The United States Army's first helicopter division demonstrated its abilities in West Germany on Monday (20 September).
The United States Army's first helicopter division demonstrated its abilities in West Germany on Monday (20 September). High ranking army officials are now pressing the government for financial priority for helicopter-borne infantry over traditional tank units.
SYNOPSIS: The helicopter division is made up of 11,000 soldiers, and equipped with 400 helicopters. It was originally designed for work in the Mekong delta rice paddies during the Vietnam war. Monday was the first time it had been tested extensively in Europe. It had been based in West Germany as part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation exercises.
Monday's exercises were a dress rehearsal for an hour-long demonstration the following day. That was watched by many ranking officials from NATO countries. The demonstration came at a time when the United States Senate and Congress were discussing this year's military budget, under pressure from many army officials for more money for helicopter units. There are four types of helicopters used by the division. One of these is the Cobra, equipped with missiles to repel tanks attacks.
Another is the Hey, where soldiers attack from ropes attached to the machine.
The exercises were staged on the Panzer manoeuvre range of Wolferstetten. The unit displayed contour flying, anti-tank attacks, and the hauling of heavy machinery during the demonstration. It's normally based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in the United States.