Wattisham becomes home to the Apache

WATTISHAM airfield is today preparing to become the home of the British Army's newest and most potent weapon - the Apache attack helicopter.Until now the army's Apaches have been split across three sites - at Middle Wallop, Hampshire, where flying training is conducted, at Dishforth, North Yorkshire, which was the first Army airfield to have Apaches, and at Wattisham.

WATTISHAM airfield is today preparing to become the home of the British Army's newest and most potent weapon - the Apache attack helicopter.

Until now the army's Apaches have been split across three sites - at Middle Wallop, Hampshire, where flying training is conducted, at Dishforth, North Yorkshire, which was the first Army airfield to have Apaches, and at Wattisham.

Now, after a decision to make Suffolk the home of the Apache, all operational Apaches in the Army have moved to Wattisham Airfield.

That comes on the back of the establishment of a new centre to service all the Army's Apaches at Wattisham last year.

The move to relocate all Apaches at Wattisham follows a decision by the Army that it would be more cost effective and efficient to co-locate all Apaches on one site.

As a result, the current Lynx helicopter squadrons based at Wattisham are moving to Dishforth.

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Tomorrow there will be a flag-raising ceremony as 664 Squadron, which flies Apache, formally transfers from 9 Regiment Army Air Corps, based at Dishforth, to 4 Regiment Army Air Corps, (4 Regt AAC) based at Wattisham.

Colonel Neil Hutton, station commander of Wattisham Airfield, said the move would create a stable and sustainable main operating base for the Apache for the long term.

Lieutenant Colonel Neil Dalton, commanding officer of 4 Regt AAC, said: “This parade marks an extremely important and memorable day for 4 Regiment Army Air Corps.

“The arrival of 664 Squadron heralds the regiment's conversion to the Apache Attack Helicopter. A huge amount of work has taken place across the regiment to ensure the smooth implementation of these moves and they have been conducted with energy, purpose and good humour.”

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