US Marine Corps UH-1Y Venom and AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters attached to the Bataan amphibious ready group have taken part in a live-fire training exercise in Bize, Albania.
The exercise was planned alongside Albanian allied forces and consisted of aviation ordnance-delivery training aimed at increasing readiness and reinforcing the partnership between the US and Albania.
Venoms and Super Cobras, commonly referred to as H-1’s, are essential to sea-based air power and air superiority. H-1s, when coupled together, have the ability to provide close-air support, casualty evacuation from remote or austere locations, and transport marines and sailors from ship to shore – all from over the horizon.
“This training evolution was a great opportunity for our H-1 crews to integrate with a NATO ally through extensive coordination and combined planning, all while physically distributed from our Albanian counterparts aboard our sea-based platform,” said Capt. Casey Low, an AH-1W Super Cobra pilot. “The evolution tested and demonstrated our ability to project power ashore utilizing air-delivered fires from the MEU’s aviation combat element to support combined NATO forces.”
By utilizing the overland ranges in Albania, UH-1Y Venom and AH-1W Super Cobra pilots assigned to the 26th MEU were able to become more proficient in conducting live-fire tactical maneuvering in a challenging, mountainous environment.
The Bataan ARG is spearheaded by the USS Bataan Wasp-class amphibious assault ship and consists of over 4,000 total sailors and marines, who are operating in the US 6th Fleet area of operations.