The U.S. Army announced today that air operations continue without interruption supporting the commanders in both Iraq and Afghanistan to give Coalition Forces the tactical-air advantage in the Global War on Terrorism.

"It is important to understand that any emerging threat is being battle-tracked in country and those lessons learned are applied to our aviation training regimen prior to sending aviation units into the theater," said Brig. Gen. Stephen A. Mundt, Director of Army Aviation in the Deputy Chief of Staff of Operation's office.

Since the beginning of the Global War on Terrorism, the Army has over 120 operational losses in terms of aircraft. Twenty-five percent of those helicopter incidents were combat-related losses.

"Our most important loss in any incident is the Soldier and our heartfelt condolences go out to those heroes and their families," said Mundt. "Additionally, theater reports on aircraft incidents suggest that there is a concerted effort to target our aircraft. To mitigate that, we continue to provide in depth intelligence reports to our aircrews, identify new air routes and vary our speed, altitude and course to keep our crews safe. "

In 2004, the Army accelerated the issue of Aircraft Survivability Equipment (ASE). Through Congressional support and at the direction of the Army's leadership, every aircraft in theater flies with best aircraft survivability technology available today. ASE includes crashworthy seats, armored crew seats, ballistic shielding of critical components, laser detectors and survival gear.

"The Army has invested over $2 Billion in equipment to ensure our aircraft have the very best technology has to offer," said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Lee Tutin, Army Aviation Directorate. "Aircraft survivability is also about changing our patterns and procedures routinely and incorporating the lessons learned from theater for dissemination across the Army and our sister services."

The Army dispatches an Army Shoot Down Assessment Team (ASDAT) to investigate every aircraft incident. Managed out of Safety Center at Fort Rucker, Ala., the ASDAT routinely dissects every accident. The investigation results are provided to the Army via a lessons learned secure interactive website. Furthermore, Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe, Virg., ensures aviation curriculum remains updated with any and all lessons learned from the Army's Safety Center.

For more information, please contact Lt. Col. Carl S. Ey at 703.614.2487 or carl.ey@us.army.mil.

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Page last updated Fri March 9th, 2007 at 13:00