US Army will be deploying a fleet of 20 AH-64 Apache aircraft from the 1st Armored Division to Europe in February in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
The 1-501st, also known as the Iron Dragon Battalion, will be deployed this February for a nine-month rotation.
“We’re moving aircraft to Corpus Christi to put them on a ship to deploy to Europe.” Lt. Col. Chris Crotzer, 1-501st commander said in a statement last month.
“Supporting units like this sends a clear message to the rest of the Army that Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) is willing to aid whenever we can to support the Warfighter and the overall mission.” Crotzer added.
“It will take several days to load the aircraft on the ship. We can only load a few Apaches at a time and have to remove the rotor blades and prep them for travel. There’s no heliport. It’s just a big massive ship.” CW3 David Staruch, of the 1-501st said.
“The original plan was for the 1-501st to ferry aircraft to the Port of Corpus Christi over the course of three days. The Port of Corpus Christi is one of the few ports in the Gulf of Mexico that can sustain a boat large enough to carry 20 helicopters safely across the Atlantic.” Staruch added.