Back to A Troop
Chapter 4: Unit Operations
Chapter 2: UNIT BACKGROUND
Troop A, 7th Armored Squadron 17th Air Cavalry was activated at Fort Knox Kentucky under TOE 17-98T, dated 22 June 1965 GO 249 HQ USAARMC Fort Knox, Kentucky, effective 25 November 1966, authorized 18 commissioned officers, 30 warrant officers and 104 enlisted men
The first morning report was submitted on 4 February 1967 with Maj Dudley J. Carver, Jr., Commanding. The personnel present included five commissioned officers, two warrant officers, and three enlisted men. Key officers present were May Dudley J. Carver, Jr. commander, Maj (then Cpt) Douglas J. Wood, Executive Officer, Maj (then Cpt) Robert A. Inglett, operations officer, CPT Robert S. Young, Scout Platoon Commander, and Warrant Officer Walter J. Riddle, Troop Supply Officer. Troop A was the first Air Cavalry Troop of the squadron to be formed.
The first mission given the troop was the training of all scout personnel of the squadron. This training was conducted during the period 13 March thru 6 May 1967. The training included intensive map reading instruction, types of reconnaissance, and XM-27E1 familiarization. Initial training and operations of the troop was focused in individual instruction. Enlisted scout observer training, pilot qualification and standardization, map reading, squad tactics, and air cavalry concepts was representative of the instruction given. Individual instruction evolved into platoon training to include formation flying, internal loads, sling loads, low level navigation and aircraft weapons systems familiarization.
Troop level training began on 8 May 1967. Troop A moved into the Green River Valley south of Campbellsville, Kentucky, 23 May for the first field training by a troop of the squadron. This exercise proved extremely valuable in that it enabled the troop and platoon commanders to evaluate the troop's progress and establish future training goals. During the period 28 May thru 10 June 1967, the troop practiced for and presented an aerial demonstration of the Air Cavalry to the first class of the United States Military Academy. This demonstration was conducted using live fire at the Rolling Forks Range on the Fort Knox Reservation. The troop received praise from all who viewed the demonstration. A letter of commendation from the Director of the Armor School was received by the troop for this achievement. In the latter part of June 1967, the troop again returned to the Green River Valley for the first squadron field training exercise. This exercise gave the squadron commander needed information on individual progress of troop training and necessary corrections in coordination among the troops.
During July 1967 platoon training was again emphasized. During the month the Scout Platoon reached their full momentum in the transition program to the OH-6A. Weapons qualifications for all the troop personnel was an integral portion of training during the month. Troop A returned to the Green River Valley in the third week of July for its third FTX. On the 7th, 8th and 9th of August the troop returned to the field for the Squadron ATT. The troop received a rating of superior indicating the high degree of readiness and justifying the hard work for the many hours in the past three months. Troop A flew approximately 2500 hours from February thru August 1967. During this time standardization for 25 newly graduated aviators was conducted.
Troop A received an overall rating of 93% on its CMMI conducted on 23 August 1967. During the latter part of August all activities revolved around preparation for overseas movement The UH-1 and OH-6A aircraft left Fort Knox and were flown to the west coast for shipment. In the month of September personnel desiring leave received it while activities were still concentrated on overseas movement
On 10 October 1967, Troop A, was airlifted to Oakland Army Terminal for movement on the U.S.N.S. General Walker. May Douglas J. Wood, the troop executive officer, was in command of the troop with First Sergeant John Mercer. The advance party consisting of Maj J Dudley J. Carver, WO Walter J. Riddle and SGT Donald Sqartz left Fort Knox on 12 October to be flown to the Republic of Vietnam. Troop A arrived at Camp Enari Republic of Vietnam on 26 October 1967. Wabtocks were available for billeting upon arrival. Construction of a mess hall, latrines, and showers were the primary projects first encountered