Soldiers from 4 Regiment Army Air Corps (4 Regt AAC), based at Wattisham Flying Station in Suffolk, have been on Salisbury Plain for Exercise Wessex Storm. The unit deployed in command of an Aviation Task Force of nine helicopters and some 250 soldiers, controlling Apache, Lynx, Merlin and Chinooks flying in support of infantry training on the ground. 

The exercise is a key milestone in the shift for 4 Regt AAC from operating the Apache in Afghanistan to preparing for future operations anywhere in the world as part of the British Army’s rapid reaction forces.

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Lozen circa 1840-1890

Art by 9 muses and an old mind (tumblr 1, tumblr 2)

Like most Apache women of her generation, Lozen trained at horseback riding and combat from a young age.  By the time she reached adulthood, Lozen was a skilled fighter and an excellent rider.  Married Apache women often participated in military maneuvers, but most functioned as support personnel rather than as warriors.  Lozen was unusual in that she never married and devoted herself to the life of a warrior.  She was also a healer and midwife.  Legend says she had the ability to divine the movements of her enemies. 

The US government forced the Apache onto reservations in the 1870s.  Frustrated by the poor conditions on the reservation, Lozen joined her brother Victorio and his followers when they fled the San Carlos Reservation in 1877.  The group raided forts and other settlements until October 1880 when Victorio and half of his followers were killed by the Mexican Army in the Tres Castillos Mountains south of El Paso.

Away from the group at the time of her brother’s final battle, Lozen survived.  For the next six years, she took part in raids led by the Apache leaders Nana and Geronimo. In 1886, the renegade Apaches surrendered to US forces.  Lozen died in prison from tuberculosis sometime after 1887. 

Dahteste (circa 1860-1955)

Art by Marina Rhodes (tumblr)

Dahteste was an Apache warrior and a follower of Geronimo.  Fluent in English, she served as a translator and messenger for the renegade Apaches.  Along with Lozen,  Dahteste negotiated Geronimo’s surrender to the US Calvary in 1886. 

After the surrender, Dahteste was imprisoned for twenty-seven years.  She married twice and although she had no biological children, she raised six step and foster children.  Dahteste’s oral history, recorded by Eve Ball, is a significant source of information regarding the lives of Geronimo and Lozen