Two Dozen Apache Choppers En Route To Seoul Over Growing Threats from Pyongyang
A US battalion of two dozen AH-64D Apache heavy attack choppers and 360 US troops will replace a division of 30 observation and light arms helicopters currently in service at Camp Humphreys in South Korea.
“The rotational deployment of Apache helicopters is a demonstration of strong US will in implementing its security commitments,” US Army Col. Rob Manning said recently. The move is expected to “significantly strengthen” military capabilities aimed at deterring North Korea’s leaders from maliciously launching an intercontinental ballistic missile, the colonel added.
The fleet of Apaches expands the capabilities of the United States Forces Korea to include eliminating ground vehicle targets, hovercraft, and special operations units in North Korea, according to Kim Sung-min, a South Korean defense ministry official. The Boeing-manufactured Apaches usually pack a mix of air-to-surface “fire and forget” Hellfire missiles and Hydra 70 rocket pods.
>Pyongyang attempted to stir the pot Sunday when North Korea’s foreign ministry department stated “the US is wholly to blame” for the development of its missiles. Pentagon Defense Secretary Ashton Carter noted that the US would neutralize any missiles launched from North Korea directed at the US or an ally. Carter labeled Pyongyang a “serious threat” during an interview Sunday on Meet The Press.