Leaders from the Aviation and Missile Command attended the 2023 Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit held in Nashville, Tennessee April 26-28.
The annual event is hosted by the Army Aviation Association of America and is the only opportunity for the entire Army aviation community to gather in one place, at one time, to focus solely on Army aviation issues. This year’s theme was the “40th Anniversary of the Army Aviation Branch: Honoring the Past and Transforming for the Future.”
Maj. Gen. Tom O’Connor, AMCOM commanding general, was a key participant in numerous forums throughout the event. During his presentation to National Guard aviators, he explained limitations can persist without proper and accurate upkeep.
“We can't do all the operational stuff without maintenance and sustainment,” he said.
He also focused on readiness, supply availability and the overall capacity to resolve unforeseen issues. He said AMCOM is constantly looking at ways to leverage technology in order to be more precise in their sustainment capabilities across the board, and he assured them that AMCOM is doing all it can to keep them operational.
“Supply availability is one of my core missions,” he said. “The goal is to provide you the material needed to maintain your weapons systems and aircraft.”
Another topic squarely on O’Connor’s mind at the event was the modernization efforts at Corpus Christi Army Depot and Letterkenny Army Depot, as they provide strategic depth and readiness.
Letterkenny Army Depot is primarily responsible for overhauling supply readiness associated with weapons systems, such as the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System and the MIM-104 Patriot. Planned improvements to LEAD include future precision fires remanufacturing, and a modernized and adaptive joint missile maintenance facility.
“They've been instrumental in ensuring we have the capacity and capability to support our nation,” O’Connor said.
Corpus Christi Army Depot is the premier helicopter repair facility in the world. However, supply chain issues are always a concern as the demand for parts and materials continuously grows. Parts can be difficult to find as some are no longer being manufactured, or there is a reliance on a single-source of supply.
“Our demands over the past 10 years are different than our demands today and going forward,” O’Connor said. “As obsolescence starts to impact some of our current systems, we’re trying to mitigate that risk through our program management offices to identify which of those parts can be replaced.”
Improvements planned for CCAD include a modernized powertrain facility for enduring platforms to enable support for Future Vertical Lift and an aircraft remanufacturing facility.
“I'm very pleased with the organic industrial base modernization plan that's been laid out by the Army,” O’Connor said of the planned improvements at the two depots. “I'm so proud of what our depots do. They really are a strategic readiness enabler for the nation.”
This year AAAA brought together Army aviation units from the active component, National Guard and reserve, as well as the program executive offices and industry partners. The three-day event included professional sessions hosted by Army leaders, to include Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. James McConville, and media roundtables and working groups. The majority of the discussions centered around modernization initiatives and new systems the Army is looking to procure in the next five to 10 years and building the Army of 2030.
While much of the attention was on Future Vertical Lift, attendees were sure to interact and collaborate with other industry partners working toward building platforms and weapons systems that will define the future of aviation for the military.
In addition to readiness and modernization, O’Connor also highlighted his No. 1 AMCOM priority, people.
“We have a wonderful workforce,” he said. “They are a strategic insurance policy for the defense industrial base, and they enable us to support the warfighter.”