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by Staff Sgt. Jack Siemieniec

        WASHINGTON (Army News Service, May 22, 2000) - The Army will give one lucky person the chance to be an Apache pilot and paratrooper in a new program aimed to raise awareness of the military.
        The Department of Defense announced May 18 a partnership with Internet search engine Yahoo! to co-sponsor the "Fantasy Careers in Today's Military" contest.
        Defense officials described it as "A new advertising initiative to raise awareness about today's military by using the Internet as the medium."
        They also said the contest is designed to expose the public to the military's role.
        "There are increasingly fewer Americans who have direct experience with today's military, fewer people who know someone who has served or is serving in uniform," said Navy Cmdr. Yvette Brown-Wahler, assistant director for recruiting plans.
        "With fewer military connections to society and fewer adult influencers to discuss career options, generations of youth receive less exposure to military opportunities, benefits, careers and even its adventures.
        "We want adult influencers to understand how young people can grow and gain confidence in themselves through military experiences," she continued.
        The contest is ongoing and ends July 4.  It offers five winners, one for each DoD service plus the Coast Guard, the chance to experience a particular career in the military for a period of two to five days.
        Entrants can register through the "Yahoo! Careers" homepage at <a href=""></a> and enter from one to all five of the categories.
        As part of their entry, contestants must submit a resume to Yahoo! and write a brief - up to 200 words - essay.  The essay subject for the Army is "Why do you want to experience helicopter flight and paratrooper training with the U.S. Army?"  They will be judged on their submitted essay and resume.  Finalists will undergo a telephone interview to decide the winner.
        The Army winner will first train in a flight simulator at the Army Aviation School at Fort Rucker, Ala., and take a front seat ride in an AH-64 Apache Attack helicopter.  He or she will then fly to Fort Bragg, N.C., to train in the wind tunnel -- simulating military free-falling -- and finally make a tandem jump with a member of the Army's Golden Knights parachute team.
        Yahoo! and Defense officials state that entrants must be at least 18 years old and medically qualified to participate.
        Defense officials said Yahoo! contacted them last fall about joining the promotion.  In the past year, the company has presented five other "Fantasy" careers, with sponsors ranging from Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream to Sega Dreamcast to the NASDAQ stock exchange.
        Yahoo! is used monthly by more than 145 million individuals, said Tanya Singer, a producer with Yahoo! Careers.  She added that Yahoo! Careers brings together over one million job openings from sites throughout the Web.
        The Army currently has spent about $300,000 in advertising on Yahoo!, said Brown-Wahler. In addition, the Department of Defense will spend an additional $250,000 in connection with the contest, said Vice Adm. Patricia Tracey, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military personnel policy.
        "I'm sure that between us, we hope to know better how to use Yahoo! and other types of search engines as a means of drawing people to military information," Tracey said.
        She also said that while they don't have any hard numbers, Defense officials know that recruiting "leads generated through the Internet tend to have a much higher turn rate than leads that are generated by other media right now.  So it is a high payoff medium for us."
        Tracey added that recruiting figures for the Army for this fiscal year show it to be at 94 percent of its goal.
        As part of the press conference announcing the partnership, Defense officials had nine service members step forward and describe their jobs.  The Army was represented by Apache pilot Chief Warrant Officer 2 Allen Kidwell from the 8th Battalion, 229th Aviation Regiment at Fort Knox, Ky., and Spc. Shawn Broe, 21, from the 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, at Fort Bragg, N.C.
        Describing the best part of his job, Kidwell said, "The fun is just being able to go out and take a $15 million aircraft and go play with it.  Of course we're doing our job, but it becomes all fun once you get into the ring of things.
        "You're constantly thinking, you're constantly on the ball. You have to be ahead of the game in order to stay ahead of the aircraft, otherwise it will bite you - and that all becomes fun."
        Broe drew chuckles from the press conference audience as he described the equipment he carries when he jumps and said he'd be happy to "show the contest winner what Army paratroopers do all day, all night, all the way. Airborne, hooah!"
        "I love being an Army paratrooper. For me, my favorite part would be after you get done with something real hard, whether it's been a 12 or 15-mile road march with 80 pounds on your back, or whatever it was, it's not fun during it, but when you're done, you've got a lot of pride.  You feel good for what you're doing," Broe said.
        As for jumping out of an aircraft, he added, "You're standing there, you're hooked up to the cable, you're looking out the door and see nothing but trees or houses or whatever's underneath going by at however fast. Just looking out that door and knowing that whenever that light turns from red to green, you're going.  It's real exciting, it's a feeling that goes through your whole body.  It's just a rush."
        Sgt. 1st Class Steven McClaflin, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Fort Bragg, was also at the press conference, although space limitations bumped him from the stage.
        McClaflin has been in the Army about 15 years, has been a drill instructor and Ranger instructor.
        He said even after about 100 jumps, "You've got a lot of things running through your mind. You're trying to run the actions you need to take to be safe in the air.  There's a thrill, probably a certain amount of fear.
        "But there's definitely a big thrill, the anticipation of stepping off a solid platform into the darkness with about 160 pounds (of equipment) strapped to your butt and you're going out the door.  Going through points of performance and waiting for that opening shock and just hoping to look up and see that the whole thing is up there.  It's a lot of fun."

 Link to original news item:

by Spc. Kara McCarthy

    SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (Army News Service, April 7, 2000)

        It's been 32 years coming, but former Army Cpl. William R. Street, a veteran of the Vietnam War, received the Silver Star with one Oak Leaf Cluster and the Purple Heart last month at Schofield Barracks.
        "This is the beginning of my healing process," said Street.
        About 80 people attended the award presentation -- including Vietnam veterans, soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen and family and friends -- to recognize Street's service to his country.
        Tears filled the eyes of many spectators as Maj. Gen. William E. Ward, commanding general of 25th Infantry Division (Light) and U.S. Army, Hawaii, pinned two medals on Street's resurrected Class A uniform.
        "This is America saluting one of America's unsung heroes," said Ward.
        The general said Street's service brings to mind words from an Army recruiting commercial. "When you were needed, you were there, no it wasn't always easy, no it wasn't always fair, but when freedom called you were there," he said.
        And Street was there Oct. 7, 1968 in the Republic of Vietnam.
        He stared in the distance, his eyes focused past the wall, remembering the past. He began to talk about that fateful day in which he lost, not only his comrades, but a part of himself.
        "We were in a fire base camp, which is a mini base camp" Street said, and then paused. "We were sent out on patrol ... one mile outside of the fire base, we were ambushed by 12 to 15 (North Vietnamese soldiers). Three men in the lead element were killed in the ambush, a couple were wounded."
        Again, Street paused to regroup his thoughts, while still remaining focused on the past. He then related the radio control operator called for reinforcements, but the "old man," -- Street's former company commander -- told them to pursue the enemy.
        However, many of the infantrymen were brand new soldiers -- fresh out of basic training. So, Street said, he "wasn't about to put new guys up front."
        He took the initiative and led the squad through an open rice paddy field.
        "I already had the thousand-yard stare," Street said, referring to a combat-related stress symptom that some soldiers get when they've seen too much in combat. Therefore, he said, he wasn't nervous or scared when the woodline ended and he had to walk through the open field.
        "I walked about six or seven yards with the machine gun," Street said. "I didn't see them, but they knew that if I kept walking another 20 yards -- I would see a battalion-size force of North Vietnamese soldiers."
        Within seconds, Street said he heard firing. He yelled for his soldiers to drop in place and return fire. He then instructed his squad to follow him toward a secure hut. However, he was shot in the forearm by the enemy.
        "The second I got shot, the world moved very slowly," he said. "I flew back and hit my head in slow motion. I swear I could actually even see the bullet that hit me in slow motion. Somehow, lying there, bleeding to death, knowing I'm going to croak -- I devised a plan."
        The plan was to somehow gather the strength to get a grenade from his ammunition pouch and pull the pin, even though his arm was seriously bleeding.
        "Sometimes, you have to be bigger than self," Street said. "Now that the pin was out, I thought, 'What am I going to do with it?' I started breathing heavy and I kept going in and out of consciousness. I had a good idea of where the bunker was, and I had to do something because I knew I was running out of time."
        Street gathered his strength and threw the grenade directly into the enemy bunker -- killing a number of NVN soldiers
        "You make the moves without really thinking," said Street, about his heroic act in Vietnam. "You're (trained) to react to the situation. It's like you don't need to think about (what's happening). This is what you're conditioned to react to in a combat situation."
        Street also said he encountered an outer body experience during this time. "I didn't see my body -- it was just like they say it is in the movies. Someone was saying, 'If you want peace go down that tunnel.' I said to myself, 'I don't want to. I want to live. I just had a son, I'm married and I don't want to die at 20.'"
        Now, at 52 years, Street has seen a lot in his lifetime, but Vietnam, he said has had the biggest impact. He wanted to receive the medals as closure to an era in his life that was mixed with both the good times and bad.
        A year before being wounded that October day, Street heard he'd been submitted for a Silver Star for other, previous heroism, but never received the award.  While hospitalized for the 1968 action, he learned he'd received a Silver Star with one Oak Leaf Cluster.  He received orders for the award, but was never presented the medal.
        Fast forward to two years ago and Street received his Silver Star and Purple Heart through the mail, signed by then Army Secretary Togo West.
        The ceremony last month was to formally recognize his accomplishments and bring him the attention he was slighted over the years, officials said.
        Retired Air Force Lt. W. Todd Corban, a friend of Street's, said the medals will be the beginning of the healing process for Street, who has carried Vietnam memories with him.
        "This isn't about me," Street said. "It's about my generation."
        The corporal doesn't view himself as a hero. "I know what makes a hero," he said. "It's not something that you wake up one day and say, 'I'm going to be a hero.' In a line company, you realize your brothers are guarding your back and it's your responsibility to guard theirs. ... It's all about doing all you can to protect yourself and your buddies."
        (Editor's note: Spc. Kara McCarthy is a staff writer for the Hawaii Army Weekly.)

by Gerry J. Gilmore

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Nov. 17, 1999)

The Army's AH-64 Apache helicopters are undergoing inspections to determine the serviceability of the aircraft's tail-rotor system and gearbox components.
The inspections involve all 743 Apaches - to include older "A" and newer "D" models - in service across the force, said Col. Fred Naigle, the chief of the Aviation Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics in the Pentagon.
The Army estimates that up to half of the aircraft inspected may require replacement parts to return them to flyable status, said Naigle.
The tail-rotor inspections, announced by Army officials Nov. 5, concentrate on the hanger bearing assemblies, or flanges, which act as connectors between the tail rotor and the power drive.
The gearbox inspections were announced Nov. 12, and center on two clutches in the accessory gearbox, a component of the helicopter's transmission, said Army officials, who noted there is concern about excessive wear of the clutches.
A recent Apache crash at Fort Rucker, Ala., which totaled the aircraft and injured its two-man crew, was traced to failure of the hanger bearing assembly, said officials. Investigators determined the helicopter's hanger bearing assembly had developed corrosion-stress cracks, due to a tempering treatment, which caused the metal to become brittle.
Officials said the Army modified the hanger bearing assembly's manufacturing process in 1993; such parts produced after the change aren't susceptible to similar corrosion-stress fractures. Suspect hanger bearing assemblies would be replaced as part of the inspection process, officials said.
The crash of an Israeli Air Force AH-64 this June prompted the gearbox inspection order, officials said.
Six clutch failures have recently plagued Army Apaches - while they were still on the ground, said officials, who noted analysis of the clutches involved showed excessive wear. Army and contractor officials are seeking to determine why the wear is occurring and methods to prevent it.
As part of the gearbox inspections, officials said all Apache accessory gearboxes found with more than 1,000 flight hours will be replaced.
Both rotor assembly and gearbox inspections are taking place "as soon as practicable" and "no later than one week from notification," according to Army news releases. Helicopters assigned to high-readiness combat arms units receive priority to be inspected first.
Naigle said he wasn't certain when both Armywide inspections would be complete.
All unaffected aircraft will be immediately returned to service, said officials.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Release #99-112 November 12, 1999

The Army announced today that its Apache helicopter fleet (AH 64 A & D) will undergo a one time inspection of accessory gearboxes. The accessory gearbox is a component of the transmission.

Release #99-104, November 5, 1999 The Army announced today that its Apache helicopter fleet (AH 64 A & D) will undergo a one time inspection and possible replacement of a specific series (basic configuration) hanger bearing assembly. The assembly is part of the tail rotor system. A recent failure of a basic configuration hanger bearing assembly resulting in the loss of an aircraft and minor injuries to the two-man crew was determined to have been caused by hydrogen assisted corrosion cracking. Preliminary indications are that hydrogen embrittlement, a hardness heat-treat process, may be the cause for the stress corrosion fractures. The Army changed the manufacturing process in 1993 and hanger bearing assemblies produced after that change do not have the potential for stress corrosion fractures. The inspection of all 743 AH-64 aircraft will determine if the specific series of hanger bearing assemblies are installed, and if they are, they will be replaced. Unaffected aircraft will be returned to flight status immediately. This inspection, which takes about an hour, is to take place as soon as practical but prior to the aircraft's next flight and no later than one week from notification. The Army stated it anticipates no problems with readiness because of the inspections. While some aircraft will be grounded for hanger bearing assembly replacement, other training and maintenance activities will continue and the Army will work to get its priority, first-to-fight units returned to flight. The Army is working with the hanger bearing assembly contractor, Boeing, to ensure that adequate replacement assemblies are manufactured and supplied to the fleet. It is an Army-Industry team effort to return to flight operations as quickly as possible. For further information, contact Army Public Affairs, (703) 697-7591.

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WASHINGTON (Army News Service, June 30, 1999)

by Pvt. Melissa R. Bernazzani

U.S. Army paratroopers are "on point" in the Kosovar city of Vitina and its surrounding towns, patrolling the streets as part of Task Force Falcon's peacekeeping mission. Soldiers of Company A, 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C., have secured the vital buildings of Vitina, such as the city hall, an Albanian records building, the city museum, hospital, utility building and a former Serbian police station. "We are here as the police force to enforce peace," said Capt. Matthew W. McFarlane, Company A's commander.

McFarlane's unit is using a former Serbian police station and an office building in Vitina as a sleeping area and command post. According to McFarlane, his unit's biggest challenge involves dealing with the hatred that exists between some elements of Kosovo's civilian population. "The Serbians say the Albanians are threatening them, and the Albanians say that the Serbians are the threat," said McFarlane. "We can't be everywhere at once." The 82nd Airborne soldiers are providing military presence patrols in vehicles or on foot, day and night. As part of their peacekeeping role, McFarland's soldiers have been tasked to find and secure visible threatening forces. However, his troops are not authorized to search civilian homes for weapons.

The patrols gather information about the Kosovo population, which will help in determining potential problems in the troubled Balkan province. The squads inform their chain of command -- during and after patrols -- of any incidents and unexplained ordnance in the towns, said Staff Sgt. Rafael Rivera, squad leader. "Presence patrols are to ensure we are upholding the military technical agreement," said Staff Sgt. Juan G. Arreola, airborne infantryman. "We take automatic weapons from anyone ... to secure peace [so] the refugees [can] come home." Black Hawk helicopters patrol from above containing soldiers who are trained to respond quickly to situations that call for backup troops. Arreola said Company A's paratroopers "are doing a good job" in Kosovo.

"It's exciting," said Pfc. Joseph M. Kress, airborne infantryman, when describing how it felt to be a part of Task Force Falcon. "We are here to help people's lives get back on track, and make everyone equal." (EDITOR'S NOTE: Bernazzani is an Army journalist assigned to the 1st Infantry Division public affairs office in support of Task Force Falcon in Kosovo.)

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BREMERHAVEN, Germany (Army News Service, June 22, 1999)

Heavy combat equipment from the 1st Infantry Division is now en route from Germany to support peacekeeping forces in Kosovo. The equipment and supplies are being shipped from the port of Bremerhaven, Germany to Thessoliniki, Greece, where they will be moved forward to support Task Force Falcon and the U.S. Army's 1st Infantry Division in Kosovo. A total of about 7,000 U.S. Army personnel based in Europe and the United States will deploy to participate in "Operation Joint Guardian," officials said. The soldiers will be part of the Kosovo peace implementation force, known as KFOR. Most of the U.S. contingent, designated Task Force Falcon, will occupy the "multi-national brigade sector, southeast" in Kosovo.

Operating components of the Military Traffic Management Command's 598th Transportation Terminal Group, and the Military Sealift Command, Europe, are on-site at Bremerhaven, overseeing the unload of equipment aboard two large Navy cargo ships. MTMC's 838th Transportation Terminal Battalion and the 950th Transportation Terminal Company are loading the U.S. Naval ships Bob Hope and Soderman. The ships will transport thousands of wheeled and tracked vehicles, including M1A1 Abrams tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, howitzers, armored combat engineer vehicles, heavy moving equipment, and various supplies. "For the Army, this is the critical move," said MTMC spokesman John Randt. "This will establish a solid, heavy Army task force (in Kosovo)." Randt said the Army presence in Kosovo is currently a "light force" and the shipment underway will provide the armor and artillery needed for security in a theater of operations. "This heavy equipment will put us in a position to protect the citizens (of Kosovo)" Randt said. He said the equipment will allow the Army to take control of Sector V of Kosovo from the Marine Corps.

The 1st Infantry Division equipment is expected to arrive in Greece early next week and be sent forward to Kosovo through Macedonia. Randt said the move "shows our maneuverability, our speed, our deployability." The two ships transporting the equipment are new Large Medium Speed Roll-on/Roll-off vessels, known as LMSRs.

The USNS Bob Hope is the first new-construction LMSR. It is the first of a new class of ship on its first operational voyage, and is named for the legendary entertainer who provided more than 50 years of service to U.S. forces around the world. It's sister ship, the Soderman, named for a U.S. Army Medal of Honor recipient, is a Shughart-class LMSR ship originally built in Denmark and modified by National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, San Diego, Calif. The LMSR is similar in size to a Nimitiz-class aircraft carrier, measuring about 900 feet in length and displacing anywhere from 55,000 to 70,000 long tons fully loaded.

Bob Hope is one of 14 new construction LMSRs scheduled to be built by the year 2001. Soderman is one of five converted commercial ships in the Navy's LMSR inventory. MSC and MTMC are components of the U.S. Transportation Command headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., providing air, land and sea transportation to deploy and sustain military forces worldwide. The 598th Transportation Terminal Group is responsible for port operations and the onward movement of cargo in Europe, Africa, and southwest Asia. (Information obtained from a telephonic interview and joint MSC/MTMC release.)

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FORT BLISS, Texas (Army News Service, June 14, 1999)

by Spc. Trinace Rutledge

The THAAD air defense system made a successful intercept of a HERA target in a June 10 flight test at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. This was the Theater High Altitude Area Defense's first successful intercept of a ballistic missile. This was the tenth flight test and THAAD's seventh attempt to intercept. The first three tests were characterization flights used to collect data. The last seven were attempts to intercept, according to Lt. Col. Kenneth Maddox, commander, 1st Battalion, 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade. The 1st Bn. here is the Army's only THAAD battalion.

THAAD uses technologies developed in earlier Ballistic Missile Defense Organization programs. It is the first weapon system developed specifically to defend against theater ballistic missiles. Officials said the THAAD system would provide upper tier defense for the Army's two-tier theater missile defense concept. The higher altitude and theater-wide protection offered by THAAD will provide more protection of larger theater areas than lower tier systems alone, and is being designed to defend against medium to long-range ballistic missiles, officials said. The THAAD system is a completely integrated weapon system consisting of radar, a battle management, command, control, communication, and intelligence (BM/C31) segment, launchers and missiles.

Maddox said he received some pressure and ridicule over THAAD's continued failure. He said, "they missed the mark of what it takes to get a hit ... look back at Patriot. It took 20 or so attempts [for Patriot to hit the target]. It took THAAD half the number it took for Patriot to hit." He also pointed out that soldiers were never given the opportunity to take part in testing Patriot until late in the testing. "We were here from day one. We got soldiers' input on what their thoughts were about what was wrong to help the system get going," he said. Soldiers made suggestions for contractors to switch locations, worked on screen displays and worked on the communications part of the testing. "We can say we've done it," said Sgt. Jason L. Denham. "Now that we've got a hit, everyone is talking about it," he said. "I can say I was there in the very beginning when THAAD got started."

"The tenth of June 1999 will go down in history as a major milestone for our nation and our Army in terms of theater missile defense," said Col. Allen M. McDavid Jr., commander, 6th ADA Bde. "Although more work remains to be done, I want to thank the government and industry team who made this day possible. "More importantly, I want to thank the great soldiers of 1-6 ADA (THAAD) who have clearly demonstrated both perseverance and professionalism over many months. I am very proud of each one of them!"

The program is managed and funded by BMDO and executed by the Army Program Executive Office for Air and Missile Defense and the Army THAAD Project Office in Huntsville, Ala. Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space is the prime contractor. The Raytheon Company builds the THAAD radar. The Army Space and Missile Defense Command in Huntsville, manages the HERA target used in this test. Coleman Research Corporation and Aerotherm Corporation are the contractors for HERA targets. (Editor's note: Rutledge is a writer with the 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade's public affairs office at Fort Bliss, Texas.)

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Two 11th Aviation Regiment soldiers were killed here early May 5, following the crash of their AH-64 Apache helicopter

HAWK BASE, Albania (Army News Service, May 5, 1999)

The crash occurred about 75 kilometers northeast of the Tirana-Rinas Airport during a training mission in support of Operation Allied Force. The aviators are identified as Chief Warrant Officer 3 David A.Gibbs, 38, from Ohio and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kevin L. Reichert, 28, from Wisconsin. Both were assigned to C Troop, 6th Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment at Illesheim, Germany. The crash of the two-person helicopter occurred about 1:30 a.m. A security element secured the crash site and an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team aided in the recovery effort. There were no indications that hostile fire was involved in the crash. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

(U.S. European Command news release.)

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Fort Campbell is mourning the loss of seven soldiers killed and four soldiers injured in an April 22 helicopter crash.

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, April 27, 1999)

Dead are: Chief Warrant Officer Aaron K. Power, 23; Sgt. Robert G. Millward, 32; Sgt. Julius R. Wilkes, 23; Spc. Fury J. Rice, 21; Spc. Anthony W. Brown, 29; Spc. James R. Murphy, 25; and Pfc. Earl C. Eoff, 29. Injured are: 1st Lt. William J. Morrison, in stable condition; Sgt. Alexis R. Murillas, seriously injured; Sgt. Ricky Garcia, very seriously injured; and Spc. Matthew C. Biesanz, in stable condition.Authorities have not released the ages of the injured soldiers at this time.

When the crash occurred, Power, Brown, Eoff and Morrison were on duty with the 5th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment; and Millward, Rice, Murphy, Wilkes, Murillas, Biesanz, and Garcia were on duty with the 6th Battalion (Pathfinder), 101st Aviation Regiment. The 101st Airborne Division hosted an April 24 Honor Cordon ceremony in honor of the soldiers killed in the crash. The soldiers were in a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter which crashed in a northwest Fort Campbell training area, officials said. The cause of the crash is under investigation, according to officials. (Editor's note: Information provided by a 101st Airborne Division and Fort Campbell Public Affairs Office news release.)

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by Sgt. 1st Class Connie E. Dickey

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, April 20, 1999)

Aviation and infantry soldiers from Fort Bragg, N.C., deployed Saturday to support the ongoing NATO air operations in the Balkans.

"About 450 military personnel left Fort Bragg," Lt. Col. Gary Keck, XVIII Airborne Corps public affairs officer said. Elements of the 229th Aviation Regiment, and soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, left from Pope Air Force Base, N.C., adjacent to Fort Bragg, he said. The 50th Public Affairs Detachment from Fort Stewart, Ga., also deployed with the Bragg troops, he said. Capt. Mike Slocum of the 82nd Airborne Division confirmed news reports that the majority of Task Force 2-505 is already on the ground in Albania. He said the paratroopers are performing a variety of Infantry-type missions, to include security.

"The 229th is an attack aviation unit," a Fort Bragg spokesman said. "Their specialty is the Apache helicopter, however no equipment went with the regiment, just personnel." Keck said force protection concerns would not allow the discussion of specific information regarding where the soldiers are, and what military occupational skills are included in the deployment package. Slocum said no other division units have been notified to leave yet, "but the 82nd stands ready to go anywhere in the world at a moment's notice.

" Also enroute to the Balkans from the 7th Transportation Group at Fort Eustis, Va., are two Logistical Support Vessels with equipment on board to include two rough container handlers. Army officials said the additional personnel will become part of Task Force Hawk, based in Albania, composed primarily of soldiers from U.S. Army Europe. The task force will consist of both Apache helicopters and Multiple Launch Rocket System launchers to conduct tactical air strikes against specific Federal Republic of Yugoslavia units in Kosovo. With the addition of the VXIII Airborne Corps soldiers and the sealift piece, officials said TF Hawk will have an estimated strength of about 3300 personnel.

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Yuma Proving Ground News Release

YUMA PROVING GROUND, Ariz., (Army News Service, April 12, 1999).

Because of the crisis in Kosovo, the United States is sending 24 AH-64 Apache helicopters to Albania at the end of the month. Prototypes of the Apache helicopter have been perfected on a grand scale in Arizona at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground. Flight-testing began in 1978 and continues today. "The proving ground provides the facilities, ranges and airspace needed to optimize the Apache's performance as a weapon system," said Scott Dellicker, chief of Aviation Systems at the proving ground. "The work we've performed was absolutely critical to ensuring the Apache could do its job." Dellicker said the role of his division included the development and qualification of weapons and integrating them into the overall Apache system. "Our engineers, technicians and test support personnel worked hand-in-hand with the developers throughout the development of this weapon system," he said. "We evaluated all weapons on the aircraft, the pilot interface (controls and displays), and safety aspects of weapon integration and operation.We also provided numerous recommendations for improving the system -- most notably the turreted 30mm gun." Dellicker added that, at all times, his test team kept in mind that America's soldiers were ultimately the customers and end users of the Apache.

"Our most recent testing success was with the Apache's Longbow Fire Control Radar," said Dellicker of the radar system used to identify targets on the newest and most numerous version of the Apache. "We've set the standard for evaluating multiple target detection and classification systems." Dellicker credits Yuma Proving Ground's advanced real-time computer system with the fast pace of the Apache's development. "Because of this sophisticated electronic capability, problems were identified and isolated as they happened," he said. "Fixes were defined and frequently ready for testing in less than 24 hours. No other test facility in the United States can make that claim."

Nearly every item in America's ground military arsenal, from tanks to artillery, is tested at the facility. Larger than the state of Rhode Island and offering the longest overland artillery range and most highly instrumented aircraft armament range in the nation, Yuma Proving Ground's facilities are a vital military asset, Dellicker said.

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Army sending task force to Albania

by Sgt. 1st Class Connie E. Dickey

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, April 5, 1999)

A task force of about 2,000 soldiers from U.S. Army Europe is preparing to deploy to Albania as part of "Operation Allied Force." "Task Force Hawk" will consist of about 50 helicopters, a Multiple Launch Rocket System battalion, an infantry battalion, a Deep Operation Control Center and support forces. "The task force provides NATO a deep strike capability out of Albania into Kosovo," said U.S. Army Europe spokesperson Jim Boyle. Boyle said the president's approval of the task force's deployment "constitutes an offer" to NATO. He explained that NATO must accept the offer before the task force will be deployed, adding that it will be ready to go within 10 days.

Task Force Hawk will include 24 Apache attack helicopters. The Apaches will come from two elements of the 11th Aviation Regiment, headquartered in Illesheim, Germany. The Apache force in Albania will have about 465 soldiers. Department of Defense officials said the AH-64 Apaches are armed with 16 laser or radar-guided Hellfire missiles, 76 70mm rockets or a combination of both and a 30mm automatic cannon. The 12th Aviation Regiment from Wiesbaden, Germany, will provide general aviation support for the task force.

According to European Command officials, the support force will have about 400 soldiers and about 26 UH-60 Black Hawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters to provide utility and medical evacuation support. The 41st Artillery Brigade will provide an MLRS battalion. It will be from the 1st Battalion, 27th Artillery Regiment from Babenhausen, Germany. The battalion will send about 350 soldiers. A standard MLRS battalion has 27 systems, but during the DoD press briefing Sunday (April 4), Kenneth Bacon said the battalion will have 18 launchers. Bacon is the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs. A force protection element will also be provided for the task force.

EUCOM officials have said the 1st Armored Division will provide a battalion-minus force from the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry, 2nd Brigade from Baumholder, Germany. The unit will provide about 300 soldiers and a mix of both M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles and M1 Abrams tanks. A support force of about 580 soldiers will also be part of the task force package. The soldiers are from the 7th Corps Support Group, headquartered in Wiesbaden, Germany, and V Corps units consisting of military police, signal, transportation, maintenance, medical, administrative, explosive ordnance disposal and other support services. Boyle said in addition, a Task Force Deep Operations Control Center will be composed of 180 personnel from V Corps units around Germany. The DOCC is the coordinating element for deep attack operations and contains air liaison, fire support, air defense and other personnel.

V Corps is headquartered in Heidelberg, Gemany. During the Sunday press briefing, Bacon said the task force package is a request from Gen. Wesley Clark, EUCOM commander and is an expansion of the air attacks against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and is not a movement to send ground troops into Kosovo.

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Three soldiers taken by Serbs

by Gerry J. Gilmore

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, April 1, 1999)

Three U.S. Army cavalry scouts, who were on patrol duty near the Macedonia-Yugoslav border, are now in the hands of Serbian forces. The soldiers -- two noncommissioned officers and a specialist -- were apparently ambushed and taken Wednesday by Serbian troops, militia or partisans, according to Department of Defense officials.

The soldiers, all members of B Troop, 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Infantry Division, stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany, are: Staff Sgt. Andrew A. Ramirez, 24, a seven-year veteran from Los Angeles; Staff Sgt. Christopher J. Stone, 25, an eight-year veteran from Smiths Creek, Mich., and; Spec. Steven M. Gonzales, 24, a three-year veteran from Huntsville, Texas. The families of the three soldiers have been notified, according to Army officials.

The three soldiers, who were patrolling in a High-Mobility, Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, had radioed that they were being fired upon and requested assistance, after being separated from a border-patrol convoy, officials said. A search by friendly forces came up empty. The three soldiers, alive and apparently without major injury, later appeared on a Serbian television broadcast. The soldiers, Army officials said, were not part of the current NATO aerial campaign against Yugoslavia that seeks to stop Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's efforts to remove ethnic Albanians from the Serbian province of Kosovo.

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U.S. Forces Korea News Release

SEOUL, South Korea, (Army News Service, March 22, 1999)

One U.S. soldier was killed and one soldier was injured when their Bradley M3A2 Cavalry Fighting Vehicle rolled over during training at the Twin Bridges Training Area around 1 a.m. today. The names of the deceased and injured soldiers are being withheld pending notification of next of kin. Both soldiers were assigned to Troop C, 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. Two other soldiers aboard the M3A2 CFV, which is similar to the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle, were not injured. The M3A2 CFV crew was conducting reconnaissance operations training about 15 miles northeast of Seoul when the accident occurred. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

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Army retires Cobras from active force
by Spc. Edward Zink
WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii (Army News Service, March 31, 1999) .
In a ceremony befitting a war hero, soldiers and pilots of the 25th Infantry Division (Light), said farewell this month to the AH-1F Cobra helicopter, the Army's first dedicated attack aircraft. The last active-duty unit to employ the Cobra -- the1st Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment -- retired the Vietnam-era gunship following a final show of force March 15 in the skies over Oahu.
Eight Cobras were piloted by the unit's senior aviators in formation over the USS Missouri and the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor and through the historic Kolekole Pass at Schofield Barracks before pulling one last pedal turn for the battalion formation on the airstrip at Wheeler. The Cobras were accompanied on their final flight by a UH-1 Huey and four OH-58A Kiowa helicopters - aircraft which worked closely with the Cobra since it entered service in 1967.
"I'm really sorry to see them go," said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Lyle Cram, a Cobra pilot from Company C, 1st Bn., 25th Avn. "It's the finest attack helicopter in the inventory." Cram co-piloted one of the Cobras on the final flight and logged more than 50 combat hours in the aircraft during Operation Just Cause in Panama. He said the sight of the battalion formation and ceremony as he landed the warbird at Wheeler gave him "chicken skin" - the Hawaiian equivalent of goose bumps.
"I was real proud," said Cram, who is being reassigned to fly CH-47 Chinook transport helicopters for another unit within the division. "It was kind of sad though. Me and the [pilot] were remarking as we were landing that we're really going to miss the Cobra." The battalion's Cobras bared their fangs for the last time during a two-week joint training exercise with the 3rd Marine Division at Pohakuloa Training Area on the "Big Island," of Hawaii, Jan. 24 - Feb. 5. Six of the unit's AH-1F Cobras flew more than 170 sorties, fired over 10,000 rounds from their 20-millimeter cannons and launched 960 folding-fin aerial rockets during the exercise.
Although 1st Bn., 25th Avn. will not go away, its AH-1Fs will most likely go to the National Guard. It's Kiowas and Hueys will be sold to law enforcement agencies across the nation. All of the aircraft will be replaced with 24 OH-58D Kiowa Warriors, a revamped version of the Kiowa scout helicopter. The most notable feature on the Kiowa Warrior is the huge, ball-shaped sight mounted on the mast above the rotor blades. The sight enables the Kiowa Warrior to fight both day and night, at the maximum range of its weapons systems and with minimum exposure of the aircraft. The changeover from Cobras to Kiowa Warriors will take about 11 months, and the mission of the unit will not change, said Lt. Col. Kelly J. Thomas, commander, 1st Bn., 25th Avn. Kelly said it was a "beautiful feeling" leading the formation of Cobras on their final journey-by-air.
Kelly, who has flown Cobras for more than 18 years, referred to the retirement of the aircraft by saying, "As we close a chapter in our modernization, we say 'goodbye' to the old and 'hello' to the new."
The Bell AH-1 Cobra helicopter has struck fear in the hearts of the enemy for more than 30 years, according to Army aviators. Its 1967 trial-by-fire introduction to service as the AH-1G in Vietnam immediately provided ground commanders with air superiority without the wait of calling in the Air Force. The Cobra was supposed to be replaced by the AH-56 Cheyenne helicopter in the late 1970s, however the aircraft never made it to production. Instead, the AH-1F Cobra, with its proven firepower and maneuverability, went on to fight in every major U.S. military operation since Vietnam. The Cobra continues its service with the U.S. Marines, as well as eight other foreign nations.
(Editor's note: Spc. Edward Zink is a staff writer for the Hawaii Army Weekly.)
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SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - The last flight by AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters by an active duty Army unit will be Monday 15 March 1999 from 2:30 to 3:30p.m.

This final mission by crews assigned to the 1st Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment (Attack), 25th Infantry Division (Light), will begin and end at a unit ceremony at Wheeler Army Airfield, pass over the USS Missouri and the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, the Leeward coast and Kole Kole Pass. Unit members begin turn-in of their aircraft the following day to prepare for the battalion's draw of new OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters.

First developed in 1965 and fielded in 1967, the Cobra was the U.S. Army's first attack helicopter designed for that mission, and has deployed for nearly every U.S. combat operation from Vietnam to today. The Cobra was the first U.S. military helicopter specifically designed for ground attack, and is equipped with armament that includes a 20-millimeter cannon, tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided (TOW) missiles, and 2.75-inch rockets.  Its two-soldier crew consists of a pilot and co-pilot/gunner.

The Tropic Lightning Division's remaining Cobras will be replaced by OH-58D Kiowa Warriors, aircraft equipped with improved optical sights, a laser designator, Hellfire missiles, a .50-caliber machine gun and 2.75-inch rockets.  1st Battalion will field Kiowa Warriors on the Mainland and return to Oahu in May 2000. The formation Monday will consist of eight Cobras, four Kiowas, and one UH-1H Iroquois ("Huey").

The following photos were provided by Major Edward S. Loomis, Media Relations Officer.

The takeoff City fly over The final flight

(Media Note: For further information, please contact Maj. Ed Loomis or Ms.Amy Alie, 655-8729/4815.)

Major Edward S. Loomis, Media Relations Officer, 25th ID & U.S. Army Hawaii Telephone 808-655-8729, Fax 808-655-9290, DSN 455-XXXX

Tests of new Patriot missile successful

by Sgt. David E. Gillespie

FORT BLISS, Texas (Army News Service, March 22, 1999).

The militarys newest Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile successfully intercepted and destroyed an incoming tactical ballistic missile in a test high over New Mexico March 15.

The PAC-3, a hit-to-kill version of older anti-missile Patriots that gained popularity against Iraqi Scuds during the Gulf War, is being developed by defense contractors in cooperation with the U.S. Army and 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade soldiers at Fort Bliss. During Monday's tests, the PAC-3 intercepted a warhead from a Hera missile in the upper atmosphere over White Sands, N.M.

Preliminary data indicated that all test objectives were achieved according to Lockheed Martin Vought Systems, which conducted the seeker characterization flight.

"This test was a great achievement for the PAC-3 Missile industry team, and our Ballistic Missile Defense Organization and Army partners," said Mike Trotsky, vice president of air defense programs for Vought Systems in a press release. "We have overcome significant challenges preparing for the flight test program, and I couldnt be more pleased with the PAC-3 Missile team. We are all looking forward to fielding the PAC-3 system with our soldiers in the very near future."

Testing of the PAC-3 is being conducted in two stages: developmental tests and operational tests. The first two developmental missions were conducted using special intrumentation instead of the full PAC-3 seeker, according to a Defense Department release. The intent of those tests was to verify critical system and missile performance before conducting target intercept flights like Monday's test. The remaining missions will feature 16 PAC-3 missiles against several classes of targets.

The older Patriots, currently deployed throughout the world, use explosive proximity warheads to destroy targets. However, the new PAC-3 is designed to completely destroy an attacking warhead by direct, high-velocity impact.

The entire ADA community is extremely proud of the achievements this successful intercept represents, said Fort Bliss Commander, Maj. Gen. Dennis D. Cavin.

"Hit-to-kill technology is not only necessary, it is achievable," Cavin said. "My hat is off to the Patriot team. materiel developer, industry, requirements generator and ultimately the soldier walking point that we will protect better than ever before from air and missile threats."

The successful test is great for the morale of troops at Bliss, said Maj. Michael S. Maloney, executive officer of the 2nd Bn., 1st ADA. "Our soldiers have been working hard on the PAC-3 mission. This confirmed hit validates their training."

The mission for 2-1 soldiers is to test and approve the viability of the PAC-3 system they are helping field, Maloney added. Monday's direct hit confirms that PAC-3 is the most lethal air and missile defense system in the world, he said.

(Gillespie is with the 35th ADA Bde. Public Affairs Office at Fort Bliss, Texas.)

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