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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Apache Gunfighters Plan, Execute Missions above the Battlefield

From Multi-National Force - Iraq:

An AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter gunship from the 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, prepares for a night mission, May 31, 2008. The 1-1 ARB Gunfighter air and ground crews work around the clock sustaining air operations and are part of the Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, from Fort Riley, Kan., flying in support of Task Force Iron, 1st Armored Division, in northern Iraq. Photo by Maj. Enrique Vasquez, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.

Saturday, 07 June, 2008

TIKRIT — Since the days of early aviation, Army pilots have played a key role in the outcome of ground battles and air missions. For pilots flying the AH-64 Apache Longbows of the 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment in northern Iraq, the legacy of influencing the fight continues through careful mission preparation and teamwork. These pilots, known as the Gunfighters, are part of the Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division’s efforts to sustain a constant presence over the skies of northern Iraq in support of Task Force Iron.
However, before the Gunfighters jump into their cockpits and head out into the skies of Multi-National Division-North, they must plan meticulously prior to each mission.

“First thing we do is get our mission data cards for the aircraft ready through our AMPS [Aviation Mission Planning Station computer] via our CP [command post] with all the aircraft specific data. We receive our tail number and we print out the knee-board cards and communications cards,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Thaddeus Menold, air mission commander 1-1 ARB.

“From there we head over to the battalion Tactical Operations Center and receive a mission team brief,” said 1st Lt. Deborah Lindeman, Co. C, 1-1 ARB.

Personnel from the operations and intelligence staffs brief the pilots on the details of their mission to ensure they know what to expect.

“Pilots are briefed on the five Ws- who, what, where, when and why- in respect to the operations portion of the brief. The crews receive instructions on what the ground commanders want along with any changes in procedures or radio frequencies,” said 1st Lt. Peter Huang, a battle captain for 1-1 ARB.

“Furthermore, pilots receive any changes in battlespace and any updates as to what friendly forces are in the area of operations,” Huang continued.

Just as the operations officer gives a detailed briefing so does the intelligence officer. Everything the enemy might be doing or trying to do is briefed to include the careful articulation of possible enemy courses of action.

“We find patterns and trends the enemy might be engaged in like IED (improvised explosive devices], small arms fire and emplacements. We give the pilots an assessment so they know what to look for, how the enemy might act and what to expect,” said Staff Sgt. Floyd Perry, 1-1 ARB intelligence analyst.

“The intel guys can give a 72-hour look of what has happened in the area of operations as well as a threat analysis to tell us where the bad guys are, based on previous activity,” said Menold.

Once each Apache crew is briefed and understands their mission set, they receive a team brief by their air mission commander.

“After our intelligence and operations brief we go back to our CP and we do a team brief and we plan our route of ingress, our execution and our route of egress. We also discuss what our greatest threat might be, and what the greatest safety risk is,” said Menold.

“In addition we address what to do if we loose communications or have an emergency. From there we head out to the aircraft for pre-flight checks and we also check the weather one more time before we go on the mission,” said Menold.

Although the Apache is a two-seat helicopter, both pilots in an AH-64 Apache Longbow have a certain job to perform. While both are capable of flying the aircraft, the duties of the command pilot and the co-pilot gunner, called the CPG, are distinctly different in a combat situation.

“The pilot maneuvers the helicopter so that the CPG can fire,” said Lindeman.

“The advantage to being the CPG is that you have laser and you can shoot missiles or the 30mm cannon.”

The pilots must work together to accomplish in-flight tasks and duties.

“We just talk to each other and I let him (the pilot) know if I have something, where I am looking at left or right. From there the pilot can see the video I am looking at through my screen, he then places the aircraft to where I am looking,” said Lindeman.

During a mission, individual Apache crews work with a sister gunship and are part of a weapons attack team made up of two Apaches flying as a pair.

Mission success depends on the gunship crews working well with each other.

“I like crew coordination; not just in the cockpit but in the team. I like to see crew coordination between aircrafts. If someone has a minor problem, no matter how small, I want to know about it,” said Menold.

Each Apache crew has a distinct role during a mission set.

“The lead aircraft is the primary shooter, navigator and serves as the principal communicator with the ground force commander. The trail aircraft covers the lead aircraft should the lead aircraft take fire. The trail Apache also monitors the CTAF [Common Traffic Advisory Frequency] for air-to-air deconfliction,” said Capt. Jason Lynn, 1-1 ARB plans officer.

Supporting the ground units is what each mission is about.

“Mission success is measured by supporting the ground units and helping them get back to their bases safely. So we do our best to help them in any way we can,” said Menold.

“There is nothing better than catching someone emplacing IED. The ground units are always appreciative of us being there.”

There are several types of missions Apache crews often fly. The missions vary between counter IED reconnaissance, to ground support.

Apache pilots say they can see the positive contributions they are making in defeating insurgents.

“The violence has scaled down quite a bit since we got here,” said Menold.

“We used to catch a lot of insurgents emplacing IEDs. However, there are not as many emplacers as there used to be. We are definitely having an impact on IED activity,” said Menold.

(Story by Maj. Enrique T. Vasquez, 1st Infantry Division Public Affairs Office)

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MISSILE TARGET TEST - The U.S. Navy launches two modified Standard Missile-2 Block IV interceptors from the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie during a Missile Defense Agency test to intercept a short-range ballistic missile target, June 5, 2008. The missiles intercepted the target approximately 12 miles above the Pacific Ocean 100 miles west of Kauai, Hawaii, on the Pacific Missile Range Facility. U.S. Navy photo by the Missile Defense Agency

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In Today's News - Saturday, June 7, 2008

Quote of the Day
Government is like a baby.
An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end
and no sense of responsibility at the other.

-- Ronald Reagan

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Stray Iraqi dogs flown to U.S. for adoption
U.S. Military and Iraqis complete Baghdadi Bridge
Economy Booms again in Southern Baghdad
Airman Extends Twice to See Iraqi Air Force Goals Achieved
Solders Give Local Children School Supplies Donated from Texas

Operation Enduring Freedom
Idaho Guardsmen Train Afghan National Police
More Than a Dozen Suspects Killed

Homeland Security / War on Terror / Hamas-Hezbollah Happenings
EXCLUSIVE: Al Qaeda's PR Man in America
Accused 9-11 mastermind welcomes death penalty - Video
U.S. probes deporting of Canadian to Syria
Court orders new sentence for al-Qaida member
Accused in 9/11 Attacks Reject Counsel

Welcome Home!!
First Pitch Surprise!

Supporting Our Heroes
Bush: Troops 'Deserve Better' From Congress

Other Military News
Vets Gather at WWII Museum to Remember D-Day
Video of B-2 Crash Released, Cause Uncovered - VIDEO
Pentagon chief nears Air Force leader decision
Former Air Force exec to be named as service chief

Religion of Peace??
Muslim Extremist's Web Site Stirs Mixed Emotions in Charlotte, N.C.
Turkish ruling party condemns headscarf ruling

Worldwide Wackos
Report: Israeli Minister Says 'We Will Attack Iran' if Nuke Program Continues
Israel: 'We'll Attack Iran' If They Pursue Nukes - VIDEO
Free, Legal Sex-Change Operations Coming to Cuba
New Chavez Law May Turn Neighbors Into Spies
Venezuelan Jets, Ships Fire Missiles in Military Exercises

Politics / Government
Curtain Call for Clinton
Obama, McCain Use Iran to Stress Policy Differences
News Outlets Sore Over Obama's Secret Meeting
Election Coverage: McCain invites Obama to town hall meet this week
Feminists turn focus to economy
Sexism debate rages over Clinton bid
Factbox: Candidates on jobless rates
Factbox: Proposals on economy
Rice travels next week to Paris, Israel, West Bank
Landmark California tax measure popular 30 years on
Video: Clintons look to the future
Landmark California tax measure popular 30 years on
Pet projects still abound in Congress
McCain, Obama both say Iran is other's weakness
McCain deploying staff, expanding advertising

Illegal Immigration / Border Control
Woman Sues Federal Government for $5 Million for Deporting Daughter to Mexico When Father Arrested

In the Courts / Crime and Punishment / Law and Order
English Rail Manager Wins $197,000 After Male Coworkers Torment Her With Porn
Cops Hunt for Missing Mother and Child California
DA: Unhappy Sex Drove Husband to Murder
Barry Bonds Pleads Not Guilty to Lying - PHOTOS
Feds: Tech Mogul Drugged Co-Workers, Built Sex Lair
'Wonder Woman' Carter Finds Body in River
Scott Peterson Heading to Trial Again
Ozzy Osbourne wins damages over "freak show" slur
Child-Gun Photos Found on Suspect's Phone - PHOTOS
Teen Brings Pony to School, Charged With Peace Breach
Colorado's Thong-Faced Bandit Suspects Arrested
Cops: Fla. Woman Disappears With Kids, Lover, 16
Prosecutor: British man fatally shot wife, kid

Adventures in Political Correctness
Church of England: Islam Favored
School Caves to Bully Parents, Gives 25 Lead in Play

Media in the Media / Bloggers in the News / Watching the Web
Reuters News Quiz
The week in pictures
Newspapers run ads about fake airline Derrie-Air

Science / Medicine and Health / Technology
'Missing Pyramid' Found by Egyptian Archaeologists
Baby Miraculously Survives Abortion, Expected to Live 'Normal' Life
NASA to Europeans: Build Your Own Spaceship
FTC launches antitrust probe of Intel
Video: Relief as ISS toilet is fixed
As energy costs soar, America looks to solar - Video
Japan's new space lab gets its storage shed - Video
Stranded in space? Japan's space lab too roomy
Mars lander poised to bake soil, then test it
Phoenix lander scoops up first sample of Mars dirt
Headless pyramid attributed to early Egyptian ruler
Two diabetes trials shed a little light on deaths
Ninjas, Legos a good summer start for gamers - Video
Verizon Wireless to buy Alltel in $28.1 billion deal
Lost cameras "phone home" to catch thieves
Labels eye variable pricing for digital sales
Intense diabetes therapy didn't cut heart problems

Mother Nature
Five Missing From Diving Trip Found Alive
China begins draining massive quake lake - Video
U.S. climate bill dies; hope for 2009 - Video
U.N. climate talks chairman seeks concrete proposals
Canada "falcon cam" captures failed rescue attempt
IEA urges $45 trln "energy revolution" to halve CO2
Video: Climate row engulfs Norfolk Broads
Eagle wounded by poacher gets new beak, new look
Storms bring new round of destruction to Midwest

News from My Neck of the Woods
Video of Gruesome Hit-and-Run Released by Connecticut Police
Senior NYC crane inspector accused of corruption

Housewarming Warhead
Woman: Comcast Published Check for 'My Right Arm'
Fashionably Late: Man, 84, Finally Makes it to Prom
$50 coffee leaves Tokyo fans cold
Video: Brides climb up cake slice
And Finally...Odd clips of the week
Widow throws party to find place in heaven
Don't abandon car in motion, says Cyprus motor code
Lost cameras "phone home" to catch thieves
"Hockey Night" song skating on thin ice
Add oil! Add oil!
Video: Obama's dancing girls
Pa. crews rescue nude man stuck in portable potty
Crew on Stuck Man: 'This Is First Port-a-Potty Rescue'
Monkey God Named Chairman of India Business School
Minor League Baseball Team Staff Plays for 24 Hours
Daycare Nightmare: Baby Dies From Child's Toss

Other News of Note
Alabama City Workers Told to Take Extra Day Off to Soften Blow of High Fuel Costs
Clint Eastwood: Spike Lee Should 'Shut His Face'
Thousands celebrate Detroit Stanley Cup win
Big Brown ready to claim Triple Crown, trainer says
Big Brown Goes for Triple Crown; No. 2 Out - PHOTOS
Texas town still shadowed by dragging death

Fox News
Oil Soars, Wall Street Slumps
College Student Dies After Overdosing on Cocaine at Home of Professor, Her Alleged Lover
Tampa Bay Rays, Red Sox Get Testy in Fight for First
'Grey's Anatomy' Star T.R. Knight: Teen Boyfriend Might 'Raise Eyebrows'
Pop Tarts: Was Angelina Ugly? Dustin Hoffman Remembers Meeting Jolie
Evander Holyfield's Georgia Estate Under Foreclosure
Shania Twain Tells Fans She Has 'Broken Heart'

Police detain Zimbabwe's Tsvangirai again - Video
Seniors get special rates at Woodstock
More in Travel: 48 hours in Oman
San Francisco sees business boom
Top 10 restaurants with a great view
Top energy ministers meet as oil rockets to record
Screenwriters strike cost Calif. $2.1 bln: report
Three-quarters of drivers slow with $4 gas - Video
Oil, CPI could spell rough ride for stocks - Video
Alicia Keys' troubled time leads to big success
Screenwriters strike cost Calif. $2.1 bln: report
Hollywood sees cracks in gay "glass closet"
That's Showbuzz! Highlights of U.S. celeb magazines
UK top cop calls for trials for drug-taking stars
Chinese students implore Confucius for exam luck
Welterweight champion Mayweather retires
I just have to put ball in hole, says Bryant
Federer makes final date with Nadal
McFadden celebrates six-year deal with Raiders

Associated Press
Carell jokes about on-screen kiss with The Rock
Ex-Steeler star Dwight White dies at 58
Vin Diesel and girlfriend welcome a daughter
RIAA honors Jewel for 18 million in US album sales
Ed McMahon talks about possible home foreclosure
Biggest jobless jump since '86 — Wall Street sinks
MLB suspends Crisp, Shields, 6 others for brawl

News Blaze
Raider Soldiers stay 'Army Strong - Raider Strong - Family Strong' 2008
PHOTOS-Graduating With Honors
Soldiers' Angels and Patriot Guard
Iraq News
Operations in Iraq
FOB Warhorse Memorial Photos

Medics provide health care to Kamaliyah citizens
Navy docs extend treatment to local village
Hawr Rajab business leaders meet with soldiers
Progress stems from key Afghan meeting

Speaker slate for command leaders released
Task force assists Iraqis with municipal power
Task Force Ramadi helps free enterprise take hold in Iraq
USJFCOM teams with ACT to help develop NATO Training Federation
More about U.S. Joint Forces and Allied Command Transformation - podcast
Exercise ensures readiness, displays coordination of the USJFCOM joint enabling capabilities
USJFCOM, Microsoft Corp. extend agreement for one year - podcast

Multi-National Force - Iraq
Iraqi Army nets large weapons haul (Basra)
Iraqi Army Soldiers seize more weapons in Sadr City
Coalition forces strike foreign terrorist network (Bi'aj, Mosul)
National Police, MND-B Soldiers seize weapons caches, kill one criminal (Baghdad)
Iraqi Security Forces discover six caches (Basra)
ISOF capture Special Groups criminal (Basra)

Military Looks to Synthetics, Conservation to Cut Fuel Bills

New Banner on Computer Use Rules Balances Privacy Considerations
Irregular Warfare Task Force Targets ‘Violent Actors’ in Terror Networks
Top Air Force Leaders Resign

Mercy Mission Provides Medical Aid to Partners
Center Helps Military Meet Humanitarian Mission


U.S. Marines Try to Improve Lives of Afghans

Coalition Forces Kill Four, Detain Dozens
Economy Booms in Southern Baghdad Province

Jim Beam's Challenge: Symbolically 'Toast' Troops

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar

Ansbach Aschaffenburg Berlin Berlin-Tempelhof Berlin/Schonefeld Bremerhaven
Darmstadt Frankfurt Frankfurt/Main Freiburg/Breisgau Garmisch
Garmisch-Partenkirchen Geilenkirchen Gelnhausen Giessen Kitzingen
Hanau Am Main Heidelberg Mainz Mannheim Nurnberg Stuttgart Trier
Wiesbaden Wurzburg


Agana Agana Heights Agat Andersen AFB Asan Barrigada

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut
An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Kadena Air Base Okinawa Tokyo Yokohama

Today in History
1654 - Louis XIV is crowned King of France.
1769 - Daniel Boone begins exploring Kentucky.
1775 - The United Colonies change their name to the United States.
1776 - Richard Lee (VA) moves that the Declaration of Independence be adopted by the Continental Congress
1863 - French troops capture Mexico City.
1864 - Abe Lincoln is renominated for President by the Republican party.
1912 - The U.S. Army tests the first plane-mounted machine gun.
1938 - The Boeing 314 Clipper flying boat is first flown by Eddie Allen.
1939 - George VI and Elizabeth become the first British King and Queen to visit the U.S.
1942 - The USS Yorktown sinks near Midway Island.
1955 - Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes the first U.S. President to appear on color TV.
1962 - NASA civilian test pilot Joseph A. Walker takes the X-15 to 31,580 meters.
1965 - Gemini 4 completes 62 orbits of Earth.
1967 - Israel captures East Jerusalem's Wailing Wall.
1968 - Sirhan Sirhan indicted for the assassination of Bobby Kennedy.
1971 - The Soviet Soyuz 11 crew completes the first transfer to the orbiting Salyut.
1981 - Israel destroys an alleged Iraqi plutonium production facility.
1982 - President Ronald Reagan meets Pope John Paul II and Queen Elizabeth.

1770 - Earl of Liverpool, British PM
1896 - Robert Mulliken, chemist / physicist, Nobel Prize winner
1909 - Peter Rodino (Rep-NJ), chaired Watergate congressional council

1329 - Robert the Bruce, leader of the Scots
1631 - Mumtax Mahal, wife of Shah Jahan of India - the Taj Mahal was built for her
1862 - William Mumford, first American citizen hanged for treason

Reported Missing in Action
Greer, Robert L., USMC (CA); disappeared in Da Nang while off duty - remains identified in 1991

Schreckengost, Fred T. USMC (OH); disappeared in Da Nang while off duty - remains identified March, 1991

Franco, Charles Stephen, USAF (NY); A1E crashed, remains recovered January, 1967

Jacobs, John Charles, USAF (IN); A1E crashed, remains recovered January, 1967

Sandner, Robert Louis, USAF (FL); A1E crashed, remains recovered April, 1995 - ID'd March, 1996

Owens, Joy L., USAF (WA); RF4C shot down

Sale, Harold R., USAF (SC); R4FC shot down

Spencer, Dean C. III, US Army (WV); KIA, body not recovered

Alloway, Clyde Douglas, USAF (NH); AC119K crashed, KIA, body not recovered

Wilbrecht, Kurt Michael; USMC (MN); F4B crashed, KIA, body not recovered

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