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1st Aviation Brigade demonstrates its power

The Army’s Lead Aviation Task Force has given a powerful demonstration of its capabilities during Exercise Pinion Dawn 21.

Army Lead Aviation Task Force (ATF-1) is generated by 1st Aviation Brigade based on the requirement for the mission or operation.  

The Brigade was formed in 2020 and unites the Reconnaissance capabilities of the Wildcat Helicopter of 1 Regiment Army Air Corps (AAC) with the Attack element of the Apache Helicopter used by 3 and 4 Regiment AAC. 

Other units within the 1st Aviation Brigade include 5 Regiment and 6 Regiment Army Air Corps who are the Reserve component of the Brigade and the specialist aviation engineers of 7 Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

The success of the exercise is centred on both individual and collective skills that the ATF has trained throughout the last 12 months Maj Lambert,
Chief-of-Staff 1st Aviation Brigade

ATF-1 will, in future, form part of the Army’s contribution to the Global Response Force. The Force was created as part of the Army’s transformation plan called Future Soldier that will see Combat Aviation at the centre of any Global Response Force.  

The Combat Aviation Brigade and ATF-1 can deploy with the full range of find, strike, and lift capabilities provided by Apache Attack Helicopters, Wildcat Reconnaissance Helicopters and Chinook Support Helicopters.  

During the exercise an Apache and Wildcat Helicopter formed an Attack Reconnaissance Team (ART) to carry out an aviation assault. 

The Wildcat observed the enemy forces and confirmed the enemy target from a discrete location using its on board sights and sensors. This information was passed to the Apache crew via a digital link who then demonstrated the potent strike capability of the Apache Attack Helicopter by the simulated destruction of the target. 

The final phase of the aviation serial saw two Chinooks drop a Company from 2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment on the area to conduct a raid on the enemy location.

Chief of Staff 1st Aviation Brigade, Major Lambert, said “Exercise Pinion Dawn 21 simulated real-world conditions that tested ATF-1’s preparedness to conduct combat aviation operations at readiness.

He said: “It’s the culmination of a steady progression of training that has tested the skills of all within ATF-1 who have recently returned from Op Cabrit supporting Exercise Spring Storm. The success of the exercise is centred on both individual and collective skills that the ATF has trained throughout the last 12 months. I’m delighted with the performance of the ATF and all those who have trained on Exercise Pinion Dawn 21.”