North Carolina Army National Guard Apache Attack helicopters are arriving home after a year-long deployment in Afghanistan
Over 280 Soldiers, Aviators, and Maintainers with North Carolina Army National Guard’s 1-130th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, based in Morrisville, have been home from deployment for about two weeks and yesterday their Apache helicopters, that flew thousands of flight hours in Afghanistan, began arriving back at the National Guard flight facility, at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
The Apaches were shipped back to the states arriving at the Port of Wilmington, where they were inspected and flown to their headquarters.
The NC Guard unit was in command of Task Force Panther, a Multi-Functional Aviation Task Force centered around the 1-130th’s Apache Battalion. Task Force Panther was made up of active duty and national guard Army aviation units from Hawaii, Georgia, North Carolina, Maine, Wash. DC and Idaho, as well as the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade.
TF Panther commanded Apaches, Chinooks, UH-60 Medevac and UH-60M Assault Helicopters, flying over 16,000 hours on missions ranging from support to Special Operations Forces, NATO and Afghan forces on air assaults and air movement missions, to re-supply and sling-load operations, Apache reconnaissance, and passenger movements.
The 1-130th will have their official welcome home ceremony in early May, once all personnel are back from a well-deserved leave with their families, friends, and community.