Moroccan pilots train on “Apache” helicopters

Four American “Apache” helicopters from the Utah National Guard arrived at Agadir El Massira airport to take part in the maneuvers of the African Lion, the Moroccan-American exercise which started in Morocco last Monday and which will continue in Kénitra, Agadir, Taroudant, Tan Tan, Mahbès…until June 30. These aircraft arrived aboard a C-5 Galaxy heavy military transport aircraft from Travis Air Force Base in California.

As a reminder, this African Lion 2022 military exercise, the largest in Africa, welcomes nearly 7,500 soldiers, from the American, European and African continents, to participate in this event which will also be held in Senegal, Tunisia and Ghana. This is an opportunity for the FAR to demonstrate their capabilities and prowess during live fire exercises and maritime and air maneuvers, in particular at the controls of Apache AH-64E helicopters.

Morocco had ordered no less than 24 American helicopters of this type and their delivery is scheduled for 2025. The contract was concluded in June 2020 between the manufacturer Boeing and Apache. The Kingdom will be the second country in Africa to acquire this attack helicopter, after Egypt. That said, the American forces have provided themselves, among other military equipment, with 4 combat helicopters to support the vast exercises organized in Morocco.

They are nearly 60 soldiers from the 1st offensive reconnaissance battalion, 211th aviation regiment, of the Utah Army National Guard, to be operational for the occasion. The Apache AH-64D is a two-seat attack and reconnaissance helicopter armed with an M230 30mm cannon.

It also has the option of carrying Hellfire air-to-surface missiles or Hydra 70mm missile modules. The training includes joint, multi-domain, multi-component and multinational missions, with the goal of improving interoperability among participants and setting the stage for strategic access.

The general. Michael J. Turley, Assistant General, Utah National Guard said of, “ These exercises allow both sides to develop tactics, techniques and procedures, and to improve the capabilities of all participants. “.

The 1-211 team will operate near Guelmim, but will train in several other locations, including Tifnit, Tan-Tan and Benguerir. Captain Tate Larsson said he has traveled to Morocco several times over the past two years to prepare for this exercise by providing information on the capabilities, interoperability, logistics and maintenance requirements of the ‘Apache AH-64D.

The American military official revealed that the State of Utah also welcomed Moroccan pilots, who were taken on tour to familiarize themselves with the “Apache” in the state’s training grounds. Indeed, in September 2021 elements of the Royal Armed Forces traveled to the United States where they learned for the very first time to fly an Apache combat helicopter, via the simulation system of the Utah National Guard.

Each state’s National Guard in the United States has an international partnership program with one or more foreign partners, the ultimate goal being to support the objectives of the United States government.

The Utah/Morocco Strategic Protection program has expanded to include military and civilian interactions that support the whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach to US security cooperation. The areas of intervention that support the National Guard’s lines of effort and strategic objectives are: combined arms capabilities (including Moroccan special operations forces, Apache AH-64, artillery, interoperability F-16 refueling) and humanitarian mine clearance (HMA/EOD).

As well as the question of the reaction in emergency medicine in the event of a nuclear disaster, the training of non-commissioned officers and youth exchanges. According to the details of Colonel Jaime Thomas, the participation of these helicopters in African Lion 2022 will aim, among other things, to “demonstrate their capabilities before they are delivered to Morocco”.

Apache helicopters have high-precision combat capabilities because they have surveillance systems equipped with precise and sophisticated technologies, very advanced technology that can be coordinated with drones to carry out attacks and are equipped with advanced sensors and warning devices. .

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