President’s Cockpit / By MG Jeff Schloesser: Army Aviation is an agile and flexible combat capability, and we here at AAAA must be equally adaptable to support our Army Aviation Total Force enterprise, our members, and our great industry partners.
Maintenance doesn’t stop! Soldiers of 3rd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade set up the U.S. Army latest rapid-deployment AN/MSQ-135 Mobile Tower System (MOTS) that will quickly establish Air Traffic Control (ATC) operations worldwide in all-weather conditions, night or day, for military and civilian aircraft. (U.S. Army photo by SGT Sarah D Sangster)
In a time of global crisis such as now, our Army is dual focused: maintaining current combat readiness, while doing everything possible to protect our citizens, our families, and our soldiers’ health. I must note I am very proud to see our Army – our Soldiers – step up and deploy to cities and states that need medical and logistical assistance, and as a one-time combat engineer, I am proud of what our Army Corps of Engineers is doing nationwide..
Much of the strength and resilience of our Branch today is owed to a former Army Aviation Branch Chief, LTG Don Parker, Retired, who we lost last week and whose health had been in decline for some time. LTG Parker consolidated the Branch and spent five years as Chief building the foundation we stand on today. LTG Parker’s obituary is on page 113. I encourage you to understand this man’s legacy.
One of Army Aviation’s biggest supporters and former chair of our AAAA Senior Executive Associates received a very significant recognition recently. GEN Jack Keane, Retired, was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Donald Trump in a 10 March White House ceremony. All of us in Army Aviation salute General Keane!
Many of us were planning to have our very best yet Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit this month (April), but we and the Army made the best choice possible to cancel in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
In collaboration with our Branch Chief, MG Dave Francis, I can now announce we will be vastly expanding our planned Cribbins symposium in November to include Training as well as Acquisition and Sustainment and a dramatically expanded Exhibit Hall.
Mark your calendars for our 2020 Joseph P. Cribbins Training, Acquisition, and Sustainment Symposium, 16-18 November, in Huntsville, Alabama. We are still planning the details but, suffice it to say it will allow our Army Aviation leaders to meet with industry, media, fellow Soldiers, AAAA members and families, and so many others in an exciting and creative environment. We also plan to present the 2019 AAAA National unit, individual and chapter awards at this National-level symposium.
In lieu of the April Summit, we have worked with senior Army leaders to provide a comprehensive “State of the Union” for Army Aviation in this special edition of our magazine.
Kicking off this edition is our own Chief of Staff of the Army, General James McConville, who sets the stage by focusing us on transformational change and the philosophy of People First and the attitude that Winning Matters!
Our Branch Chief, MG Dave Francis lays out the challenges and opportunities to Army Aviation in a detailed look at OPTEMPO, Leader Development, Doctrine, and Training. Among many things, I was excited to read about new Training Support Packages for Terrain Flight and the Radar Threat, which are critical to success on the Multi Domain Operations battlefield.
On the AMCOM front, MG Todd Royar’s article gives us deep insight into the updated Army Aviation Enterprise Sustainment Strategy, including how AMCOM is planning now for new ways and processes to ensure current and future readiness and sustainability at an affordable cost.
Director of Army Aviation (DAMO-AV) director BG “Mac” McCurry discusses the reorganization within the directorate (inside G3/5/7, Army) to laser focus on supporting current readiness while preparing for modernization.
BG “Wally” Rugen, Director of the Future Vertical Lift Cross Functional Team, discusses the positive impacts of the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstration program has had to jump start both the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) and the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) programs, as well the importance of the Future Tactical UAS and Air Launched Effects endeavors, while underlining the importance of MOSA to the fleet, present and future.
Program Executive Officer, Aviation Mr. Pat Mason, as well as PMs from FLRAA and FARA, discuss details of these cutting-edge programs, and announce the down-selection to two companies respectively for both endeavors: our congratulations to Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky and Bell Textron!
And this is just some of the fascinating information you will find in this superb issue!
2020 is off to a challenging start for our members and their families, but I am confident all of us can rise to the challenge, staying healthy while contributing to our nation, our citizens, our Army and Army Aviation. As always, I pledge to ensure that AAAA does its part to help YOU: our Soldiers, families, and senior leaders!
MG Jeff Schloesser, U.S. Army Retired
34th President, AAAA