the Aviation Task Force Headquarters, 2-6th Cav., under the call-sign Task Force Saber, integrated aviation operations, training task force pilots in a multitude of land-based and maritime missions.

Capt. Dustin Roark, assistant operations officer and lead battle captain, used the event to train aviation operations specialists in 24 hour, real-time battle tracking of aerial missions in support of RIMPAC throughout the entire Hawaiian Island chain.

“This training event afforded an excellent opportunity for noncommissioned officers to provide hands-on training to their troopers,” Roark said. “Our aviation operations specialists learned their role quickly and were able to respond to an extremely dynamic environment in a timely and professional manner. From last minute missions and changes in the flight schedule to reacting to simulated aircraft emergencies, our troopers ran the Aviation Task Force smoothly.”

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A Task Force Saber CH-47 Chinook lifts off the amphibious assault ship USS America during deck landing qualifications. (Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kyle Goldberg.)

The squadron’s forward support troop provided additional RIMPAC mission support, providing an arming and refueling point at Ford Island to sustain helicopter operations. Fuel handlers from 2-6th Cav. issued more than 9,600 gallons of fuel to 38 aircraft, including Australian helicopters.

“Providing support for both the US and foreign militaries provided some challenges, but we are now more ready than ever to support not only joint, but multinational training in the future” said platoon leader 1st Lt. Sharmane Rodriguez. “The multi-dimensional demands of RIMPAC have provided an opportunity,” in the words of Roark, “to prove that Task Force Saber is postured to execute increasingly challenging operations, and to fight and win in a complex world.”

The task force, comprised of heavy lift, utility, medical evacuation and attack helicopters supported humanitarian aid and disaster relief, decisive action operations, operations in support of Navy and multinational special operations forces, as well as interagency operations with the Red Cross, Red Crescent and United Nations. During RIMPAC, Task Force Saber moved more than 2490 pounds of equipment and logistical supplies and over 550 passengers, contributing to the validation of Hawaii’s disaster relief response infrastructure by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The task force’s attack aircraft, AH-64 Apache Longbow helicopters, also participated in a live fire exercise in which Apaches fired experimental littoral missiles at a frigate off the coast of Kauai.

This exercise demonstrated the lethal and precise fires introduced to the Pacific Command by the 25th ID’s own Apache helicopters. According to the squadron commander, Lt. Col. Aaron Martin, the exercise “demonstrates the expanded capability of Army rotary wing attack aircraft to counter littoral threats that are prevalent throughout the area of responsibility.”

(Editor’s note: Zeidler is the C Troop, 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment platoon leader.)

Chief Warrant 2 Gable controls a Task Force Saber Black Hawk into the pickup zone at Ford Island prior to loading civilian role players participating in the HA/DR operation. (Photo by Capt. Heba Bullock, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs.)

Chief Warrant 2 Danny Gable, 25th CAB, awaits a Black Hawk at the landing zone on Ford Island prior to loading civilian role players for the HA/DR exercise. (Photo by Capt. Heba Bullock, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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