|AH-64D Longbow Reigns Over The Darkness Of The Battlefield.|
On order, the 227th Aviation Regiment deploys to a designated contingency area of moperations by land, sea, and/or air. On order, provides Aerial Command, Control and Communications (C3) support, limited Air Assault, Aeromedical Evacuation and Air Movement for the division.
It was not one man's dream; the notion of using aircraft or helicopters as the fast, new steed of modern cavalry. The efforts of many went into the formation of the first air assault division. More than a decade of flying experiments, equipment evaluations and development of new hardware and tactics proceeded the conversion of the 1st Cavalry Division to the Air Assault configuration. Tests were conducted with troop carrying helicopters and those equipped with a variety of machine guns and rockets.
At Ft. Benning, GA., in the mid-fifties, General John R. Tolson developed a tactical doctrine for the use of helicopters in combat and became one of the leading, early pioneers in modern airmobility. Several other military personnel played key roles in development of missions, configurations, and weapons for air cavalry operations. Lt. General James M. Gavin, Chief of Staff for Operations of the Department of the Army, campaigned for helicopter units that could take over, extend and add great speed to the traditional roles of the cavalry.
Soon thereafter, at the Aviation School at Ft. Rucker, Colonel Jay D. Vanderpool assembled a "Sky Cavalry" platoon using borrowed personnel and equipment. The "Sky Cavalry" began giving impressive demonstrations of the roles that helicopters could play in combat. Heralding the era of gunships, the "Sky Cavalry" carried and tested a variety of weapons and rockets. Additional men and other organizations played vital roles in the development of the "air assault" concept: the Rogers Board, formed on 15 January 1960 and chaired by Lt. General Gordon B. Rogers; the Howze Board, headed by Lt. General Hamilton H. Howze, a man with several significant links with the 1st Cavalry Division; Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara and Major General Harry William Osborne Kinnard.
The main mission of the Rogers Board was to review aircraft requirements of the Army in three categories: observation; surveillance and transportation. The findings of the Rogers Board were fine as far as they went, but Robert S. McNamara believed there was more promise in air mobility than the Rogers Board revealed. In the spring of 1962, Secretary McNamara ordered a panel of distinguished military leaders and civilian experts to re-examine the needs of the Army. This panel became known as the Howze Board and it was granted sweeping powers to conduct tests, stage war games and study combat in various areas of the world.
The findings of the Howze Board outlined the requirements for an air assault
division. Such a unit would have five times the number of aircraft of a
regular division along with an extensive reduction in ground vehicles. After
the report was issued, McNamara gave orders to field the air assault concept
and run it through its paces in a tough series of field tests which would
further reveal the strengths and limitations of an air assault force. The unit
chosen for the exercise was the 11th Airborne Division, which was reflagged as
the 11th Air Assault Division. It was commanded by Major General Harry William
In June 1965, the 2nd Infantry Division joined forces with the 11th Air Assault Division to form a combined training command. Shortly afterward on 01 July 1965, the 11th Air Assault Division was reflagged with the colors of the 1st Cavalry Division, who had just returned from Korea. Concurrently the 227th Battalion was relieved from the 11th Air Assault Division (Test) and assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). Immediately the 227th Aviation Battalion, along with the 1st Cavalry Division, was ordered to deploy to Vietnam as an Air Mobile Division.
Upon their return from Vietnam, the 227th Aviation Battalion was inactivated on 19 November 1974 at Ft. Hood, Texas. After a brief reactivation from 21 May 1978 until 30 September 1983, it was re-designated as 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, the first divisional Apache Attack Helicopter Battalion to be formed. Upon re-designation, the 227th underwent an intensive training program and began to training for combat operations.
On 29 September 1990, the Battalion deployed overseas to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, where the unit postured for combat in Operation Desert Shield. On 25 February 1991 with the onset of Operation Desert Storm, the Battalion conducted a raid as a part of the deception plan of the 1st Cavalry Division to throw Iraqi forces off guard. The Battalion would serve as the vanguard of the Division's movement north to cut off retreating an Iraqi Republican Guard Division at Basra. On 07 March 1991, the Battalion returned as part of the advance party back to Ft. Hood.
On 02 June 1998, after years of testing and preparation, the 227th Aviation Regiment began to field the most advanced attack helicopter ever built, the AH-64D "Longbow". Just as the English longbow archers provided a great advantage during medieval battles, the AH-46D Apache Longbow provides the US Army an overwhelming advantage on the digital battlefields of the 21st Century.
The current capability of the 227th Aviation Regiment has been developed in conjunction with the long history and needs of the 1st Cavalry Division. It is the combination of the experienced training received by each dedicated member of the Team and adherence to the performance level and traditions of the past. As of today, the 227th Aviation Regiment is currently represented by the following active units:
This folio of material highlights of the many subsequent historical critical missions performed by members of the 227th Aviation Regiment, whose actions, operations and the many critical issues resolved over its 46 year history to meet the changing threat and the honors they achieved are summarized in the following sections:
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