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2024 Summit an Outstanding Success!


To all our members, it is so great to be back to the business of executing AAAA presidential duties after addressing a pesky medical issue for the past few months. So much so, that I had the honor and privilege of attending a day (May 30) of the ARSOAC and 160th SOAR activities at Fort Campbell, KY, which included a special and impactful Memorial Service where they honor their fallen. Many thanks to BG Wilkenson and COL Waleski for having me be among their amazing community of Night Stalkers… and for the opportunity to induct Mr. Steve Blasey into the...

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Soaring at the Summit in Denver


Welcome everyone to the 2024 AAAA Annual Mission Solution Summit! Our Branch Chief, MG Mac McCurry, and the entire Army Aviation Leadership will be bringing you all up to date on everything from training and operations, to acquisition and sustainment, special operations, Reserve and National Guard priorities and so much more all under the theme “Transforming Aviation Warfighting – Strengthening Our Sacred Trust.” It is with great regret that I’ve had to ‘take a knee’ due to a medical condition, and as a result am unable to attend and participate in what I know will be an incredible Mission Solutions...

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On Final to the Annual Summit


It is hard to believe that another month has flown by. As you read this, we will have convened a meeting with the National Executive Group and our committee chairs to review several areas, importantly our efforts at developing an organizational strategic plan, and to set expectations for the upcoming National Executive Board meeting in April at the Summit. More to follow, but please check the AAAA website to make sure you know who the committee chairs are and get your issues to them; they are your conduit to each mission area from membership to awards, and Hall of Fame...

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Army Aviation Senior Leaders Forum


Your AAAA leadership has just returned from the Aviation Senior Leaders’ Forum at Fort Novosel, AL, held January 22-25, 2024. What an extraordinary forum hosted by our Branch Chief, MG Mac McCurry, and his Branch Team, with the theme of “Transforming Aviation Warfighting – Strengthening the Sacred Trust.” From the opening “Gathering of Leaders” reception at the Army Aviation Museum, to the classified and unclassified briefings covering the status of Army Aviation and our Army, to the Aviation Awards Dinner that recognized both AAAA Functional Awards winners and the LTG Ellis D. Parker Aviation Unit Award winners, it was simply...

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Roaring Into the New Year!


The Annual Summit in Denver will be barely 90 days away by the time you read this. Incredible! We hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s holiday; really looking forward to the year ahead and the great work that your Association will do in support of our Aviation family. Bill Harris and I had the privilege of travelling to Lubbock, Texas after Thanksgiving to join the leadership of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA) Legacy Committee to see how our Association might best support them in the future, as it plans its inevitable ‘sunset.’ Art Jacobs and...

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Determined to Fly Again


CONCORD, NH, UNITED STATES 01.03.2024 Story by Staff Sgt. Courtney Rorick 114th Public Affairs Detachment After receiving intel of a potential Iranian attack on Al Asad Air Base, in western Iraq, Capt. Brendan Meehan began calling units from the operations tent, warning them to seek shelter. In the early morning hours of Jan 8, 2020, Iran sent a barrage of 22 missiles targeted at coalition headquarters in Al Asad and Erbil Air Base in northern Iraq, in response to the U.S. assassination of Iranian Commander Qassem Soleimani. A missile struck only 100-yards from Meehan’s location, causing a 500-yard shockwave and...

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Chinook Instructor Pilot Retires from Federal Service at 10,000 Hours


FORT NOVOSEL, AL, UNITED STATES 12.22.2023 Story by Kelly Morris U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence FORT NOVOSEL, Ala. — It is said that students are often just one encouraging instructor away from being a success story. For many Chinook pilots over the past 20 years, that instructor was Department of the Army Civilian Charles Mineo, a retired chief warrant officer 4 who served during Desert Storm. Upon his recent flight in the Chinook marking his 10,000th incident-free flying hour, the well-known instructor pilot at Knox Army Heliport, who is often described as “unorthodox” in his methods, stepped away from...

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Ending the Year with a Bang!


First, on behalf of the entire AAAA National Executive Board, and Bill Harris and Janis Arena’s team at the Monroe, Connecticut AAAA global headquarters, I would like to wish you and your families all the peace that is the promise of this holiday season. We hope you have had some time to enjoy each other’s company and appreciate all we must be thankful for. As we start the new year, we are blessed for all that AAAA does, and will do, for you and your families in the future. We have just concluded our Cribbins Readiness Conference in Huntsville, Alabama...

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Updating Summit 2024 Information


MG (Ret.) Todd Royar, Mr. Bill Harris, Ms. Janis Arena and I are just back from the retirement ceremony for Mr. Geoffrey Downer, Director Special Programs (Aviation), AMCOM and PEO, Rotary Wing, USSOCOM at Fort Eustis, Virginia. Hundreds of Geoff’s co-workers, friends, family, personnel from supported units and Army Aviation Branch leaders, and our industry partner representatives packed the Jacobs Conference Center… providing one of the most sincerely heartfelt expressions of gratitude and appreciation for his incredible service that I’ve have seen in many years. Since 1983, Geoff has been a singularly consequential leader in developing and providing the most...

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Moving Forward


It is hard to believe that five months have elapsed since our Annual Summit in Nashville. As reported previously, your National Executive Group (NEG) met at the Connecticut Headquarters to synchronize our path ahead back in June. Part of our discussions centered around the identification and selection of our new Standing Committee Chairs; I am grateful to those that have agreed to take on the Chairman duties and responsibilities and am pleased to announce the following appointments: By-Laws and Legal – COL (Ret.) Shelly Yarborough; Civilian Affairs – BG (Ret.) Kelly Thomas; Finance – BG (Ret.) Tim Edens; Hall of...

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