KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii --
A pair of AH-1Z Super Cobras and two UH-1Y Hueys with the Red Dragons of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268 (Reinforced) visited here Nov. 21 to demonstrate the aircrafts’ capabilities.
The squadron, which is the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s aviation combat element, conducted training over Hawaii and held a static display of the two helicopter models, also known as the H-1 package, at the Marine Corps air station here. The unit’s pilots talked about how the H-1 package will fit into the aviation community next summer, when the Hueys are expected to arrive.
“We want to have an H-1 presence on the island to train with the 3rd Marine Regiment and be able to push an H-1 presence into the Western Pacific,” said Lt. Col. Tim Pochop, the H-1 transition officer with Marine Aircraft Group 24 in Hawaii.
AH-1W Super Cobras and UH-1Y Hueys with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367, based at Camp Pendleton, Calif., will move to Hawaii to provide better training and support for Marines scheduled to deploy, including close air support, convoy escorts and airborne escorts, according to Pochop.
“Bringing the H-1s to Hawaii is a great opportunity for the Marines on the island to interact with the aircraft,” said Capt. Joshua Gordon, a Huey pilot serving with the Red Dragons.
The visit marked the first time an AH-1Z has been to Hawaii. The aircraft flew from USS Makin Island at sea as the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit approached Hawaii for its first port visit. The Marines embarked USS Makin Island, USS New Orleans and USS Pearl Harbor in San Diego Nov. 14 beginning a seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific and Middle East regions.