WAH-64 Combat-Certifies New Armament: Royal MarinesJan 31, 2007 02:32 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff
It’s useful to bear in mind that military equipment is often used in ways its manufacturers never imagined, let alone intended. A fine illustration of this principle in action comes to us from the Garmsir area in Helmland Province, southern Afghanstan. The UK MoD release, which includes links to video of the overall operation, described the incident this way [DID has added appropriate links]:
“The UKTF met ferocious Taliban fire from all sides. As planned, Z Company then withdrew back to the far side of the Helmand river having successfully completed their objective. The engagement lasted for approximately five hours… Having fought for a period, the Marines regrouped. When they discovered Lance Corporal Ford was missing…
An initial plan was hatched to use Viking vehicles but they eventually concluded that the Apache WAH-64 attack helicopters would provide a quicker and safer means to get him out and back to safety. And so four troops were strapped to the small side ‘wings’ of two Apaches, two to each helicopter. A third Apache provided aerial cover, and further units laid down a mass of covering fire while the other two Apaches landed. All four men got off, as well as some of the aircrew, to provide additional firepower and to assist with the recovery of Lance Corporal Ford…” [read full article]
UPDATE: The UK MoD has now released photos and video from the operation that includes the WAH-64s with Royal Marines on board.