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10th CAB Operation Atlantic Resolve (Feb - Oct 2017)
 
Latest update: November 2017
 
In June 2014 the European Reassurance Initiative (ERI) came into effect after a visit by President Barack Obama to Poland. ERI funds Operation Atlantic Resolve (OAR) which demonstrates the United States commitment to peace, security and stability in Europe by deploying assets (air, land and sea) on a rotational bases. Most of the deployments are focussed on the central and eastern European (NATO) countries with the deploying units commanded by US European Command (USEUCOM). The commander of USEUCOM can request additional assets to provide for additional security and training with allies as has been done with USAF F-22As deploying for a few weeks to RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom.

From the January / February 2017 timeframe the US Army deployed its first Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) and Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) to be deployed under ERI / ORA for a period of nine months. The 4th Infantry Division based at Fort Carson, Colorado send its 3rd ABCT with around 3.500 personnel, tanks, fighting and other vehicles. Fort Drum, New York based 10th CAB (10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division) deployed its aviation regiments consisting of Chinook and Blackhawk helicopters. As its own Apache regiments were not available due to other commitments the 10th CAB regiments were strengthend by AH-64Ds from 1-501 AVN (1st Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment, 1st Armored Division) from Fort Bliss, Texas.

Most of the 10th CAB helicopters were transported from the USA by ship and arrived in the port of Bremerhaven, Germany. After they were offloaded the rotor blades of the helicopters were assembled and then flown to the US Army Europe base at Illesheim. Other helicopters were shipped to the port of Thessaloniki, Greece and from there continued to Romania or arrived as air freight on board USAF C-5M Galaxy and C-17A Globemaster III at Riga, Latvia, Ramstein Air Base, Germany and Nurnberg airport, Germany.

Helicopter Number
Apache (AH-64D) 24
Chinook (CH-47F) 12
Blackhawk (HH-60M) 12
Blackhawk (UH-60L/M) 38
   
Total 86

In October 2017 10th CAB started the process of returning to the USA. Helicopters operating in Romania were flow to Greece where this time the port of Alexandropoli was used. A request of host nation support was send to The Netherlands. After the Air Base surveys of Gilze-Rijen (home to Defence Helicopter Command fleet of Apaches, Chinooks and Cougars) and Eindhoven (home to the KDC-10, C-130 Hercules and Gulfstream G-IV) was completed the later was selected to support the helicopters for their final leg to the port of Rotterdam. Finally a number of helicopters were airlifted back to the USA including eight Apaches of the 1-501 AVN from Powidz Air Base, Poland.

At the same period in October the second US Army rotation arrived in Europe. The 1st Air Cavalry Brigade (1 ACB) helicopters were shipped to the port of Oostende, Belgium. From their they were flown to Chievres Air Base before continuing there journey to Germany and further east.

The official hand over from 10th CAB to 1 ACB took place on November 7. On November 9, 2017 10th CAB held its redeployment ceremony uncasing its colors officialy marking the end of supporting OAR. With almost all of its personnel returned to Fort Drum the unit is now awaiting the return of its helicopters and other equipment from Europe.

Abbreviations:
Abbreviation Regiment
   
ARB Attack Reconnaissance Battalion
AHB Assault Helicopter Battalion
GSAB General Support Aviation Battalion
CAV Cavalry
   

10th CAB is comprised of the following aviation regiments.

Regiment Aircraft Regiment nickname
A/1-10 ARB AH-64D Rogues / Death Stalkers
B/1-10 ARB AH-64D Bandits / Killer Spades
C/1-10 ARB AH-64D Diamondbacks
A/2-10 AHB UH-60M Voodoo
B/2-10 AHB UH-60M Mountainhawks
C/2-10 AHB UH-60M Warlords
D/2-10 AHB UH-60M Dragonhawks
A/3-10 GSAB UH-60L Arch Angels
B/3-10 GSAB CH-47F Colossal
C/3-10 GSAB HH-60M Blue Max
A/6-6 CAV AH-64D Assassins
B/6-6 CAV AH-64D Pale Riders
C/6-6 CAV AH-64D Outcast Aeroscouts
     

Full regiments designations (two examples):

Alpha Company, 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Mountain Division.
Alpha Company, 6th Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment (Six Shooters). (note: the other squadrons of 6 CAV are assigned to other Combat Aviation Brigades).

1-501st AVN is comprised of the following aviation regiments:

Regiment Aircraft Regiment nickname
     
A/1-501 ARB AH-64D Peacemakers
B/1-501 ARB AH-64D Death Dealers
C/1-501 ARB AH-64D Pale Horse
D/1-501 ARB AH-64D Dark Knights
E/1-501 ARB   Renegades
     
 
 
Photo gallery
 
Flight of four 1-501 AVN AH-64D Apaches  entering runway 21 on their final leg to the port of Rotterdam.
Take-off in pairs by the Apaches. Arrival of two UH-60L Blackhawks from A/3-10 GSAB "Arch Angels".
     

After a night stop the CH-47F Chinooks of B/3-10 GSAB "Colossal" were the first to depart.
     
     
Arrival of a flight of four HH-60Ms of C/3-10 GSAB "Blue Max" while its colleague flight was holding for take-off.
     
   
A HH-60M on final approach with a Swedish C-130 (Tp84) Hercules lined up for departure.  Incoming and outgoing. Flight of HH-60Ms lined up to enter the runway while another cell arrives. Two medivac Blackhawks depart for the port of Rotterdam.
 
 
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M. Jaarsma - Phantomaviation.nl