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Today's Focus:

Combat Aviation Brigades within the Army National Guard

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TODAY'S FOCUS

Combat Aviation Brigades within the Army National Guard

What is it?

The Army National Guard has 8 Combat Aviation Brigades (CABs). This is in addition to the 11 CABs currently provided by the active Army. A CAB typically has about 2,600 Soldiers including 350 aviators with an unique assortment of UH-60A/L/M Blackhawks, CH-47D Chinooks, UH-72A Lakotas, and AH-64A/D Apaches. Two of the CABs with representative structures are California's 40th CAB for the 40th Infantry Division and Maryland's 29th CAB, the Aviation Brigade for the 29th Infantry Division.

What has the ARNG done?

In October 2009, the California National Guard's 40th Combat Aviation Brigade Task Force (TF), scheduled to deploy to Iraq in 2010, completed a simulation exercise observed and controlled by the 166th Aviation Brigade. The 166th Aviation Brigade has trained and validated every major reserve-component aviation unit for deployment since 2006, but just recently moved to Fort Hood as part of a First Army realignment. The 166th provides subject matter expertise, exercise experience and the ability to identify pitfalls through observing and comparing multiple teams. The simulation exercise at Fort Hood was the first opportunity for the 40th to come together as a unified brigade and focus on the command and control aspect of their mission. The 40th will also participate in an exercise at the Fort Rucker Aviation Simulation Center in the spring of 2010.

The 40th CAB TF includes units from 12 states and includes the only National Guard aviation unit that has completed the transition to the UH-60M Blackhawk.

The 29th CAB, the Aviation Brigade for the 29th Infantry Division, is the major Aviation command within the Maryland Army National Guard. The 29th, similar to the 40th, has units from across the nation from Florida to Arizona and includes an Army Reserve attack battalion, which recently upgraded its fleet to AH-64D Apaches.

What continuing efforts does the Army have planned?

The 29th CAB will also participate in three months of post-mobilization training in July at Fort Hood under the control of 166th Aviation Brigade.

Why is this important to the Army?

The Combat Aviation Brigades (CAB) is the Army aviation equivalent to the Brigade Combat Team (BCT). Similar to the BCT, the ARNG CAB is lethal, mobile, experienced and accessible.

Resources:

Army National Guard

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