APRIL 26, 2016, HOHENFELS, Germany – The 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, “Task Force Spearhead,” the regionally allocated force attached to the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, recently completed their mission of providing aviation support to the 173rd Airborne Brigade during Saber Junction 16, here, March 31-April 24, at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center.
The 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, conducted air assault’s, sling load operations, medical evacuations and provided mission command of eight AH-64 Apache’s from Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, 12th CAB and of two CH-47 Chinook’s from 1st Battalion, 214th Aviation Regiment, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade.
Task Force Spearhead moved over 450 passengers, flew 430 hours, moved 27,876 pounds of equipment and completed over 56 air movement requests. The highlight of Saber Junction was the three company sized air assaults that were conducted at night. Each serial included six UH-60 Black Hawk’s, two CH-47 Chinook’s, and four AH-64 Apache’s.
The night time company air assaults are in preparation for Anakonda 16 where 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, will conduct battalion size movements.
Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, conducted 24 hour attack aviation operations for the 13 days of the exercise. Their mission set covered the entire spectrum of unified land operations with joint air attack teams, deliberate attacks, screen missions, recon missions and air assault security. Six crews of aviators would cover the missions throughout the day and night.
“The Task Force quickly met the challenge of integrating into the scenario with a light infantry unit,” said Capt. Trey Wheeler, an Apache pilot and company commander for Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment. “Our coordination increased as the mission progressed.”
Hotel Company from 1st Battalion, 214th Aviation Regiment, 12th CAB, also provided two CH-47 Chinook helicopters to perform heavy lift operations.
This rotation to the Joint Multinational Readiness Center focused on the basics associated with conducting operations in an austere environment. This began with the Task Force tactically occupying the assembly area at night using night vision devices.
Saber Junction 16 included nearly 5,000 participants from 16 allied and European partner nations.
Saber Junction 16 is U.S. Army Europe’s annual combat training center certification exercise designed to evaluate the readiness of one of its two combat brigades to conduct unified land operations with an emphasis on tactical interoperability among allied and partner-nation forces.