NEWS | June 20, 2022

Utah’s Apache Helicopters Arrive in Morocco

By Maj. Brent Mangum, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Utah Army National Guard

Approximately 60 Soldiers from the 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment, Utah Army National Guard, landed at the Agadir Al-Massira International Airport, Morocco, June 20.

Soldiers from the 1-211th ARBn arrived on a C-5 Galaxy after having flown out of Travis AFB, California, the day prior. Accompanying them on this massive aircraft were four of their “folded up” AH-64Ds, more commonly known as Apache helicopters. The AH-64D is a two-seater, attack and reconnaissance helicopter armed with a 30mm M230 chain gun. It also has the option of carrying air-to-ground Hellfire missiles or Hydra 70 mm rocket pods.

The 1-211th’s “Air Pirates” will be in Morocco for about two weeks as part of African Lion 2022, U.S. Africa Command's largest, premier, joint, annual exercise hosted by Morocco, Ghana, Senegal, and Tunisia. More than 7,500 participants from 28 nations and NATO will train together with a focus on enhancing readiness for U.S. and partner nation forces. Training includes joint, all-domain, multi-component, and multinational missions with the goal of strengthening interoperability among participants and setting the theater for strategic access.

“Multinational exercises like African Lion allow the Utah National Guard’s State Partnership Program to continue to build and enhance professional relationships while supporting interoperability of forces,” said Maj. Gen. Michael J. Turley, adjutant general, Utah National Guard. “They also allow both parties to further develop tactics, techniques, and procedures together, and advance the capabilities of all participants.” The Utah/Morocco SPP was established in 2003 and has blossomed into a mature strategic partnership.

As soon as the 1-211th‘s Soldiers processed through immigration, they went back to the C-5 and began rolling out and staging their helicopters.

“I’m excited to be out here and I look forward to getting out to the FARP [Forward Air Refueling Point]. It’s fun to get away from the civilian world, be with the guys – my friends – and not have to worry about school for a few days,” said Sgt. Sheldon Laney. When asked what he’ll be doing as part of the exercise, Laney said “I’ll be the ‘pad dad,’ which means I’ll be running the FARP.”

As pad dad, he’ll be overseeing FARP operations which include rearming and refueling the AH-64Ds and troubleshooting any minor, quick-fix issues.

Throughout the next two weeks, the 1-211th will be conducting combined training with Moroccan aviation assets and with U.S. and Moroccan Special Operations Forces (SOF), using Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) and the Apache’s own targeting systems in multiple dry-run and live-fire exercises.

“We’ve deployed with our birds before, but not to participate in a SPP, like the one we have with Morocco, so this is something completely new for us. Preparing and training for this has been a great experience,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Mike Zesiger. “Plus, we’ll be training here in a multinational environment, showcasing the aircraft’s interoperability with other aviation platforms and working with multinational SOF JTACs.”

The 1-211th will be working near Guelmim, Morocco, but they will be training in multiple other locations including Tifnit, Tantan, and the Grier Labouihi training complex.

Maj. Tait Larson said that he’s been to Morocco a few times over the last two years preparing for this exercise by providing briefs on the AH-64D’s capabilities, interoperability, and its logistics and maintenance requirements. As part of the Utah/Morocco SPP, he said that Utah has also hosted Moroccan pilots, taking them on Apache familiarization rides out in Utah’s training ranges.

The National Guard in each state in the United States has a State Partnership Program with one or more foreign partners. The overarching goal is support of U.S. government objectives in country and within the region using a variety of military-to-military engagements. The Utah/Morocco SPP has expanded to military-to-civilian and civilian-to-civilian interactions that support the whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to U.S. security cooperation. Focus areas that support strategic lines of effort and the National Guard’s objectives are: Combined-arms capabilities (including Moroccan Special Operation Forces, Apache AH-64, artillery, and F-16 refueling interoperability), humanitarian demining (HMA/EOD); emergency medicine; disaster response; noncommissioned officer NCO development; and youth exchanges. These partnerships build strategic relationships in personal bonds and enduring trust.

 

 

 

Your Career Starts Here

Col. Shahram Takmili passes the organizational colors to Brig. Gen. Charlene Dalto representing the relinquishing of command during the 300th Military Intelligence Brigade change-of-command ceremony, Aug. 6, 2022, at Camp Williams, Utah. During the ceremony, Col. Shahram Takmili relinquished command to Col. Cody Strong. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Derrik Cowley)
300th Military Intelligence Brigade conducts change of command ceremony
By Sgt. Alejandro Lucero | Aug. 8, 2022
The 300th Military Intelligence Brigade, Utah Army National Guard, conducted a change-of-command ceremony at the Lundell Readiness Center on Camp Williams, Utah, Aug. 7, 2022. During the ceremony, Col. Shahram Takmili...

U.S. Army Sgt. Spencer Fayles, a combat medic with the 144th Area Support Medical Company, representing the Utah National Guard in the All Guard National Best Warrior Competition, fireman carries an instructor through a simulated war zone during a grueling valor run in Tullahoma, Tennessee, July 26, 2022. The 3.4 mile valor run honored select Medal of Honor recipients at six different stations all designed to mimic actions taken deserving of the award–putting each competitor through similar circumstances. Fourteen of the nation’s best National Guard junior enlisted Soldiers and noncommissioned officers participate in an intensive, six-day competition throughout Tennessee to determine who will be named the Army National Guard's best-of-the-best. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jordan Hack)
“Iron sharpens iron” – Utah Guardsman fosters competitive spirit at national Best Warrior Competition
By Staff Sgt. Jordan Hack | Aug. 2, 2022
TULLAHOMA, Tenn. - Summer heat and southern humidity set the stage for the 2022 All Guard National Best Warrior Competition, July 25-29. Fourteen of the Army National Guard’s best Soldiers arrived in Tennessee fresh off a...

Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 145th Field Artillery, headquartered at the Utah National Guard’s Spanish Fork Armory has continuously supported the Spanish Fork Flag Retirement Ceremony for the past 24 years. 

Members of the Utah National Guard, Boy and Girl Scouts, civil air patrol, naval sea cadets and other youth groups volunteer to be a part of this dignified U.S. flag retirement of the symbol of our country. 

Command Sgt. Maj. Spencer Nielsen, senior enlisted leader for the Utah National Guard, was the keynote speaker and has participated in all 24 years of the ceremony.
Utah National Guard supports the 24th annual Spanish Fork Flag Retirement Ceremony
By Ileen Kennedy | July 15, 2022
Streams of people entered the Spanish Fork Fairgrounds. Some in patriotic red, white and blue colors, others in military, scout, police and fire uniforms. There were local city and county officials and Spanish Fork City...

Delegates visit the Roland Wright Air National Guard Base, July 13, 2022, during Freedom Academy. Since 1961, the Utah National Guard and Honorary Colonels Corps have sponsored Freedom Academy and provided a challenging and engaging environment designed to teach young leaders the importance of freedom and that leadership is essential to its survival. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Ariel Solomon)
Utah Guard hosts 60th annual Freedom Academy
By Staff Sgt. Timothy Beery | July 15, 2022
Nearly every year, 61 years running, the Utah National Guard has hosted Freedom Academy, an immersive week-long experience tailored and designed to promote the ideals and principles of the United States of America to high...

The Utah National Guard held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new Special Operations Forces Live-Fire Shoot House (SOF LFSH) at Camp Williams, Utah, July 11, 2022.
 
Soldiers from the 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) perform a demonstration of advanced urban combat during the opening of the SOF LFSH. 
 
The SOF LFSH will primarily support U.S. Army Special Operations Forces in initial and advanced training related to close-quarter battle and urban combat scenarios. It will also support Utah Army National Guard Soldiers, as well as law enforcement agencies, in training on advanced urban combat skills to include advanced marksmanship techniques, close-quarter battle, and urban movement techniques. This live-fire shoot house facility will give Soldiers a premier facility to improve and hone combat techniques which will allow them to fight and win in any environment they are deployed.
Utah National Guard opens new Special Operations Live-Fire Shoot House
By Ileen Kennedy | July 11, 2022
The Utah National Guard’s new Special Operations Forces Live-Fire Shoot House (SOF LFSH) located at Camp Williams, Utah, officially opened, July 11, 2022...

U.S. Air Force National Guard Master Sgt. Derin Creek and Staff Sgt. Cody Bialcak, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Techinicians, safely remove over 500 depleted uranium rounds on June 23, 2022 at Tooele Army Depot, UT. The Utah Air National Guard Explosive Ordnance Disposal Squadron was tasked to execute an Emergency detonation of several depleted uranium rounds that had been compromised. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt. Nicholas Perez)
Utah Air National Guard EOD flight responds to an emergency
By Staff Sgt. Nicholas Perez | June 30, 2022
Members of the 151st Civil Engineering Squadron, Explosive Ordnance Disposal flight were tasked with inspecting and detonating contaminated and compromised depleted uranium rounds found at the Tooele Army Depot on June 23,...

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Utah National Guard, receive their foreign jump wings after jumping with Moroccan and Tunisian Special Operations in the friendship airborne operation in African Lion 22, June 27, 2022. African Lion 22 is U.S. Africa Command's largest, premier, joint, combined annual exercise hosted by Morocco, Ghana, Senegal, and Tunisia, June 6 - 30. More than 7,500 participants from 28 nations and NATO train together with a focus on enhancing readiness for U.S. and partner-nation forces. AL22 is a joint all-domain, multi-component, and multinational exercise, employing a full array of mission capabilities with the goal to strengthen interoperadurbility among participants and set the theater for strategic access. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Mackenzie Willden)
Utah and Moroccan Paratroopers Exchange Jump Wings
By Maj. Brent Mangum | June 27, 2022
Paratroopers from the 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Utah National Guard, and the Royal Moroccan Army received foreign jump wings during a wing exchange ceremony at Agadir, Morocco, June 27, 2022...

A Soldier in 3rd Platoon, 116th Engineer Company, 1457th Engineer Battalion, Utah National Guard guides an excavator operator while installing a new cattle guard at Dinosaur National Monument, June 13, 2022. The cattle guard replacement was one of several projects the company did at the monument as part of their annual training. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Rich Stowell)
Utah National Guard Engineers Train at Dinosaur National Monument
By Sgt. 1st Class Richard Stowell | June 22, 2022
Soldiers from the 1457th participated in an annual training exercise they won't soon forget.Engineers from the 116th Engineer Company and support personnel for the Forward Support Company– about 125 Soldiers in all–...

U.S. Army Spc. Rebecca Sipe and a Maj. Boyd Bandy clean the teeth of a Moroccan man at the Humanitarian Civic Assistance (HCA) center in Taliouine, Morocco June 22, 2022. Africa Command's largest, premier, joint, combined annual exercise hosted by Morocco, Ghana, Senegal, and Tunisia, June 6 - 30. More than 7,500 participants from 28 nations and NATO train together with a focus on enhancing readiness for U.S. and partner-nation forces. AL22 is a joint all-domain, multi-component, and multinational exercise, employing a full array of mission capabilities with the goal to strengthen interoperability among participants and set the theater for strategic access. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Nathan Baker)
Utah Army and Air National Guard provide medical aid to Moroccan civilians
By Sgt. Nathan Baker | June 22, 2022
Medical providers from the Utah National Guard’s Medical Readiness Detachment, 144th Area Support Medical Company, and 151st Medical Group, Detachment 1, joined providers from the U.S. Army’s 30th Medical Brigade, to set up a...

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Andrew M. Rohling, commander of Southern European Task Force, Africa, accompanied by Soldiers assigned to the 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Utah Army National Guard, and Royal Moroccan Army soldiers stand at the back of a Moroccan C-130 for a group photo during the friendship airborne operation in Grier Labouihi, Morocco, as part of African Lion 22, June 19, 2022. African Lion 22 is U.S. Africa Command's largest, premier, joint, combined annual exercise hosted by Morocco, Ghana, Senegal, and Tunisia, June 6 - 30. More than 7,500 participants from 28 nations and NATO train together with a focus on enhancing readiness for U.S. and partner-nation forces. AL22 is a joint all-domain, multi-component, and multinational exercise, employing a full array of mission capabilities with the goal to strengthen interoperability among participants and set the theater for strategic access. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Mackenzie Willden)
Utah, Moroccan, and Tunisian Paratroopers Jump Together at African Lion 22
By Maj. Brent Mangum, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), | June 19, 2022
Paratroopers from the 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Utah Army National Guard, the Royal Moroccan Army, and the Tunisian Land Army boarded a Moroccan C-130 in Grier Labouihi, Morocco, June 19, and conducted both...