Supercruise Aviation - Article

Atlantic Resolve 2021 - US Army helicopter (re)deployment

At the beginning of November a newsitem was published that the annual US Army helicopter redeployment did not take place via Eindhoven as in previous times, but via Gilze-Rijen Air Base, The Netherlands.

Atlantic Resolve
Since April 2014 under the name Atlantic Resolve, the US Army regularly rotates military equipment between Europe and the United States. This enhanced US presence in Europe is a response to the annexation of Crimea by Russia (2014).

The deployment of ready, combat-credible U.S. forces to Europe in support of Atlantic Resolve is evidence of the strong and unremitting U.S. commitment to NATO and Europe. Through bilateral, joint and multinational training, Atlantic Resolve builds readiness, increases interoperability and enhances the bond between ally and partner militaries.

A similar redeployment took place in March of this year. The 101st Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) with 35 helicopters went via Eindhoven to the harbor in Rotterdam.

Host Nation Support
The United States had asked the Netherlands as 'Host Nation Support for the rotation of the helicopter brigades. The current US Army brigade in Europe, in this case the 1st CAB, moved from airbases in Germany via Gilze-Rijen to Vlissingen harbor. The new helicopter brigade, the Air Cavalry Brigade, coming from the United States, moved to airbases in Germany after arriving in the harbor. And from there to deploy further into Europe. The Netherlands acted as a transit country. The flying and rolling military equipment of both the inbound and outbound Brigade traveled by ship that was unloaded and loaded in Vlissingen harbor. The ship used was the ARC Endurance, an American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier. The US Army helicopters of the outgoing unit flew via Gilze-Rijen Air Base to Vlissingen and the incoming unit flew from Vlissingen via Woensdrecht Air Base to Germany.

What did this redeployment of 1st CAB mean for Gilze-Rijen Air Base?
Gilze-Rijen Air Base received 58 US Army helicopters in the period from November 22 to December 9. Gilze-Rijen served as a stopover for American soldiers and helicopter crews. During this stopover there could be minor maintenance, helicopter refueling and rest for the crews.

1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division
This unit normally operates out of Fort Riley, Kansas. And had now completed a deployment of nine months in Europe and flew via Gilze-Rijen to Vlissingen harbor to be shipped to the United States so that Christmas could be celebrated at home. At Gilze-Rijen, the helicopters were not only refueled but if necessary repairs could be carried out.

A total of 58 helicopters, type Apache, Blackhawk and Chinook, used Gilze-Rijen as a stopover. Twelve CH-47F Chinook, eight UH-60L, two UH-60M, twelve HH-60M Black Hawk and twentyfour AH-64E Apache helicopters.

The first US Army helicopters arrived at Gilze-Rijen on November 22nd. The last US Army helicopters left Gilze-Rijen on December 9th.

And which Brigade is now taking over the duties?
The 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, based out of Fort Hood, Texas, is the eighth rotation of an aviation brigade in support of Atlantic Resolve. This Brigade will redeploy to the United States in nine months. 39 helicopters flew to Germany via Woensdrecht. It concerned nine AH-64E, twelve CH-47F, nine HH-60M, eight UH-60L and one UH-60M.

Do you want to know more about Atlantic Resolve? There is a website where you can find up-to-date information:

Report and Photos by Edward Antonissen