Soldiers assigned to the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) welcomed soldiers from 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and their four AH-64E Apache Guardians to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
The arrival of the aircrews and airframes mark the start of a six-month training partnership between the 25th Infantry Division’s and 7th Infantry Division’s aviation brigades.
"There will be 61 total personnel associated with the 1-229th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion’s Bravo and Delta companies," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Kennamer Yates, tactical operations officer, 2-6 Cavalry.
Adding, "The Killer Spades will be here for six months total, with a personnel rotation expected in March. The Killer Spades are going to fill the void of Attack/Reconnaissance coverage for the 25th Infantry Division following the divestment of the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior."
"With 2-6 CAV’s retirement of the Kiowas, the Apaches will become a vital asset not only to 2-6 CAV, but also to 25th Combat Aviation Brigade and 25th Infantry Division," said Capt. Franklin Worsham, fire support officer, 2-6 CAV.
He added, "The AH-64 will be the only organic aerial attack platform to 25ID. The capabilities the AH-64 will give the division are virtually endless."
The team from 16th CAB will be providing support to not only help train the battalion on the use of the Apache, but also to participate in multiple exercises across the Pacific.
"Their role is to support the 25th Infantry Division as the attack aviation platform through multiple upcoming training events such as Lightning Forge and 2-35 Infantry combined-arms, live-fire exercise," Worsham said. "The AH-64Es are a force multiplier for 25th Combat Aviation Brigade and the 25th Infantry Division."
Inter-unit cooperation is imperative in today’s military.
Being able to integrate with a new unit quickly and effectively allows the Army to be more agile in executing rotational missions.
"With the Army moving toward a more rotational force, the cooperation between 25th and 16th CAB is instrumental in developing the processes for integrating forces with many different policies and operating procedures," Yates said.
"Inter-unit cooperation is always a vital part to the success of the Army, particularly here in PACOM [U.S. Pacific Command]," Worsham said.
Adding, "With 16th CAB being the closest combat aviation brigade to 25th ID, their role as a supplementary force would be vital to any military operation if one were to take place here in the Pacific area of responsibility."
Sgt. Daniel Kyle Johnson
U.S. Army Pacific