Army Aviation

Adapting to the New Normal

President’s Cockpit / By MG Jeff Schloesser, U.S. Army Retired: As we go to print for this July issue, our country and much of the world is still facing major disruptions and challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no doubt we will rise above the virus, but it will cause us all, and our Army, to adapt to a New Normal.

In this issue, the TRADOC Commanding General, General Paul Funk, lays out just how TRADOC and the Army is leading the way in operationalizing the Generating Force across the enterprise: as he calls it, leading to a new operating paradigm: A New Normal.

U.S. Army CW5 Chuck Doyno, command chief warrant officer of the 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade, wears a facemask while exiting a HUMVEE Egress Assistance Trainer after being rolled over. This essential training is part of the 28th ECAB’s preparations for their upcoming deployment to the Middle East during the COVID-19 pandemic./ U.S. ARMY PHOTO BY CPT TRAVIS MUELLER, 28TH ECAB

Our country is also undergoing a different but much needed transformation, as civil protests are leading many of us to stand up and insist that systemic racism be totally eliminated in our country. Let me be clear: AAAA stands for 100% equality for all, throughout our nation, our Army, and within Army Aviation.

The majority of the issue continues with a primary focus on training and simulation. Our Branch Chief, MG Dave Francis, focuses on the leading role simulations of all types play in Army Aviation. As he notes, we are leveraging every possible technology to enhance our training experience across the board, which includes aircraft survivability, low cost virtual reality, and the Reconfigurable Virtual Collective Trainer (RVCT-A).

Reports from the field make up the majority of the rest of the magazine, including from our training centers: NTC’s Eagle Team, JRTC’s Alpha Team, and JMRC’s Falcon Team. We also spotlight Corpus Christi Army Depot and its new commander, Colonel J. Parker.

Summer always includes changes in leadership, and so we want to highlight a few at the senior levels. At PEO Aviation, SES Mr. Pat Mason reverts to the deputy PEO position after successfully leading the enterprise for several months, and BG Rob Barrie assumes the charter as PEO-A. We congratulate Pat on his term and look forward to continuing to work with him as the deputy PEO. We want to say a special congratulations to Rob on his promotion and assumption of the PEO position and wish him the very best!

Next up is the U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command’s (USASOAC) Commanding General, BG Al Pepin, who is moving to be the Deputy Commanding General at U.S. Army Special Operations Command, as BG Tom Drew moves to the Pentagon. Taking over as Commander of USASOAC is Colonel Phil Ryan. Again, congrats to both BG Pepin and Colonel Ryan!

As of this writing, we are still planning to hold the Luther Jones Depot Forum at Corpus Christi 25-26 August. Bill Harris and I are watching the COVID-19 issues closely and will coordinate decisions with AMCOM Commanding General MG Todd Royar and CCAD Commander Colonel J. Parker.

We are very hopeful that our enhanced Cribbins Symposium in Huntsville 16-18 November can be held safely – we have a superb agenda of presentations, and industry has really stepped up with a large number of what look to be highly interesting exhibits. Should be a great and very interesting forum! Please plan on attending!

As I noted last month (and the month before that), 2020 will be challenging for our members and their families. I continue to be proud of what Army Aviation does to support America, our Army and our citizens. I am very confident all of us will successfully adapt to the challenging environment caused by the virus – the “New Normal,” to borrow from General Funk’s great article.

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
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