Aerial Warfare

US Army Activates Air Cavalry Squadron with New Apache AH-64E V6 Helicopters in South Korea

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US Army Activates Air Cavalry Squadron with New Apache AH-64E V6 Helicopters in South Korea

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US Army Activates Air Cavalry Squadron with New Apache Attack Helicopters in South Korea
US Army Activates Air Cavalry Squadron with New Apache Attack Helicopters in South Korea

The U.S. Army activated a new air cavalry squadron on 17 May, 2022, that will take on the permanent reconnaissance mission for the 2nd Infantry Division ROK-U.S. Combined Division. The activation of 5th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment (5-17 ACS) as a permanent unit to 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, will soon assume the mission of the current rotational squadron, 4th Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, of being the primary reconnaissance element to the division. Activating this unit as a permanent unit to the organization eliminates the need of a rotational squadron, increasing the continuity and readiness of the organization.

“I think that understanding the environment and terrain – and building those partnerships not only with U.S. ground forces but with our Korean counterparts – is incredibly important,” said Lt. Col. Ian Benson, 5th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment’s commander.

“Here we are on the most fitting of dates — the fifth month and the seventeenth day — to finally restore the division’s permanently assigned air cavalry squadron to its formation,” said Col. Aaron Martin, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade commander.

The U.S. Army 5th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment is officially activated as the permanent air cavalry squadron assigned to 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade as the permanent reconnaissance squadron.
The U.S. Army 5th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment is officially activated as the permanent air cavalry squadron assigned to 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade as the permanent reconnaissance squadron. (Photo by Capt. Frank Spatt/2nd Combat Aviation Brigade)

The AH-64E V6 (Version 6)is the most modern configuration of the Apache attack helicopter and is ready for the Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) battlefield. A network-centric, fully integrated weapon system specifically built to dominate in highly contested and complex battle space, the Version 6 Apache includes multiple enhancements to the aircraft’s sensors, software and weapons performance. Designed for interoperability within the ecosystem of Joint All Domain Operations (JADO), the AH-64E v6 is a lethal, survivable and agile system providing the range, maneuverability and performance needed by ground forces and contributes to current and future joint mission success.

The 5th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment (5-17 ACS) is equipped with the latest in the attack helicopter, the AH-64E v6 as well as the RQ-7B Shadow unmanned aircraft surveillance system. The use of manned unmanned teaming (MUM-T) between these two aircraft allows for the squadron to enhance the division and combined arms team’s overall leathality. The unit traces its lineage to 1916, when U.S. troops patrolled the southern front during World War I. As part of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, the squadron deployed to Vietnam as a ground reconnaissance unit in 1965. It took part in several battles, including the Battle of Dak To and the Tet Offensive.

US Army Activates Air Cavalry Squadron with New Apache Attack Helicopters in South Korea
Lieutenant Colonel Ian Benson, commander of 5th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment stands before his formation of the newly activated unit. It will be taking over the role of previous rotational air cavalry squadrons that would support the unit for nine months at time. (Photo by Capt. Frank Spatt/2nd Combat Aviation Brigade)

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