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U.S. Army AH-64E Is Now the ‘Guardian’

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Less than three months after U.S. Army representatives announced that the former “Apache Block III” attack helicopter would be re-designated as the AH-64 “Echo,” the service has officially tied a nickname to the alpha-numeric designation.

On Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, representatives from the U.S. Army’s Apache Project Office informed Boeing Company representatives of the new service nickname for the AH-64E will be “Guardian.” The announcement was made during the Team Apache annual government-industry meeting at the Boeing facility in Arlington, Va.

The new nickname was one of several hundred suggestions submitted in a “contest” environment to name the new aircraft.

The winning nickname was reportedly submitted by Ms. Gina Gill, a Logistics Management Specialist from the Aviation and Missile Command Logistics Center. Her nickname justification stated:

AH-64E-2

The Boeing AH-64E’s new nickname was chosen from several hundred submitted in a contest. Boeing photo

“Although the Apache is known as the deadliest helicopter it is much more. The Apache functions as a safeguard for our soldiers on the ground. It seeks and eliminates threats that would otherwise be undetectable and/or indestructible allowing our troops to complete their missions. The Apache is our soldiers’ guardian in the sky.”

“Reflecting on this nickname process, you sometimes don’t realize the amount of passion that people put into these names,” said Project Manager for Apache Attack Helicopters Col. Jeffrey Hager. “For many, this is their livelihood, and you’ve just given them an opportunity to nickname the new Apache helicopter.”

With the retirement of the last “Alpha” model Apache in July 2012, the U.S. Army fleet will comprise a mix of AH-64D Longbow and AH-64E Guardian aircraft.

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Scott Gourley is a former U.S. Army officer and the author of more than 1,500...

  • Robert F. Dorr

    The Boeing press release and follow-up material like this story use the term “nickname” incorrectly. Apache and Guardian are not nicknames. They are names assigned to these aircraft. Stratofortress, Thunderbolt II and Robert are names. Buf, Warthog and Bob are nicknames. Other sources indicate the real intent is to name this aircraft the Apache Guardian, using both words. Whatever they have in mind, this isn’t a good idea. The Grumman AF-2S/W Guardian carrier based anti-submarine aircraft and the Dassault HU-25A/B/C Guardian both had protective or defensive kinds of missions, which would seem to justify the use of the name. But an attack helicopter should be aggressively on the offense. Whether it’s Guardian or Apache Guardian, you gotta wonder what they were thinking.

  • One wonders if that’s exactly the point of the name, Bob. The days of Warsaw Pack armor pouring through the Fulda Gap, or Soviet client-state armor blanketing the desert presumably being over, you might have to re-cast your purpose-built tank-killing helicopter with a name more fitting its present day missions.

  • Eric "El Gato Wrangler" Tegler

    I would like to see one wearing USCG markings like the HU-25. The red stripes would look cool. Maybe the Coasties could call it the “Red Stripe” after the fine Jamaican beer. “Guardian” indeed. Perhaps they should have gone with “Webelos” – the AH-64E Webelos. That’s homey. Or, I’d have suggested something with shock value. Shock is, after all, a crucial component of warfare. That’s what the books all say. So how about AH-64E “Psycho”? I like that a lot. I mean, it’s not PC at all and it translates into Chinese as “心理” or into Russian as “псих”. That’s scary. It’s even scarier in Esperanto into which it translates as “Psycho”. That’s it, I’m officially re-naming it.

  • A more aggressive name, in keeping with the AH-64E’s mission would be Executioner, but that would be far too militant in today’s PC world. It deserves a more (tactically) offensive name.