By Russell Sellers, Army Flier Staff WriterSeptember 8, 2011
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (September 8, 2011) -- Change can be difficult, but it's necessary in order to continue pushing the installation into the future, according to Fort Rucker leadership.
Maj. Gen. Anthony G. Crutchfield, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, talked to the Leading Change Team at its meeting Aug. 31 about the challenges it's currently facing and what can be worked on for the future.
"I've gotten a sense of lull in support for the LCT lately," Crutchfield said. "I care so much about this Branch. We need to find a way to make that change."
Crutchfield said he plans to go out to the commanders and other leadership on post and talk to them about the importance of supporting the LCT.
"I believe in the LCT and the work they're doing," he said. "Their charter is to find new ways of doing things. It saves money and time."
After talking to the group about his continued support, Crutchfield took a few minutes to listen to team members about what they're planning and what they would like to bring to the installation.
As he listened to the group's ideas, he said his goal was to provide a vision for the LCT and to offer support when good ideas are presented. However, he did say the group needed to consider the possibilities that not everything would be affordable for the installation or the branch.
"The Army's getting smaller," he said. "That means we have to figure out what we can get by with and what we actually need. For the past few years, we've talked about getting ready to handle a larger training load. We're looking at about 1,500 for our training load. But, I think it's coming down after 2013. We have to figure out what our steady state is and what resources we need to make that work. Nobody has told me that this is what we're doing, but I think this is what we need to prepare for. We're going to continue to spend the money we have, but we're going to do it in the most efficient way possible. We've been more efficient this year than we ever have been, but we still have to continue being that way."
CW4 Paul Sivacek, LCT member and Combined Arms Division instructor pilot, said he felt good about what Crutchfield had to say and was encouraged by his statement about getting the word out to other commanders throughout the post.
"I think the CG's comments, support and his passion are exactly what the branch needs right now," he said. "With his support, the LCT can accomplish just about anything for the branch."
Sivacek also said he felt the CG was keeping a close watch on ideas and actions as to make sure everyone stayed on the same page as far as new efforts are concerned.
"He doesn't want duplication of effort on the military side," he said. "If something isn't being done in a certain area, it could be an opportunity for the LCT. Top-down support is important and hopefully the other commanders will help us make Fort Rucker, USAACE and the branch better."
Making the branch better is something the LCT has worked toward since its inception. In June, it established a new initiative to create and provide professional development workshops to those who need them with the new cost culture in mind, according to Kathy Crisp, LCT member.
The first workshop was held for training instructional designers, instructors, instructor writers and Instructional administrators in June. The training provided attendees with familiarization of new Army learning concepts to assist them in developing Aviation training for the future.
Crutchfield also spoke about the challenges facing Army Aviation and the country as a result of the U.S.'s financial troubles.
"We're going to have to throw some bones out on the altar, but we're not taking nearly the cuts that other branches are taking," he said. "The ends are not going to change. When the president says to the Army, 'do this,' we're going to do it. That's our job. We're still going to be expected to fight and win the nation's wars. The means are going to change and we have no control over that. What we do have control over is how we do it and how we soften the blow. I do have a plan for that."