News: JBLM Kiowa squadron inactivates
Story by Staff Sgt. Mark Miranda
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Soldiers from the 4th Attack Reconnaissance Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment gathered at Watkins Field on Joint Base Lewis-McChord Aug. 14 to case the unit colors and formally inactivate the squadron.
Earlier this year, the squadron completed a nine-month tour in the Republic of Korea.
The Kiowa squadron left for South Korea in October. At the time, the Army announced that it would leave the squadron’s aircraft there and replace them at JBLM.
The replacement plan changed with the new Pentagon budget proposal. The Defense Department preferred shifting the Kiowas’ reconnaissance missions to unmanned aircraft and Apache helicopters rather than refurbish the fleet.
The Kiowa helicopters that belonged to the squadron remain in Korea, to be turned over to U.S. Forces Korea.
The 4-6 ARS included pilots who flew the OH-58 Kiowa helicopter, which is used for scouting and observation duty and light-attack combat missions.
The Kiowa squadron’s history at JBLM goes back to 2005 when the Army moved it to the South Sound from Louisiana.
It brought 48 helicopters, most of which were OH-58 Kiowa aircraft. The unit also had some UH-60 Black Hawk combat transport helicopters; it was an oversized squadron that the Army used to build up its aviation assets at JBLM.
In late 2011, the squadron provided a foothold for a significant expansion of helicopters at JBLM. The 16th Combat Aviation Brigade headquarters moved here, and more subordinate units followed, including one that the flies Apache attack helicopters.