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Helicopters To Take Final Flight

KSAL Staff - June 8, 2015 10:41 am

Five OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters conduct a practice formation flight above Marshall Army Airfield at Fort Riley, Kansas. The helicopters, belonging to 1st Sqdn., 6th Cav. Regt., CAB, 1st Inf. Div., will make the last mission flight over Fort Riley on June 12 during the division’s Victory Week 2015 celebration. The Army announced in 2014 the OH-58 airframe will be retired after more than 45 years of service. (photo by: Sgt. Michael Leverton, 1st CAB)

A squadron of helicopters at Fort Riley will take its final flight later this week.

According to the army, the 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, has announced the final flight for the 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment’s OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopters will be at 6:30 a.m. Friday, June 12, over
Fort Riley as part of Victory Week 2015 activities.

“This is going to be a crucial day in the history of Army aviation,” said Lt. Col. Andrew Beyer, commander of 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 1st CAB, 1st Inf. Div., “both for families and friends of ‘The Fighting Sixth’ as well as many of the ground forces the craft and crews have supported over the years.”

As the penultimate event of the division’s Victory Week, 25 Kiowa Warriors will fly over a formation of more than 10,000 Soldiers as they conduct the yearly Victory Run on Custer Hill. This will be the Kiowa Warrior’s last mission flight at Fort Riley and will mark a historic change in the Army’s aviation arsenal.

The Army announced in 2014 Kiowa Warriors’ duties would be assumed by the AH-64 Apache after serving as the Army’s primary aerial scout reconnaissance aircraft. The OH-58 has been a part of the Army’s aviation corps since May 1969, though it has adapted to the times and mission requirements. The current Kiowa Warrior was first fielded in 1983, and has deployed in support
of almost every major U.S. operation since that time.