By Sgt. Daphney BlackJuly 13, 2018
FORT CARSON, Colo. - Soldiers from 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, partnered with Troop C, 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, for air assault operations Feb. 14, 2018, into a Fort Carson training area.
"The air assault facilitated time-on-target training, dust landings and tactical flight for both pilots and crew chiefs to better posture the units for future operations," said Capt. Bryant P. Knef, commander, Company A, 3rd AHB, 4th Avn. Reg., 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division.
The training provided ground forces from 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div., with real-world air assault techniques while continuing to train on their primary mission - closing with and destroying the enemy.
Training together offers units an opportunity to become familiar with each other's procedures, so that when they work together in a combat environment, they all know what to do to be successful.
"It also gives the newer pilots the ability to see how an air assault should go from the planning portion to the (after-action review)," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Alec Armstrong, standardization pilot, Company A.
The Soldiers of Troop C kicked off the training with a 7-mile ruck march from their company area to Butts Army Airfield, where they practiced loading and off-loading the aircraft, simulating doing so under fire.
Ten aircraft from companies A and B, 3rd AHB, 4th Avn. Reg., supplied the transportation for Troop C Soldiers while getting in some of their own training.
"We wanted to fly with our sister company to be sure that we were all on the same page throughout the whole battalion," Armstrong said.
The pilots took off in groups of five to the training area, where they practiced low-level flight techniques.
Afterward, Troop C Soldiers were inserted into the landing zone, where the aircraft touched down just long enough for the Soldiers to quickly pour out of the open door and take up defensive positions. In under two minutes, the Soldiers were on the ground and the helicopters were in the air.
The Soldiers remained in place at the landing zone and moved swiftly to set up a pickup zone while communicating with the aircraft for extraction. Meanwhile, the aircraft circled the training area awaiting the call for extraction, upon which, both units returned to the main cantonment area.
"The training went well," Armstrong said. "When we initially got together for the aircrew briefing, everyone understood the objective of it, and when we did the training, we had no accidents. Everyone knew how to operate the aircraft in a multi-ship way."