February 2005 
Volume 03, Issue 9 
Integrated Defense Systems

Apaches take on Olympic mission

Hellenic Army's AH-64As were behind-the-scenes medalists at Athens Games


Apaches take on Olympic missionWhile the world focused on Athens last summer for the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad, a championship team from Hellenic Army Aviation was operating Apache helicopters behind the scenes to ensure that events at the Games were "uneventful."

In fact, a team from the Hellenic Army's 1st Attack Helicopter Battalion maintained Apaches on "10 minute alert" for the duration of the Games.

"We never flew over a stadium during the Olympics, and few people knew we were there. But like Olympic athletes, our training left us prepared to do our jobs with precision and accuracy," said Hellenic Army pilot Maj. Chris Dimopoulos, the deputy commanding officer of the 1st Attack Helicopter Battalion. "We felt like guardian angels for the Olympics, and we were ready to serve in our Apaches."

Details of the operation will not be released for security reasons, but Gary Wilker, an Apache Field Service representative who supported the unit during the Games, noted that the "Hellenic Apache Battalion was prepared for any eventuality."

"I was impressed by their professionalism," Wilker said, adding that they "were as good as gold, in my book."

Today, Greece operates 20 AH-64A Apaches. But in September 2003, the Hellenic Army opted to add 12 AH-64D Apache Longbows to its defense forces. The first Greek Apache Longbow aircraft will be delivered in 2007.

Over the past year, the Hellenic Army has been intensively working toward the upcoming integration of its next-generation Apache Longbows into its current fleet. Last May, Dimopoulos made the first flight for the Greek Army in an Apache Longbow when he lifted off in an AH-64D Apache Longbow from the tarmac at the Boeing facility in Mesa, Ariz.

"It is the right aircraft at the right time," Dimopoulos said. "I have spoken with my fellow pilots, and we all agree that moving forward into the Apache Longbow is a good decision in all respects. We will face the challenge of learning to fly with new capabilities, but it is all good news for our nation and our ability to provide a strong defense."


Front Page
Contact Us | Site Map| Site Terms | Privacy | Copyright
Copyright© Boeing. All rights reserved.