The Italian HH-212 helicopter is sporting a flamboyant tiger livery.
From May 16, two HH-212 (AB.212ICO) helicopters with the 21° Gruppo (Squadron) “Tiger” from the 9° Stormo (Wing) based at Grazzanise, Italy, have deployed to Zaragoza, Spain, to take part in NTM (NATO Tiger Meet) 2016.
NATO Tiger Meet is a two-week multi-national mid-size exercise that includes all types of air-to-air and air-to-ground and a wide variety of support missions, comprising large COMAOs (Composite Air Operations). In particular, the Italian HH-212s are conducting PR (Personnel Recovery), CSAR (Combat Search And Rescue), NEO (Non-combatant Evacuation Operation), Special Forces support and tactical transports: the same kind of missions the squadron has flown during several tours of duty in Afghanistan.
It is attended by flying units, from 15 nations, sharing a Tiger (or feline) emblem.
One of the two helicopters that the 21° Gruppo brought to Spain is a new special colored HH-212 (MM81161/9-61) that celebrates also then 10 years since the squadron (formerly an F-104 and then Tornado F3 unit) reactivation on their current base. Noteworthy, the 21° has won the “Silver Tiger” trophy for the overall Best Squadron during last year’s Tiger Meet held at Konya, Turkey.
Along with the helicopters, the Italian Air Force has deployed to Zaragoza 6x Eurofighter Typhoons belonging to the 12° Gruppo from 36° Stormo based at Gioia del Colle.
Awesome photographs show Soviet-made Mi-8 and the Polish W-3 Sokół helicopters in their natural operating environment, collaborating with the Western allies.
Platoon of the mechanized company from the Canadian Army’s 22nd Regiment conducted a joint training operation in collaboration with the Polish 7th Air Cavalry Squadron.
According to the Polska Zbrojna outlet, some difficulties emerged during the training because of the language barrier with the Canadians from Quebec, as stated by Cpt. Łukasz Ogrodowicz, commander of the Polish unit involved in the training operation, interviewed by PZ.
The Canadians, a mechanized infantry element, not an airborne one, got acquainted with the Polish operational procedures related to use of the helicopters, with involvement of mock-ups and trainers.
Two W-3W Sokół and a single Mi-8 rotorcraft were being used within the framework of the event, by multinational platoons. Fast-rope insertion is an indispensable element of such exercises and, as the Canadians claimed, this was one of the most important components of the training.
Parachute training was also a part of the operational activities. The jumps were executed within the military airfield traffic zone, from altitudes ranging from 700 to 1,200 meters. W-3W helicopters acted as the platform which carried the jumpers.
This is not the first Canadian deployment to Poland. Last year, Polish 25th Cavalry Brigade trained together with the Canadian soldiers hailing from the 3rd Regiment of the Royal Canadian Army.
Here are some more interesting pictures from Hawaii showing the mighty USMC Super Stallion at work.
The photographs in this post come from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 (HMH-463) based at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, in Hawaii, where the U.S. Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters have conducted interoperability operations with the U.S. Army’s 25th Infantry Division’s 25th Combat Aviation Brigade.
The Marines CH-53s also conducted personnel extraction and insertion operations, using Landing Zone Canes on Oahu, Hawaii, in support of 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment during their Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation.
U.S. Marine CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, fly in formation off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, April 29th, 2016, after interoperability operations with the 25th Infantry Division’s 25th Combat Aviation Brigade. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Capt. Tim Irish)
Thanks to its impressive lift capacity the Super Stallion is able to carry a 26,000-pound Light Armored Vehicle, 16 tons of cargo 50 miles and back, or enough Marines to lead and assault or humanitarian operation. For this reason it is used for a wide variety of tasks.
The latest version of the iconic CH-53, designed CH-53K King Stallion, will replace the current E variant in the coming years and will feature a lift capacity three times that of the Super Stallion retaining the same size of its predecessor.
U.S. Marine CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, land in Landing Zone Canes on Oahu, Hawaii, April 29th, 2016. HMH-463 extracted the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment from Kahuku Training Area at the end of their field exercise by conducting multiple waves of assault support lift with the Army’s 25th Combat Aviation Brigade. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Capt. Tim Irish)
HMH-463’s task is to support the MAGTF (Marine Air-Ground Task force) Commander “by providing assault support transport of heavy equipment, combat troops, and supplies, day or night under all weather conditions during expeditionary, joint, or combined operations” according to the squadron’s website.
HMH-463 lost 12 Marines aboard two CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters that collided mid-air during night training off Oahu in January this year.
U.S. Marine CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters, left, assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, fly in formation with U.S. Army helicopters during interoperability operations off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, April 29, 2016. HMH-463 conducted interoperability operations with the 25th Infantry Division’s 25th Combat Aviation Brigade. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Aaron S. Patterson)
The helicopters, that will be complemented by eight RQ-7B Shadow v2 unmanned aerial vehicles, will primarily be used for reconnaissance purposes, even though their impressive firepower will be useful to support ground troops.
“[…] The sensor package on the AH-64D provides greatly enhance optical clarity and subsequently better situational awareness for the aircrews and the ground force commander,” said Maj. Jacob Johnston, Executive Officer, 2-6 Cav. Rgt. in a story by U.S. Army Sgt. Daniel Kyle Johnson.
“The Apache is capable of deploying with a single nose mounted 30mm M230E1 Chain Gun, AGM-114 Hellfire anti-tank missiles, and Hydra 70 general-purpose unguided 70mm rockets,” said Johnston. “These weapon systems, combined with the Target Acquisition Data System and the Fire Control Radar, make the Apache an extremely adept fighter.”
The 2-6 Cavalry has started training on the new airframes recently and full mission capability is expected by summer 2017, with support in live-fire exercises in Fall 2016.
“We are able to train with the 30mm chain-gun and 70mm rockets here on the island,” said Johnston. “This capability will ensure we’re ready to fight with a trained and prepared force throughout the Pacific as needed.”