Fort Bragg’s Kiowa helicopters will be the last in the U.S. Army.
Col. Michael Musiol, commander of the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, said the Bell OH-58s assigned to the brigade’s 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, would remain in service for at least two more years. The squadron will be the last Kiowa unit to inactivate under an Army plan that eliminates the small helicopters known for providing close support to ground troops. The squadron is set to be inactivated in 2017 or 2018, Musiol said.
The delay, in part, is so the Army can develop a “bridging strategy” to replace the capabilities the Kiowa provide the Global Response Force. The 82nd Airborne Division is the best-known part of that force, which has a mission to deploy on short notice anywhere in the world for combat or humanitarian operations.
For the complete story by Drew Brooks of The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer, click here.