CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait – Soldiers from the 29th Combat Aviation Brigade recently improved their joint capabilities with US Naval forces, by successfully completing a series of deck landing qualifications near Camp Buehring, Kuwait in August 2017.
US Naval forces from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 8, USS Nimitz, worked with Army National Guard Aviation forces in Kuwait to further develop aviation abilities for US Army Central and US Naval Forces Central Command. The Navy crews from the USS Nimitz helped prepare 29th CAB aircrews for deck landing qualifications on the USNS Alan Shepard.
Operating Army helicopters from naval vessels allows the 29th CAB to expand its operational reach in the Arabian Gulf region. In addition to expanding range, there are other benefits to the Army-Navy integration. The 29th CAB’s attack and reconnaissance helicopters can provide a degree of force protection for US Navy vessels, especially in shallow waters.
“Working with the Navy gives us the ability to be more flexible and adaptable to different missions and areas of operation,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Frank Madvig, a standardization pilot with Company C, 2-149th General Support Aviation Regiment’s Medevac Company, Task Force Wraith.
In particular, the deck landing qualifications held between 29th CAB Soldiers and US Naval forces allowed Army aviation Soldiers to practice what they may be asked to perform during real-life missions.
“This gives them [CAB Soldiers] the flexibility and the understanding to perform ship operations in the event we get tasked to execute this in a real world event,” said Madvig. “It is not often that the troops get to experience the training from start to end.”
Planning joint operations not only requires close coordination with NAVCENT, but the 29th CAB must also coordinate with the government of Kuwait to ensure that overwater missions with the US Navy are successful.
“[Planning] begins at the brigade level and higher with a pre-sail conference. Once the dates and ships are identified, the planning process trickles down to the unit level where the commander and standardization department identifies the air mission commander and the crews that will best benefit from the training,” said Madvig.
The benefit for 29th CAB Aviators extends beyond mere qualification to land on a US Navy ship. The training is a great opportunity to break away from the daily helicopter operations in the deserts of Kuwait and Iraq.
“I believe this is a big morale booster for the Army crews; this is not typically a mission that most will get to perform in state-side operations,” said Madvig.
The 29th CAB, an Army National Guard brigade, provides aviation assets, partnership training, operational and logistical support to Operation Spartan Shield in Kuwait while simultaneously supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, the campaign to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
|Date Posted:||09.10.2017 06:33|
|Location:||CAMP BUEHRING, KW|
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