The pilots of OH-58D Kiowa Warriors are fond of wearing old-fashioned U.S. cavalry hats. They reflect the traditional role the cavalry plays in the Army — reconnaissance, scouting, skirmishing, and occasionally riding to the rescue.
The origin of the Kiowa dates back to the early days of the Vietnam War, when the Army’s air-mobility command began searching for a light helicopter.
By the early 1980s, Army aviation needed a digital aerial platform as spotters for a new generation of artillery. The new OH-58D bore only a passing resemblance to the older Kiowa. The Army rebranded the armed version as the Kiowa Warrior.
Kiowa Warrior has since served in Somalia, Bosnia, and Kosovo on general peacekeeping duties. It had a distinguished career in Operation Iraqi Freedom and was in the thick of counterinsurgency battles.
Accepted for service in 1992, OH-58D Kiowa Warrior 90-00368 served most of its career in a training role at Fort Rucker Alabama, Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia, and finally with the 25th Brigade Air Cavalry at Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii.