FORT RUCKER, Ala. (Feb. 2, 2012) -- Fort Rucker hosted a "vision" check for Army Aviation in January, but it wasn't about eyesight; it was about foresight.

The Army Aviation 2030 Vision, which serves as a step towards developing an Army Aviation Campaign Plan, was at the heart of the collaborative effort here Jan. 23-26 that involved 300 leaders from across the Army Aviation enterprise assembling with the intent to frame up necessary documents to formally chart the needs and direction of the Aviation Branch.

"It will be a future that ensures a healthy Aviation Branch, postured for decisive operations in defense of our national interests and our nation," said Maj. Gen. Anthony G. Crutchfield, commanding general, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker.

That future requires a clear vision, which will soon be put in ink to document the way ahead.

Army Aviation's target is to achieve the operational capability to meet future reconnaissance, attack and vertical maneuver mission demands. This requires a fleet that is rapidly deployable and adaptable, and includes a new generation of manned and unmanned aircraft, and a reduced sustainment footprint, the general said.

The vision lays out the anticipated future operational environment, Army Aviation's role in the Army of 2020, the future Aviation force, and the Army Aviation Campaign Plan.

The key is to bring together Aviation leaders, from active Combat Aviation Brigade commanders to retired leaders, to cover the gamut of operational experience and knowledge to ensure a successful way forward, said Maj. Gen. James E. Rogers, commanding general, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Life Cycle Management Command.

"The power of that is you get buy-in from the whole community on the direction we're going. Under Major General Crutchfield's leadership, the Branch is going in the right direction. And what he's trying to do, and correctly so, is to make sure he documents it all so that we have a way forward that as the leadership throughout the community transitions and changes, all of them have a good starting point of where we need to go in the future. So it's very powerful, it's exactly what we need to do, and we're on track to make sure we stay viable for the future and support the warfighter," Rogers said.

The key themes across the week's sessions centered on tomorrow, teamwork and speaking with one voice across the Army Aviation enterprise.

Participants tackled a laundry list of the Branch's major objectives within the campaign plan, and recommended changes to senior leaders for decision. Areas of discussion included supporting the Army Force Generation cycle, reset and a post-war operational tempo, growing professional Aviation leaders, sustaining the force, as well as life cycles of the current fleet and the Aim Point of 2030, and decision making in a resource-constrained environment.

To make the tough decisions of the future, Army Aviation must work as a team, said Maj. Gen. Tim Crosby, Program Executive Office, Aviation commanding general.

"It's not about today, it's the long-term implications of what this means in a drawdown environment," Crosby said.

As Army Aviation drafts up its own campaign plan, the outlook is beyond current norms to a "totally new path," Crutchfield said.

"I believe this campaign plan will be enduring, that it will last after the drawdown," Crutchfield said.