By Jennifer King AMC (405th AFSB)April 18, 2008
Maj. Gen. James Myles, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Life Cycle Management Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., wrapped up a week-long tour of U.S. Army Europe by chairing an Army Aviation General Officers Symposium, which was hosted in Seckenheim by the 405th Army Field Support Brigade March 28.
Other attendees included Maj. Gen. Yves Fontaine, 21st Theater Sustainment Command commander, Brig. Gen. Jon Miller, 21st TSC deputy commander, and Brig. Gen. Mark Bellini, U.S. Army Europe G-4
The symposium focused on the reset of aviation units throughout the European theater of operations, particularly the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade.
Myles, who spent the week visiting different units and organizations in Europe, was impressed by the scope of work being done in theater and the service provided to the Soldiers by both AMCOM and the 405th AFSB.
"You are in a unique position in this theater," he said. "The challenges you face are different than the ones faced in other theaters of operations, but you're providing excellent support to the Soldier."
Fontaine agreed that aviation maintenance in the European theater is a tremendous asset to have available.
"Our ability to repair equipment here in theater instead of sending it to the States is a function that we want to preserve," he added.
All the attendees acknowledged the challenges of resetting equipment for aviation units and agreed that a cohesive approach involving multiple organizations, including USAREUR, the 21st TSC, AMCOM and the 405th AFSB, is the best way to approach the mission.
"We will track (reset) maintenance as the theater sustainers," said Fontaine. "And we'll work to provide a thorough support system to the execution of reset in the European theater."
By working together and maintaining open channels of communication across the various organizations involved in aviation reset, Myles said that the Army could execute a "flawless and seamless operation" of aviation maintenance in Europe.
Col. Richard Evans, who oversees AMCOM's Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance-Europe, agreed.
"Communication is the key," he said. "We all have to be talking to one another in order to provide maximum support to the Soldier."
The symposium also addressed leadership's key issues regarding Army aviation.
"Quality assurance is a big priority for me," Fontaine explained. "A lot of people's lives are on the line, and we need to be confident in the quality of the maintenance and repair that we are conducting on their behalf."
Myles echoed the same concern.
"At the end of the day, maintenance has to be done right, and it has be to checked right.," he concurred.
Each person acknowledged that while challenges in Army aviation maintenance might exist, the key motivator to success is the Soldier.
"We are all here in support of the Soldier," Myles said, "and we all are working to execute the same mission - keeping the Soldier safe and helping the Soldier succeed on the battlefield."