For troops on the ground and in the mix with the enemy, this aerial platform is a real favorite for air support. What is it? It’s the Boeing AH-64A Apache Helicopter. And she is a beast.
Unlike the other favorite of the ground pounders, the A-10 Warthog, the Apache is designed to be an up close, on-the-scene, present danger to the enemy. Like all helicopters, the Apache is able to fly in ways that a fixed wing aircraft can never do. You will see some of those flying capabilities in this video, and the Apache is as deadly accurate as they come.
This helicopter is both very fast and highly maneuverable. And she is armed with an M230 Chain Gun, AGM-114 Hellfire Missiles and Hydra Rockets. When you look at her coming at you head-on, she is about as mean looking a weapon system as there is. She is no aerial bomber, her weapons are meant to be much more intimately targeted.
The Apache has a two person crew. The pilot sits behind and above the co-pilot/gunner, but both seats are able to fly the ship and to fire the weapons systems.
The Apache attack helicopter is able to stay closer to the troops she is supporting, to be right there with them. She can come in low, below the horizon line of a hill or a mountain ridge, or buildings, pop up suddenly, lock on target and shoot before the enemy has time to react. She can work day or night with her high tech night vision and targeting capabilities, bringing immense fire power to the immediacy of the battlefield.
The Apache’s flying abilities can keep her weapons in the battle space more intimately than a fixed wing platform can.
I think when you see this video, you will understand why the Apache is such a powerful and respected aerial weapons support system for the troops on the ground.
The Veterans Site thanks all who fly and maintain these AH-64A Apache helicopters. You are yet another of the ground-pounders favorite angels in the sky. Thank you for you courage and your skills.
Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.