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Army attack helicopters teamed up with Navy ships to practice holding enemies 'at high risk' in the Middle East

Apr 02, 2020
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Army AH-64 Apache helicopter Navy destroyer Paul HamiltonArmy AH-64 Apache helicopter Navy destroyer Paul Hamilton
Two AH-64 Apache helicopters operate with the guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton during a joint naval and air integration operation in the Persian Gulf, March 27, 2020.

US Navy/MCS 3rd Class Matthew F. Jackson

  • In March, US Navy surface ships, including a destroyer, worked with Army Apache helicopters to practice responding to threats at sea.
  • The addition of Army aircraft expands the Navy’s ability to do reconnaissance and to hold threats at bay, a Navy officer said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

US Navy Expeditionary Landing Base ship USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3), assigned to US Naval Forces Central Command (USNAVCENT), has been conducting joint naval and air integration operations with US Army AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, assigned to US Army Central Command’s (USARCENT) Task Force Saber, throughout the month of March.

The operations, which are designed to enhance the capabilities of US forces to respond to surface threats, have involved Puller performing as a landing base platform for the Apaches, while Cyclone-class Patrol Coastal (PC) ships select simulated targets for them to engage.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) also participated in the joint operations.

“The integration of US Army air weapons teams with other joint fires into the maritime environment greatly enhances our ability to expand reconnaissance and attack capability,” said Capt. Peter Mirisola, Commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 50/Commander, Combined Task Force (CTF) 55.

Army AH-64 Apache helicopter Navy destroyer Paul HamiltonArmy AH-64 Apache helicopter Navy destroyer Paul Hamilton
An AH-64 Apache helicopter operates with the guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton during a joint naval and air integration operation in the Persian Gulf, March 27, 2020

US Navy/MCS 3rd Class Matthew F. Jackson

“The Apaches, in coordination with our surface ships, allow us to hold an adversary at high risk at extended ranges. Combined with other joint fires, these aircraft significantly increase the precision lethality of our joint maritime forces,” Mirisola said.

AH-64 Apache helicopters Navy Lewis B. PullerAH-64 Apache helicopters Navy Lewis B. Puller
AH-64 Apache helicopters operate with the expeditionary landing base ship USS Lewis B. Puller during a joint naval and air integration operation in the Persian Gulf, March 27, 2020.

US Army/Spc. Cody Rich

The Apache AH-64E is a twin-engine, four-bladed, multi-mission attack helicopter designed as a highly stable aerial weapons-delivery platform.

It is capable of destroying an array of mobile armored targets on land and sea using a 30 mm automatic gun, aerial rockets and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles.

Similar integration operations with special operations assets were conducted in the Arabian Gulf between US naval forces and MH-6M Little Bird helicopters during Operation Earnest Will from 1987 to 1988.

Army AH-64 Apache helicopterArmy AH-64 Apache helicopter
An AH-64 Apache helicopter operates with the guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton during a joint naval and air integration operation in the Persian Gulf, March 27, 2020.

US Navy/MCS 3rd Class Matthew F. Jackson

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="More recently, USNAVCENT surface forces also conducted joint naval and air integration operations with AC-130W Stinger II gunships, assigned to US Special Operations Command Central (USSOCCENT), March 8 and 9.” data-reactid=”66″>More recently, USNAVCENT surface forces also conducted joint naval and air integration operations with AC-130W Stinger II gunships, assigned to US Special Operations Command Central (USSOCCENT), March 8 and 9.

“Working with USARCENT forces represents another key capability in our ongoing integration of naval and air assets across our joint and coalition force to ensure maritime superiority,” said Vice Adm. Jim Malloy, commander, USNAVCENT/US 5th Fleet.

AH-64 Apache helicopters Navy Lewis B. PullerAH-64 Apache helicopters Navy Lewis B. Puller
AH-64 Apache helicopters operate with the expeditionary landing base ship USS Lewis B. Puller during a joint naval and air integration operation in the Persian Gulf, March 27, 2020.

US Army/Spc. Cody Rich

“This kind of cross-domain integration allows us to maintain highly lethal and effective defensive capabilities, regardless of what platforms are operating in theater,” Malloy said.

DESRON 50/CTF 55 conducts maritime security operations in support of regional security and stability. Its responsibilities include planning and executing a robust regional engagement program with coalition forces from regional partners and allied navies who operate and deploy to the Arabian Gulf.

Navy coastal patrol ship Monsoon Persian GulfNavy coastal patrol ship Monsoon Persian Gulf
The coastal patrol ship USS Monsoon patrols the Persian Gulf, March 25, 2020.

US Army/Spc. Cody Rich

The US 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.

Army Navy meetingArmy Navy meeting
Capt. Scott Hattaway, right, commanding officer of the expeditionary mobile base platform ship USS Lewis B. Puller, speaks to a US Army air weapons team during a tour by Capt. Peter Mirisola, center, commodore of Combined Task Force (CTF) 55, March 13, 2020.

US Navy/MCS 1st Class Michael Mui

The expanse is composed of 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait at the southern tip of Yemen.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Read the original article on Business Insider” data-reactid=”110″>Read the original article on Business Insider

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