Sixth U.S. Army Apache Longbow Battalion Certified Combat-Ready

The U.S. Army's sixth AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter battalion has been certified combat-ready after completing extensive training at Fort Hood, Texas. The battalion will return to Germany this summer as the first Apache Longbow unit to be stationed in Europe.

The unit completed eight months of training in AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters, built by Boeing [NYSE: BA] in Mesa, Ariz. The battalion will be the U.S. Army's second unit based overseas.

To qualify, the men and women of the sixth Apache Longbow battalion completed a series of comprehensive classroom, flight and field exercises. Soldiers underwent a rigorous field examination, three live-fire exercises and completed about 3,000 flight hours during the training program.

Pilots from the battalion received their initial training at Fort Rucker, Ala., and maintainers received training at Fort Eustis, Va.

The first international deployment of U.S. Army Apache Longbows occurred in October 2001 when the Army deployed a regiment to South Korea. The regiment's Apache helicopters, which had been in Korea as AH-64As, were remanufactured and returned to duty in their next-generation configuration.

Additionally, U.S. Army Apache Longbows deployed to the Middle East in 2002 in support of Operation Desert Spring. Apache helicopters are fielded around the world including the U.S. Army's deployment to Afghanistan for Operation Anaconda, the war against terrorism.

The Army fielded its first combat-ready Apache Longbow battalion in the United States in October 1998 and the second in November 1999.

The U.S. Army is modernizing its fleet of AH-64A Apaches into next-generation Apache Longbow helicopters which link a wide range of avionics, electronics and weapons into one fully-integrated weapons system.

The Boeing Company is the world's largest manufacturer of satellites, commercial jetliners and military aircraft. In terms of sales, Boeing is the largest exporter in the United States. Total company revenues for 2001 were $58 billion.

Boeing Military Aircraft and Missile Systems designs, produces and provides follow-on support for fighters, bombers, transports, rotorcraft and weapons for the United States and its allies around the globe. As the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer, Boeing has delivered more than 130,000 military aircraft to the U.S. government and international customers. Among emerging businesses are unmanned systems, as well as military aircraft that are based on the company's renowned commercial airplanes.



For further information:
Carole Thompson-Sutton
(480) 891-2119
Hal Klopper
(480) 891-5519