24 Apache helicopters replace Kiowas in Hawaii
June 10, 2016
WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii — Almost a year and half since the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade gave up its 30 Kiowa Warrior helicopters, the unit formally welcomed 24 Apaches into the fold during a Thursday ceremony.
The Apaches arrived in Hawaii in April and have undergone maintenance and installation of insignia for 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade. The new aircraft are part of the Army’s two-year aviation restructuring of the 25th Infantry Division.
The squadron now has 15 fully trained pilots out of the roughly 50 that will be needed. The goal is to be fully operational and capable by June 2017.
Some Kiowa pilots are being retrained, while others who are already experienced with Apaches are relocating to Hawaii.
U.S. Army Pacific commander Gen. Robert Brown told the ceremony audience that for a combat infantryman, seeing an Apache arrive overhead during battle changes an “Oh crap” moment into “feeling pretty damn good.”
“This will go down as one of the key moments in the history of the division — no doubt about it — because of the capabilities the Apaches bring,” he said.