Amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) added another milestone to her maiden deployment with the landing of a U.S. Army AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter on its flight deck, June 22.
The Army aviators of 3-159 Attack Reconnaissance Battalion (ARB) landed during a joint training exercise designed to improve the Army and Navy’s proficiency when landing on ships, and the ability to accommodate them while on board.
“This was great training for our Air Department, and it’s always nice to work with other branches of services,” said Lt. Patrick Blind, air operations officer aboard New York. “It also adds another capability to New York’s arsenal.”
The capability enables the Army to use New York as a staging base to project power anywhere.
“To come out here and do something a lot of people don’t get to do is a good opportunity,” said Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Kevin Martin, an Apache pilot assigned to the 3-159 ARB. “It broadens the unit and the pilot’s capabilities.”
New York’s Air Department benefited from the evolution as well. Aviation Boatswain’s Mate [Handling] 3rd Class Hannah Marihugh participated in ship’s milestone by being the first New York Sailor to guide an Apache helicopter onto the ship’s flight deck.
“It was exciting and something different. I’ve never seen an Apache helicopter before, and didn’t know what to expect,” said Marihugh.
New York and embarked Marines of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit are part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group. The ship is on her maiden deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
Naval Today Staff , June 28, 2012