Approximately 20 AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters from the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade landed on Katterbach Army Airfield, Germany, May 13. The Soldiers and helicopters from the 1st Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment “Viper Battalion,” 12 CAB, returned after spending roughly three months in the Baltic region while participating in the multinational exercise, Saber Strike 22. The Viper personnel and equipment were scheduled to return to Germany upon completion of the exercise activities. The Viper Battalion remained forward deployed to support Operation Assure, Deter and Reinforce. The Soldiers remained engaged and sought opportunities to participate in numerous challenging and realistic training exercises with NATO forces.
“The Viper Battalion initially deployed to Lithuania and Latvia for the Saber Strike Exercise. However, they remained in the Baltics after the exercise to demonstrate U.S. Nation resolve and support to NATO,” said Col. G. Patrick Schuck, commander, 12 CAB.
“I am incredibly proud of every member of the battalion. Without notice, a two-week training deployment as part of Saber Strike 22 became a 90-day mission to assure our NATO Allies, deter further aggression by our adversaries, and reinforce the military capabilities of the Baltic States,” said Lt. Col. David Roman, commander, 1-3rd AB, 12 CAB.
1-3rd AB, 12 CAB, provides U.S. Army Europe and Africa a ready and lethal combat aviation force capable of rapidly deploying forces supporting designated plans to assure Allies and partners, deter aggression, and defeat near-peer adversaries. 12 CAB is among other units assigned to V Corps, America’s Forward Deployed Corps in Europe that works alongside NATO Allies and regional security partners to provide combat-ready forces, execute joint and multinational training exercises, and retains command and control for all rotational and assigned units in the European Theater.
The 3rd Aviation Regiment is a regiment of the United States Army Aviation Branch. Originally designated the 3d Aviation Company (Combat), the unit was activated and assigned to the 3d Infantry Division on 1 July 1957 at Fort Benning, Georgia. On 5 June 1963, the 3d Aviation Battalion was activated in Germany. Despite being activated, however, the unit was largely unmanned beyond company strength. In 2004, the brigade was redesigned as the U.S. Army’s first modular Combat Aviation Brigade and deployed to Iraq in January 2005 for Operation Iraqi Freedom III. It operates the Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, and Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter. It has been associated with the 3rd Infantry Division for some time.