Western Army National Guard Aviation Training Site (WAATS)

Friday January 9, 2009

What is it?

The WAATS is used to train aviators by giving them the skills needed to defend our nation.

As directed by National Guard Bureau (NGB), Training and Doctrine Command, and Joint Force Headquarters- Ariz. the mission of WAATS is to facilitate aviation training at Silverbell Army Heliport, Marana, Ariz., in order to improve the overall aviation readiness of our active- and reserve- component Soldiers and aviators from several multinational partner nations. All formal courses taught at WAATS are TRADOC-approved. The United States Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, Ala., provides certification, quality control and standardization for the courses taught at the WAATS.

What has the ARNG done?

The WAATS training site was originally designed to train unique skills to Army National Guard (ARNG) Soldiers. Although a field operating agency for the NGB; the WAATS is operated by the Arizona ARNG.

What continued efforts does the ARNG have planned for the future?

The ARNG and the WAATS will continue offering AH-64A (Apache) and OH-58 A/C (Kiowa) courses including Aviator and Instructor Pilot Qualification and Maintenance Test Pilot Qualification. The WAATS also provides a variety of enlisted courses including: Aviation Operations Specialist, Basic and Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Courses, and Helicopter Repairman. Beginning in January FY09, WAATS will provide training for the AH-64D (Longbow) including both Aviator and Instructor Pilot Qualifications. This will be the first time that the WAATS has been given authority by Fort Rucker, Ala. to teach a modernized aircraft course--an important development for ARNG Aviation. In the future, WAATS will provide New Equipment Training for the Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System.

Why is this important to the Army?

The WAATS provides the ARNG and the Army the flexibility to both complement and supplement the institutional training conducted at Fort Rucker, Ala.; ultimately providing additional trained and ready crewmembers and maintenance personnel to support both current and future combat operations. The abundance of available airspace at WAATS allows for realistic aerial gunnery training in both desert and mountainous conditions. This versatile Fort Rucker, AL, site is one of the Army's premier aviation training locations.


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