A Unique Mission
The 21st Cavalry is a most unique unit in today's Army. As
the US Army's combat aviation training brigade, it is the only unit of its kind
in the armies of the world. The Brigade was originally designated as the AH-64
Task Force Headquarters, 6th Cavalry Brigade, on July 14th 1984, and was charged
with the responsibility for all planning, programming, and force modernization
actions related to the training and fielding of all AH-64 Attack Helicopter
Battalions (AHBs) in the Army. This headquarters developed the Single-Station
Unit Fielding and Training Program (SSUFTP) now implemented to field all
The Apache Training Brigade
On January 15th, 1985, the Task Force became the Apache
Training Brigade, a Major Subordinate Command under operational control of the
Deputy Commanding General, III Corps. Its mission was to receive, equip, train,
evaluate, and deploy all of the Army's non-Fort Hood AHBs receiving the Apache
On January 1st, 1992, the Apache Training Brigade was
redesigned as the US Army Combat Aviation Training Brigade. The Brigade's new
mission was to act as the Department of the Army Executive Agent to conduct
collective aviation unit field training. This expanded the Brigade's original
AH-64 mission to include the fielding of OH-58D Kiowa Warrior-equipped units and
conducting unit sustainment training for fielded Apache battalions. On May 20th,
1996 the requirement to field and train Longbow Apache units was added. On
October 22nd, 1996 the brigade was redesigned again as the 21st Cavalry.
Reserve Component and Kiowa Warrior
Over the last few years, the Brigade focus has included the training of the
reserve component attack battalions, both National Guard and Army Reserve. The
introduction of Kiowa Warrior and reserve component training brought in the
concept of Dual-Station UFTPs. CATB's personnel became traveling teams as the
programs became more individually tailored and diverse.
Dual Station Training
Unlike Regular Army Apache battalions, the majority of the Kiowa Warrior units
and all reserve component units are trained utilizing this Dual-Station program.
These units complete much of their fielding and training at home station and
then deploy to Fort Hood where they complete battalion/squadron-level
training, gunnery exercises, and a certification evaluation. Reserve component
units perform their training at home station during monthly drills and at CATB
during annual Active Duty for Training periods. They receive the same intense
training as their fellow aviators in the regulars and are held to the same
standard during the final External Evaluation.
Sustainment training for Apache Battalions is an intensive training period
focused on deployment, gunnery and combined arms operation, to include a
Combined Arms Live Fire Exercise (CALFEX). The training objective is to refine
the skills necessary to remain "combat ready" for units that have already
completed the UFTP.
Under its several designations, the Brigade has fielded all of the US Army's
regular AH-64A Apache battalions and squadrons. National Guard and US Army
Reserve AH-64 battalions and squadrons have completed the program. To date, the
Brigade has fielded and trained numerous OH-58D Kiowa Warrior units. The Brigade
has executed several AH-64 battalion sustainment programs and special programs
for the other units.
On top of the mission to train various US Army units is the support provided to
the Department of State and Department of Defense for Foreign Military Training
and Security Assistance. The United States is currently working to supply Apache
Longbow technology and aircraft to several allies. As the only collective
trainer for attack helicopters in the world, 21st Cavalry has been tasked by the
ODCSOPS to provide the Unit Training Program to these allies. The requirements
are again tailored to the country and its mission. 21st Cavalry assists the unit
in developing a Mission Essential Task List (METL) based on their own
requirements and then provides collective instruction in all arenas of attack
helicopter battalion operations and maintenance. This provides the unit with a
full, turn-key operation and a ready to fight unit; the best deal for their
defense and national budget.
These Single and Dual-Station Unit Fielding and Training Programs and
Sustainment Programs are a cost-efficient and time-efficient method to train
units to a single standard in a minimum of time. They increase the Army's
ability to fight and win on the modern three-dimensional battlefield. 21st
Cavalry further strengthens national strategy by assisting allies and providing
a venue of excellent training for the purchasers of American attack aircraft.
Support to OIF and OEF
To support current operations in the War on Terror, the 21st Cavalry Brigade has
been given the responsibility to assist Army Attack Helicopter Battalions and
other Aviation units in their preparation for deployment.
To accomplish this mission the 21st Cavalry Brigade has created a mobile
training program that allows units to remain at their home station and receive
critical training assistance.
Additionally, the Brigade remains at the forefront of Army Aviation in planning,
development and integration of new technologies.
21st Cavalry Regiment was constituted on 3 June, 1916 in the Regular Army. It
was organized on 1 June, 1917 at Fort Riley, Kansas. Never activated as a
cavalry regiment, it was converted and re-designated as the 79th Field Artillery
on 1 November, 1917. The 21st Cavalry Brigade (Air Combat) will integrate the
rich and significant history of the Apache Training Brigade and the Combat
Aviation Training Brigade to begin a new and combined history and lineage of the
21st Cavalry Brigade (Air Combat).
|AH-64A Apache Battalions and Squadrons
||35 battle stars
|OH-58D Kiowa Warrior Battalions and Squadrons
||10 battle stars
|AH-64A Apache Battalion Sustainment Rotations
||4 battle stars
|AH-64A Apache Battalions and Squadron Special Rotations
||3 battle stars
|AH-64A Foreign Military Sales Battalions
||1 battle stars