Well done 9 Regt AAC!!!

A Salute to UK Army Air Corps' 9 Regiment


Shephard's Heli-Power: Squadron Of year Award Given to UK Army's Apache Regiment

London, UK: Shephard's Defence Helicopter magazine gave its annual Squadron of the Year Award to the UK Army Air Corps' 9 Regiment for its development and deployment of the AH Mk I Apaches. The aircraft began operations in Afghanistan earlier this year. At Shephard's Heli-Power conference, the following citation was given in support of the Award:

'On the 10th of May 2006 a pair of UK Apache AH Mk I attack helicopters from 9 Regiment Army Air Corps launched from Kandahar airfield in Afghanistan as part of the UK’s contribution to operation Herrick. Since that day, the members of both 656 and 664 squadrons have flown over 1800 hours on combat operations, firing over 14000 rounds of 30mm ammunition, over 35 Hellfire missiles and in excess of 120 CRV-7 rockets in support of both UK and NATO troops engaged in one of the most aggressive campaigns that the UK has participated in.

The launch of those Apaches in May marked another significant milestone for 9 Regiment Army Air Corps. In the preceding 24 months the regiment has been responsible for delivering attack aviation to the British Army. The sequential process of providing IOC followed by deployment of an aviation task force was followed by the declaration of a maritime and special forces capability in the autumn of 2005.

Since the AH-1 deployed in April 2006, it has been involved in a diverse spectrum of warfighting operations. Tasking has ranged from supporting troops in contact across Helmand to conducting deliberate strikes against pre-planned targets. These operations have been conducted up to 10,000 ft PA with ambient temperatures rising as high as plus 49 degrees C. The aircraft have benefited form the performance of the RTM322 engines and have been able to utilize the fire control radar to their advantage. On several occasions the crews were called on to bring 30 mm fire to within 10 meters of friendly troops as part of the defence of platoon houses in towns such as Sangin, Musa Quala and Naw Zad.

When the Chief of the Defence Staff visited 9 Regiment in September he praised the role of the members of both 656 and 664 squadrons in these terms:

“You do not need to ask them about their contribution. You need to ask those on the ground who depended on them to provide a crucial military edge. They will leave you in no doubt about what the Apache has achieved. The Apache has, over the course of 2006 established itself with friend and foe alike as one of the most powerful and flexible weapon systems. But the weapon system can never be better than the people who wield it. The people of 9 Regiment have earned their spurs in the heat, dust and fire of combat. We can and should be enormously proud of them.’

Well done, one and all :D

Similar threads

Latest Threads