A chance to showcase
September 28, 2012
Pilots, maintainers and analysts from the Republic of Korea Army, Test and Evaluation Group and the Boeing Company received guided tours and operational briefings from the 3rd Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, Sept. 24-25 at Fort Campbell, Ky.
The South Korean government is currently looking at several attack helicopter platforms for purchase that would improve their ability to meet current and future threats in the Pacific region.
Included on the list are the Bell AH-1W Super Cobra, the Agusta Westland TAI T-129 as well as the Boeing AH-64D Apache, which was showcased to the team here during their visit.
The purpose of their tour went beyond surveying the helicopter itself. They saw how an attack helicopter battalion conducts daily operations and maintenance.
"(We will) focus them on how we manage aviation maintenance at the battalion level and at the brigade level and then also give them an overview of company training," said Lt. Col. Thomas Burke, the battalion commander, 3rd Bn, 101st Avn. Rgt.
The delegates toured Sabre Army Heliport's flight line, hangar bay and training areas. They also received an overview of the mission essential training, production control and task organization of the battalion.
"By the time they leave here they should have a pretty solid idea of how an attack helicopter battalion conducts operations, whether it be maintenance or training." Burke said.
The delegates also experienced the Longbow Crew Trainer. The LCT is the deployable flight simulator to support the aviators while they are back here in garrison or in combat, said Ty Crowder, an instructor and operator of the LCT.
It can "maximize our training time without the expense of the actual flight time," said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Robert Slider, a standardization pilot, 3rd Bn., 101st Avn. Rgt. "So this really enhances our entire training program."
The delegates were very impressed with how the 3rd Bn., 101st Avn. Rgt. trains, maintains and operates their aviation program.
The company level of proficiency was impressive, said Lt. Col. Woo Jong Kim, the Consolidating Officer for the Test and Evaluation Group. It was very organized and defined at the pilot level to make them above average fighters.
Kim said the 3rd Battalion has the capability to rapidly deploy when needed and has one of the best aircraft in the world.
"The Apache has so many scratches as evidence of taking part in combat," said Hyungkwon Kim, a senior operations analyst for Boeing International Corporation.
The delegates departed with more than just a holistic view of how an attack helicopter battalion operates - they left with a deeper understanding of what it takes to be in the 101st Airborne Division (AASLT).
"We are very proud and very happy to do this for them. It is always an honor to showcase the unit especially a unit in the 101st Airborne Division and in the 159th CAB," Burke said.