HOHENFELS, Germany -- The 1st Squadron 6th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division and their eight AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, joined more than 5,000 service members from 21 nations "in the box" at the semiannual multinational exercise, Combined Resolve XII, at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany. The exercise kicked off in Hohenfels on Aug. 15 and concludes Aug. 27, 2019.
"For Combined Resolve XII the Apaches are providing the aerial support to ensure free movement for friendly forces as they move forward," explains U.S. Army Capt. Eric Moore, apache commander, with 1st Sqn. 6th Cav. Reg., 1st CAB, 1st Inf. Div.
"We're able to go out there and maneuver effectively and get down low in the trees and really find those targets out far, up to eight kilometers, and engage and destroy them before they can affect friendly lines."
With the Apache helicopters, we're able to get low in the trees to reduce our radar cross section from ground based radar systems, said Moore. Hovering low also allows us to mask ourselves against ground observation and provides better survivability should we be engaged. We can then break line of sight and move safely to another location.
The ability to get low also enables the Apaches to effectively support ground troops like the forty cavalry scouts from 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, who were out providing reconnaissance for the 1st ABCT, 1st Inf. Div.
"When we get IDFs with the Shadows, their UAVs [unmanned air vehicle] that are spotting us, we'd call in the Apaches," said U.S. Army Spc. Michael Connor, a cavalry scout with Comanche Troop, 1st Sqd., 4th Cav. Reg., 1st ABCT, 1st Inf. Div. "What they'd do [the Apaches] is hover not even 15 feet above us, you could basically jump up and touch these guys as they're blocking us from the Shadows."
"We're here particularly to ensure that ground forces are able to move safely with early and accurate warning so when they are occupying positions and/or moving, they're not going to be seen and observed by enemy forces," said Moore. "For attack aviation, we play a critical role in terms of bringing a lot of firepower to the fight."
Each of the eight Apaches are capable of firing 16 hellfire missiles and 300 rounds of 30mm, giving them the ability to take out 16 tanks were they to engage each one with a missile.
"Everyone loves seeing the Apaches hovering that close, it really ups the morale," added Connor.
During Combined Resolve the Apaches were out supporting in and out of sector operations for 1st ABCT as well as the HICON mission enabling them to shape the deep fight.
"One Apache can change a lot but we bring three to four per mission, so ultimately were able to destroy and suppress a substantial amount of the enemy," concluded Moore. "We are kinda the one that can come in and finish the fight once it's starting to develop."
The 1st Combat Aviation Brigade and 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Infantry Division are on a nine month rotation as are part of more than 6,000 U.S. regionally-allocated Soldiers in Germany, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania, on a nine-month rotation, in support of Atlantic Resolve. Atlantic Resolve provides ready, combat-credible forces through multinational training and security cooperation activities.