Feb. 23 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force announced that four U.S. Army AH-64 Apache helicopters arrived at Ramstein Air Base in Germany as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve in support of NATO.
Two large U.S. Air Force transport planes, C-5M Galaxies, carrying the helicopters reached Ramstein Air Base on Wednesday. The Apache helicopters from the 1st Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment of Fort Bliss, Texas, arrived as part of the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade.
"This operation epitomizes the jointness of our military and how we work together," U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Phillip S. Jolly said in a statement. "You have the world's greatest Air Force enabling the Army to do our mission, which is to assure security to our European allies and friends."
Under Operation Atlantic Resolve, the United States has deployed troops in Europe that will train in Poland, Germany, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia for the next eight months as a show of force to directly respond to what the alliance sees as increased Russian aggression, particularly after Moscow's intervention in the Ukraine and annexation of Crimea.
Overall, 85 aircraft, including CH-47 Chinooks, UH-60 Black Hawks, AH-64 Apaches and MEDEVAC helicopters, and about 2,200 U.S. Army soldiers that belong to the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade are deployed throughout Europe so far as part of the operation.
The Apaches that reached Germany are the first that belong to a U.S. Army unit specialized to "provide flexible, responsive and continuously available support worldwide," the U.S. Air Force said in a statement.
Maj. Gen. Timothy Zadalis, vice-commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, said the successful arrival of the helicopters "proves the point that the United States Army and the United States Air Force is ready at a moment's notice, to deploy anywhere around the world. It's where the Army needs them that the United States Air Force puts them."
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story described Operation Atlantic Resolve as a NATO operation. It is a U.S.-funded operation intended to support NATO.