The pilots and ground crew of 3 Regt AAC’s 662 Squadron, based at Wattisham Flying Station in Suffolk, have been put through their paces this week ahead of the deployment, which will see them training in Germany and Poland in the spring.
According to a news release:
“A key activity saw groundcrew set up a refuelling point on the STANTA ranges in Norfolk, flying fuel out in a Chinook to then top up the tanks of Apaches. On operations, these positions – the military equivalent of a Formula 1 pit stop – lengthen the range and loiter time of Apaches as they carry out strike missions in support of troops on the ground.”
Corporal Joyde Wilson is in charge of a team of seven soldiers who work to refuel and rearm the helicopters. He was quoted as saying:
“Working with Chinooks really takes on what the Apaches can do. We can move ground crew, fuel and ammunition out onto the battlefield to resupply the Apaches and extend their missions.”
Defender Europe 20 is a US Army-led exercise involving 35,000 troops from 18 nations. It aims to demonstrate the ability to rapidly surge combat ready forces into and across Europe to support the NATO alliance.