The U.S. had a very limited commitment in Afghanistan until well into 2008. We didn’t have the resources in place until summer 2010. I understand that everybody is war weary. But the reality is we won the first Afghan War in 2001-2002. We were diverted by Iraq and we virtually ignored Afghanistan for a number of years. I understand we have been at war for 10 years, but we have not been at full-scale war in Afghanistan except since last summer.
- Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, speaking on CNN’s State of the Union program, June 19
Gates discusses way forward in Afghanistan
I think it's really great to be able to be an inspiration, if that's how I'm perceived. But I think it's really neat for people, whether they're male or female, to set goals for themselves and to be able to recognize those goals and to achieve them. And to know that with the Army, through the support of our team, that they can look forward to those goals and actually make them happen.
-Sgt. Sherri Gallagher, Army's 2010 Soldier of the Year
Soldier, NCO of year competition grueling, rewarding challenge
CH-47F Chinook Helicopters
What is it?
The CH-47F Chinook is the U.S. Army’s only heavy lift helicopter and continues to be vital to overseas contingency operations (OCO) and our nation’s Homeland Security needs. The CH-47F is a critical asset for transporting troops, supplies, and providing various combat support, and combat service support operations. Secondary missions include MEDEVAC, aircraft recovery, disaster relief, and search and rescue.
The CH-47F incorporates key reliability and maintainability improvement modifications such as a new machined airframe, vibration reduction, corrosion protection, digital source collectors, T55-GA-714A engine, Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS), Air Warrior, Common Missile Warning System (CMWS), Infrared Suppression System (IRSS), enhanced air transportability, Digital Automatic Flight Control System (DAFCS), an Extended Range Fuel System II, and is compatible with joint digital connectivity requirements.
The project office for Cargo Helicopters will celebrate the Chinook’s 50th anniversary on Sept. 21, 2011, exactly 50 years since the Chinook’s first flight.
What has the Army done?
Since the CH-47F’s initial fielding in July 2007, six units have been fielded and deployed in theater logging more than 49,000 hours. Its 100 percent mission completion rate is evidence of its capability and reliability. Much of the aircraft’s success is due to the CAAS and the DAFCS, which helps crewmembers to navigate in reduced visibility environments and “brown out” conditions, stabilize flight, and even helps the aircraft to fly a given route by itself, successfully completing complex missions.
What does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army plans to field at least 440 CH-47Fs by 2018. Modernization efforts continue to be integrated into the Chinook fleet such a new blade configuration to add approximately 2,000 pounds of lift capability in high/hot conditions and the implementation of the Garmin 696 to meet the need for terrain awareness and collision warning capability. A ramp gunner’s seat, on/off loading system, an integrated platform health environment, and an upgraded radio suite are other key improvements ongoing within the CH-47 program.
Why is this important to the Army?
No matter what the Army needs to do in the future, from peacekeeping, counterinsurgency, disaster relief or regular warfare, the CH-47 Chinook is vital to all missions around the globe. Each new aircraft reduces the necessity for ground transportation of troops, thereby reducing potential Improvised explosive device casualties and injuries. Through the use of the CH-47F, the Army has the capability to successfully complete more diverse missions while decreasing the risk to the Soldier. The CH-47 Chinook demonstrates its exceptional capabilities every day in combat operations making it a powerful combat multiplier that save Soldiers' lives.
Aviation reset key to sustaining high ops tempo
Future aviators learn to fly CH-47F models at Fort Rucker
Video: Chinook CH-47 F series
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