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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 analysis that included the integration of lessons learned from recent operations. The plan restructures Army Aviation combat units (Active and Reserve Components AC/RC) into Combat Aviation Brigades (CABs) ensuring the aviation units are modular, capable, lethal, tailorable, and sustainable.

What is the Army doing?
Army Aviation continues to capitalize on the reinvestment of dollars, dollars saved from the termination of the Comanche program in 2004, into modernizing the fleet and improving capability. With continued Congressional support, the Army will maintain the disciplined and rapid acquisition for aviation new starts. From this reinvestment the Army has selected a Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), the extended range, multi-purpose (ER/MP) 'Sky Warrior' Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), and the Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA).

The Army has delivered the UH-60M, CH-47F Heavy Lift Cargo Helicopter, and the LUH aircrafts, 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 Congress, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Army/industry teaming to meet schedule and fielding in support of the Soldier.

Army Aviation has converted 11 AC CABs and 8 RC CABs. The Army is fielding a Brigade Aviation Element (BAE) in every Brigade Combat Team (BCT), a BAE (-) in each Stryker BCT and Fires Brigade and is converting four Aviation Classification Repair Activity Depots to the Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group.

The U.S. Training and Doctrine Command conducted a comprehensive revision of all the aviation base field manuals and has fully integrated Flight School XXI for all initial entry rotary wing students. The Army has accomplished this while flying more than 2.6 million hours in support of combat operations in Overseas Contingency Operations. During FY07-08, the Army established Theater Aviation Commands, and expanded Army Special Operations Aviation.

What continued efforts does Army have planned for the future?

In FY07-08, the Army equipped the first units with the LUH, UH-60M, and CH-47F aircraft systems. In FY08 to FY12 the Army will begin to field the JCA, ER/MP UAS, and the AH-64D Longbow Block III systems.

Army Aviation is working in concert with its sister services to develop concepts that will support the Future Force by developing the Joint Future Theater Lift and Joint Multi-role Helicopter programs. The Army will continue to:

  • Transform, modernize, and station its units to maintain a force that can execute the full range of mission sets stateside and abroad as reflected in the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR)
  • Ensure that funding derived 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

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 to combat operations. In order to sustain this critical support to the Soldier 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. It is imperative that the funding from the Comanche termination continue to be reinvested to fully modernize Army Aviation.

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