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UK attack helicopters join US brigade for exercise ‘Defender Europe’

18 February 2020
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The British Army’s 3 Regiment AAC held a preparatory training exercise for its participation in exercise ‘Defender Europe 20’ in the Stanford Training Area in Norfolk, involving Apache AH1 attack helicopters of 622 Squadron AAC operating from forward arming and refuelling points established by Royal Air Force Chinook helicopters. Source: Crown Copyright

A UK attack aviation battlegroup is to operate for the first time as part of a US Army combat aviation brigade during exercise ‘Defender Europe’.

The British Army’s 3 Regiment Army Air Corps (AAC) is to deploy from its home base in Wattisham in Suffolk to exercise in Poland and Germany this spring.

Some 2,500 UK armed forces personnel are to perform various roles in ‘Defender Europe’, which involves US forces deploying to Europe from its home bases in the United States in the first half of 2020. The US 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade started to deploy to Europe in January to provide the attack aviation element for these exercises.

The 3 Regiment AAC held a preparatory training exercise in the Stanford Training Area in Norfolk, involving Apache AH1 attack helicopters of 622 Squadron AAC operating from forward arming and refuelling points established by Royal Air Force Chinook helicopters. Wildcat helicopters from 1 Regiment AAC at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton in Somerset will also be attached to the 3 Regiment AAC battlegroup for ‘Defender Europe’.

The British Army on its website on 13 February quoted 3 Regiment AAC commander Lieutenant Colonel Nick English as saying, “We are deploying as an aviation battlegroup with Apache attack helicopters, Wildcat reconnaissance helicopters, and Chinook support helicopters, to bring the full range of find, strike, and lift capabilities provided by helicopters.

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