REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Dec. 8, 2021) – The mission was not a small one – coordinating all maintenance and sustainment engineering support for Army helicopter operations worldwide – but every day, Kevin Rees worked tirelessly to support and sustain the Soldier.
The Army aviation community will say farewell to Rees, chief of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center Systems Readiness Directorate’s Maintenance Airworthiness Engineering Division, with a retirement ceremony and celebration at Corpus Christi Army Depot this week. Rees is set to retire Dec. 31, after 37 years of civil service.
“Under Kevin’s leadership, maintenance engineering was taken to a whole new level within Army Aviation,” said Chris Hodges, DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center technical deputy director for airworthiness. “Kevin helped pioneer an improved process to provide the maintainers with engineering expertise at the point of need. His work addressed a demand that surged between 10,000 to 20,000 Maintenance Engineering Calls each year from both the field and the depot that paid huge dividends in readiness rates of the enduring fleet.”
An Illinois native, Rees began his civil service career in March 1984. Throughout his time with the Army, he’s deployed to the Middle East, been stationed in Germany as an Army Materiel Command science advisor, received advanced training at places like the Army Management Staff College, and managed an organization of approximately 125 engineers with an annual operation budget of more than $30 million.
Through it all, he’s seen DEVCOM AvMC’s role in aviation evolve. While “technology has been a big change in how we do business,” so have the conflicts the United States has been involved with.
“For the first 20 years of my career with the Army it was all about training and preparing, readiness for some unknown, future event,” Rees said. “The last half of my career (after 9/11) was being engaged. That’s a dramatic difference.”