President’s Cockpit / MG Jeff Schloesser, U.S. Army Retired: As I write this “Cockpit” for our November issue of Army Aviation, our Army continues to soldier on and address head-on training, readiness and modernization challenges, in spite of the continued COVID related impacts around the world.
SPC Kemonte Williams and PFC Daniel Stanton, unmanned aircraft systems repairers assigned to 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, perform maintenance on a RQ-7Bv2 Shadow unmanned aircraft system, Sept. 22, at Evans Army Airfield, Georgia. / U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Andrew McNeil, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division
We at AAAA are doing so as well, although you probably are now aware that we have postponed our November Cribbins symposium until January 20-22 and rescheduled our ASE forum from December to this coming summer.
The reality is that we work together with Army Aviation senior leaders to make these events a success for the Army, and when Health Protection Condition (HPCON) limitations curtail or limit Soldiers’ travel to the events, then we must reschedule. We remain committed to sponsoring high quality symposia that connect Army Aviation Soldiers and leaders, industry, media, and our members.
In this issue we cover down on unmanned aircraft systems, air traffic services, and fixed wing programs, providing our program managers and department leads the opportunity to update us.
Our Branch Chief, MG Dave Francis, highlights the criticality of both the Future Tactical UAS (FTUAS) and Air-launched Effects (ALE) as we address the A2AD operating environment and Army Aviation’s mission to penetrate and exploit within that construct. He also talks about the recent warfighting experimentation at Yuma Proving Grounds – Project Convergence – where the Future Vertical Lift CFT worked with other CFTs to try out new means and methods within a Multi-Domain Operations battlefield.
COL Joe Bishop, chief of the Aviation Division at the Army National Guard Directorate, National Guard Bureau, discusses recent organizational and staff function changes at the Directorate. The Director, ARNG implemented these changes “to focus on improving the functionality and effectiveness of the staff sections across the ARNG Directorate and to better serve the interests of the National Guard of the 54 States, Territories and the District of Columbia as well as better support the Army.” With continued overseas deployments as well as assisting civil authorities with fighting wildfires and helping hurricane victims, it has been an especially busy year for our National Guard!
COL (Retired) Lou Bonham provides a superb update on incredible work done by the AAAA Scholarship Foundation, Inc: it’s amazing to realize that since its inception in 1963, over 5,000 scholarships totaling $8.6 million have been provided to our members and their families. Lou also thanks retiring Scholarship Foundation Program Manager Sue Stokes for her exceptional contributions to the foundation, its board, and all AAAA members. On the behalf of all AAAA members, let me add our own thanks and congratulations: Sue, you are a treasure! We also want to welcome incoming Program Manager Joanne Hansrote: we look forward to working with you, Joanne!
This month we also want to congratulate Army Aviation Branch CSM Brian Hauke on a job well-done, as he prepares to retire, and we welcome incoming Branch CSM Jimmy Wilson. CSM Hauke has made a huge positive impact on our Branch and its Soldiers, and we wish him the best in his future endeavors. We look forward to working with CSM Wilson as we strive to best meet the needs and expectations of our Enlisted Soldiers!
Finally, we congratulate Mr. Don Nitti, civilian deputy to the AMCOM Commanding General, for his selection and recent recognition as the AUSA Region Three and Huntsville Chapter Civilian of the Year. Many of us have known and worked with Don over the past years: he is a true professional and has long made exceptional contributions to Army Aviation. Congrats, Don!
We at AAAA are always working to remain relevant to our membership and our branch. To ensure we are listening to and working with our younger generations of Army Aviators and Aviation Soldiers, we have added new board members to our National Board over the past year. Many of you have met and talked with SGT Ashley Sanchez and 2LT Chance Mathias who have made great contributions to the board already. At Ft. Rucker, Chance has been the lead in pulling together an informal team of peers and working with AAAA Director of Member Engagement, Laura Arena – they are giving us great new and exciting ideas to implement. One such idea that I am especially interested in is a mentorship program. More to follow on that in the next issue of our magazine!
Stay healthy! 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