Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Marine Corps LtCol. Validates National Guard Apache Helicopters

Marine Reaffirms Apache's Guard Role 
Reprinted From: NGAUS Washinton Report, 25 March 2014

A Marine lieutenant colonel serving in Afghanistan may have unknowingly entered the debate on whether AH-64 Apache helicopters should be taken from the Army National Guard.
Lt. Col. S.G. Fosdal wrote a letter last month to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter of Idaho praising the "brave men" of Company B, 1st Battalion, 183rd Aviation, out of Boise, Idaho. He said the Apache crews performed heroically during their recent deployment to the war zone.
Referring to one incident in October 2013, he wrote, "Despite heavy ground fire and a chaotic battlefield they provided precise and timely fires against the enemy, killing many and saving the lives of Afghans and US forces alike."
Writing of a similar episode the following month, he said, "Lesser men would have declared the area too dangerous and flown away leaving us to fend for ourselves, but not Company B. They stuck with the troops in the fight and as a direct result of their heroic efforts a Marine is now at home with his family, healing and thankful to be alive."
He wrote that Afghan troops were less apprehensive about going on missions knowing that the Idaho Apaches were watching out for them, adding that "the US Army and Special Forces were also imbued with confidence knowing that your unit had their back."
The Army wants to remove all Apaches from the Army Guard, replacing them with UH-60 Black Hawks. NGAUS and the Army Guard argue that doing so would destroy the Army Guard's combat aviation mission. Fosdal's letter, written to highlight the actions of Guard Apache crews, supports that argument.
"As a state rich in natural resources I thank you and the people of Idaho for sending your most precious resources, its citizens, to serve here in Afghanistan," he wrote. "I hope that you are as proud of them as I am for having served along side them."

Original text may be found at: http://www.magnetmail.net/actions/email_web_version.cfm?recipient_id=987271952&message_id=3873487&user_id=NGAUS&group_id=938156&jobid=17663257#a2

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