Army Aviation

Arizona NG Hosts Gunfighter Fly-in Helicopter Competition

Spotlight / By CPT Candace Park: The South Carolina National Guard took home the top performing team award for the inaugural
AH-64D Apache Gunfighter Fly-in helicopter competition hosted by the Arizona National Guard
Nov. 2-6, during a closing ceremony at Silverbell Army Heliport in Marana, AZ.

1st Bn. (Attack/Recon), 151st Aviation Regiment, South Carolina Army National Guard commander, LTC John W. McElveen, is surrounded by members of the battalion team as they receive the Top Gunfighter award: (l to r) CPT Matthew Summey, S4; CPT Jonathon Norris, S3; SSG Lauren Rhodes, AH-64D Crew Chief; SSG Corri Simmons, AH-64D Technical Inspector; McElveen; CW2 Ricky Padgett, Co. Instructor Pilot; CW2 George Protzman, Bn. Master Gunner; SGT Kade Church, AH-64D Crew Chief; CW3 Joel Gooch, Co. Standardization Pilot; and CW4 Tom Marable, Bn. SP. Summey, Padgett, Protzman, and Gooch flew in the competition.

Seven states sent their best company-grade Apache pilots and maintenance support personnel to the desert of southern Arizona to participate in the first ever competition which consisted of graded gunnery and flying scenarios. Arizona, Idaho, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Utah competed in the training exercise designed to build unity of effort and camaraderie among the National Guard Apache helicopter states.

CPT Candace Park is assigned to Arizona National Guard Public Affairs.