The US Army has announced the completion of the AH-64 Apache aerial gunnery training by the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s (RSAF) Peace Vanguard detachment.
The training has been conducted throughout last month at the Idaho Army National Guard’s (ANG) Orchard Combat Training Center (OCTC).
Since 2001, the Peace Vanguard detachment has been based in Marana, Arizona, US. It was supported by the Arizona National Guard’s US Army Flight Training Detachment.
Currently, RSAF pilots fly eight UH-60 Apache Longbow attack helicopters. They complete similar gunnery requirements and standards as that of the US pilots.
The Peace Vanguard detachment conducted aerial gunnery from 30 June to 29 July at the OCTC for the tenth straight year.
US Army noted that the detachment used ANG’s digital air-ground integrated range (DAGIR) that opened in March.
DAGIR is one of two computerised target practice ranges in the US Army. It allows joint training of air and ground units. The range also receives precise, real-time feedback on pilots’ performance.
US Army Flight Training Detachment commander lieutenant colonel Jack Denton said: “The scoring is instantaneous. The second a target is hit, we know about it.
“It’s a great feature because sometimes you’re not sure if the round went through the target or not.”
The US Army Flight Training Detachment comprises six ANG pilots, who flew with RSAF pilots.
To get trained in desert environments, Republic of Singapore Air Force pilots rotated through the training station in Arizona, along with the US pilots.
Denton added that RSAF pilots executed ‘individual and crew-level qualifications’ at the OCTC.
The pilots also worked with Marine Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) to simulate the provision of close air support.
During the training, each engagement was recorded to allow crews to review their training and receive real-time feedback from senior pilots, range workforce and master gunners.
Furthermore, crews were also able to sleep and refuel at the OCTC while training.
The DAGIR is a 143,000-acre training centre that offers huge terrain and army ranges for brigade combat teams to prepare them for combat in a confined environment.
It is one of 23 ranges at the OCTC.