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Army helo crews conduct landing on Navy ship

U.S. Army flight crews, aircraft take to sea in training exercise.
By Richard Tomkins   |   July 28, 2014 at 12:36 PM

USS PELELIU , Hawaii, July 28 (UPI) -- AH-64E helicopters of the U.S. Army have conducted deck landing qualifications aboard the USS Peleliu, the first E variants to do so.

The U.S. Army said the landing qualifications were performed by helicopters from the 1st Armed Reconnaissance Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division during a Navy exercise.

The qualification and related training is to build greater maritime flexibility for the U.S. military's Pacific joint commander, giving him more assets for use.

"With all the deck training, the reason it's interesting and different is because the Apache is a land-based piece of equipment," said Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Matthew Gottschling, a company instructor pilot with 1-25 ARB. "By training us how to do the ship landings on a larger ship, it enables us to forward project our force by doing the cross training with the Navy and the Marines."

"It allows us to land on their ships, refuel, rearm and project power further forward as opposed to just being a land-based unit. In the event of conflict, we would be able to deploy our aircraft via a ship to land and be able to operate in a maritime environment."

Eight Army Apaches took part in the exercise and their crews are to undergo additional training at sea and on land, the Army said.

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