By CW3 Joe St. John Kiowa Warrior PilotThe Editor | March 1, 2004
Is there a specific reason that the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior and its pilots are virtually ignored by your magazine, writers and (although I know you probably can’t answer) the U.S. Army?
For years now, Kiowa pilots have been doing the Army’s dirty work while living in the shadow of the glamorous Apache and Black Hawk crews. Now that we have lost six of our comrades in Operation Iraqi Freedom and continue to provide the highest operational readiness rate in the fleet, maybe my brothers and sisters can gleam a little favor from the aura of the Mighty Longbow.
Have you noticed, whenever you visit Fort Rucker, that there is extremely little mention of the -58D? Kiowa Warrior pilots operate a single-engine aircraft in some of the most dangerous flight conditions, conducting the most dangerous missions. We have developed tactics, techniques and procedures to minimize risks and these have now been hijacked by the Apache community. I welcome you to research this phenomena. Why is the Kiowa Warrior the stepchild of Army Aviation?
You are correct that we cannot speak for the Army. But we do not ignore the Kiowa Warrior, or the achievements of its crews. In January, we printed a discussion by one of your comrades, CW4 Glen B. Carter, on how E Troop, 3-7 Cavalry in the 3rd infantry Div. employed that aircraft in Iraq, and the lessons learned from those operations. We welcome other contributions of this sort from the Kiowa Warrior community, and will continue to delve into the performance of the aircraft and its crews.