FORT RILEY, Kan. (WIBW) -- Sources say several Apache helicopters were damaged at Fort Riley's Marshall Army Airfield during a thunderstorm that blew through the area Wednesday night.
According to officials in the Combat Aviation Brigade, the helicopters sustained various degrees of damage. One of the Apaches was reportedly severely damaged when was flipped over by strong winds. An anonymous WIBW viewer sent in a picture of the overturned attack helicopter.
The 1st Infantry Division Public Affairs Office released the following statement late Thursday: "High winds damaged six aircraft located on Fort Riley’s Marshall Army Airfield a little after 6 p.m. on July 18. No personnel were hurt in this incident. The aircraft, which belong to the 1st Infantry Division’s Combat Aviation Brigade, were in pre-flight status at the time in support of training flights scheduled for the day. In addition to the aircraft, a trailer and several buildings located on the airfield received minor damage. The battalion continued training on July 19. The incident is under investigation."
Fort Riley is the first installation to receive the new Apache Block III helicopters, valued at $36 million each. The first of 24 new Apaches landed at Marshall Airfield in April and more are scheduled to arrive throughout the rest of the year. The new fleet is replacing the Apache Block II's that Fort Riley has been using. Officials could not confirm whether the Block II or Block III helicopters were damaged during Wednesday's storm. Damages estimates were not provided.