Restructuring Army Aviation
What is it?
Army Aviation is transforming and modernizing to improve capabilities to meet current and future full-spectrum aviation requirements. The Aviation Transformation Plan, nested in the Army Campaign Plan, was developed based on a full Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership and Education, Personnel, and Facilities (DOTML-PF) analysis that included the integration of lessons learned from recent operations. The Plan restructures Army Aviation warfighting units (active and reserve components) into Combat Aviation Brigades (CABs) ensuring the aviation units are modular, capable, lethal, tailorable and sustainable.
What has the Army done?
Army Aviation continues to capitalize on the reinvestment of Comanche dollars into modernizing the fleet and improving capability. With continued congressional support the Army will maintain the disciplined rapid acquisition for aviation new starts. From the reinvestment of Comanche dollars the Army has selected a Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH), Extended Range Multi-Purpose (Sky Warrior) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), and the Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA). It has delivered the UH-60M, CH-47F, and the LUH, and established programs of record for the AH-64D Longbow Block III, and the Small Unmanned Air Vehicle (SUAV). The success of these programs, to include Flight School XXI and the training base, is due to the continuing support and synchronization of efforts from the United States Congress, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Army/Industry teaming to meet schedule and fielding in support of the warfighter.
Army Aviation has converted the 11 Active Component Combat Aviation Brigades CABs) and 8 Reserve Component CABs. We are fielding a Brigade Aviation Element (BAE) in every Brigade Combat Team (BCT) and a BAE(-) in each Stryker BCT and Fires Brigade and converting four Aviation Classification Repair Activity Depot (AVCRAD) to the Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group (TASM-G). Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) conducted a massive revision of all the Aviation base field manuals (FMs) and has fully integrated Flight School XXI for all Initial Entry Rotary Wing students. The Army accomplished this while flying over 2.3 million hours in support of combat operations in the Global War on Terror. From Fiscal Year (FY) 2007-2008, the Army has been establishing Theater Aviation Commands (TACs), and expanding Army Special Operations Aviation (ARSOA).
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
? In FY 2007 we equipped the first units with the LUH and CH-47F. In FY 2008 to FY 2011 we will begin to field the UH-60M, JCA, ARH, ER/MP UAS, and the AH-64D Longbow Block III systems (as depicted below). Army Aviation is working in concert with our sister Services to develop concepts that will support the Future Force by developing the Joint Heavy Lift (JHL) and Joint Multi-role Helicopter (JMR) programs.
We will continue to:
- Transform, modernize, and station our units to maintain a force that can execute the full range of mission sets stateside and abroad as reflected in the Quadrennial Defense Review.
- Ensure that funding from the Comanche termination continues to be reinvested to fully modernize Army Aviation.
- Maintain oversight of industry to ensure program cost, schedule, and performance measures are met.
- Maintain congressional support for the JCA and ARH programs.
Why is this important to the Army?
As recent events around the world have illustrated, Army Aviation continues to be a relevant member of the joint force's response to full-spectrum military operations -- from homeland defense and disaster relief, to peace enforcement and combat operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism. In order to sustain this critical support to the warfighter and our Nation, Army Aviation must continue to transform, modernize and station its units to maintain a modular, sustainable, deployable, and lethal force that can execute the full range of mission sets stateside and abroad as reflected in the Quadrennial Defense Review 2006. It is imperative that the funding from the Comanche termination continue to be reinvested to fully modernize Army Aviation.