Army Aviation

Citizen-Soldiers for the Nation and the Future

U.S. Army Reserve Aviation / By BG Scott R. Morcomb: The operational force of U.S. Army Reserve Aviation is the 11th Theater Aviation Command (TAC). Headquartered at Fort Knox, Kentucky, the 11th TAC is the only aviation command in the Army Reserve. We could not own this responsibility so confidently without first highlighting the secret to our success, our people. As part of the overall U.S. Army Reserve mission of providing trained, equipped and ready soldiers to meet the nation’s call both at home and abroad, Army Reserve aviation professionals take that dedication to an entirely new level. While all of our personnel are key contributors, the foundation of our formations is our rated and non-rated aircrew members.

A UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopter from 8-229th Assault Helicopter Battalion (AHB) is prepped for an evening flight Nov. 18 at Godman Army Airfield on Fort Knox, KY./ KY ARNG COURTESY PHOTO

Many of our aviators, flight engineers, crew chiefs, flight paramedics and support staff elements often commit to unconventional duty schedules in order to maintain the same annual flight proficiency standards as the active component. Our Citizen-Soldier aircrew members are comprised of highly educated and qualified professionals that bring unique skills and capability from their civilian careers. Within our formations, we have doctors, lawyers, educators, scientists, engineers and mechanical experts at the leading edge of their respective fields. This level of expertise within the civilian sector enhances our mission ability which is what makes our citizen-soldiers the best this country has to offer.

USARC G3/5/7
The United States Army Reserve Command (USARC) G-3/5/7 Aviation Directorate, located at Fort Bragg, NC, is responsible for developing, coordinating and implementing guidance, orders, policies and programs for U.S. Army Reserve Aviation. Working in primary support of the 11th TAC, the Aviation Directorate manages all Army Reserve Aviation programs. Depot level maintenance, aviation logistics, and funding are specifically coordinated through Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM) and the USARC G8. The directorate also serves as the proponent for the U.S Army Jet Training Detachment (UC-35), USAR Aviation Regulations, and the USARC Aviation Resource Management Survey (ARMS) team.

U.S Army Jet Training Detachment (USAJTD)
Located at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia, USAJTD is staffed with a cadre who execute proponent and full management responsibility for the planning, training, programing, and execution of the UC-35 program. As part of the proponent’s responsibilities, the USAJTD authors the UC-35 Aircrew Training Manual, coordinates fleet wide recurrent training requirements, and provides academic and hands on flight instruction for the UC-35 aircraft qualification and instructor pilot courses. The USAJTD historically conducts 8 aircraft qualification courses (AQCs) and 8 instructor pilot courses (IPCs) annually.

Two UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopters from 8-229th Assault Helicopter Battalion (AHB) conduct air assault operations with soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division Dec. 8 over Fort Knox, KY. 8-229th AHB is a direct reporting unit to the 11th Theater Aviation Command. / U.S. ARMY PHOTO BY CPT TOM BAUER

11th Theater Aviation Command
Manned with over 4,200 soldiers, 700 civilians, 190 aircraft, the 11th TAC possesses the premier warfighting capability within the U.S. Army Reserve. As an Army Reserve Operational Command the 11th provides mission command for all Army Reserve operational aviation units. In September 2016 the command will transition to the Army Reserve Aviation Command providing mission command to two Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigades and two theater aviation battalions (fixed wing (FW)) providing combat aviation (assault, general support, lift, MEDEVAC, maintenance) and FW (Operational Support Airlift (OSA)) capability. These elements provide rotational capacity to the Army and are incorporated into the Sustainment Readiness Model process to support disaster response force (DRF), contingency response force (CRF), Homeland Defense and Theater Security Cooperation.

The 11th TAC also provides a Command & Control Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Enhanced Conventional Weapons (CBRNE) Response Element (A) always ready to support the nation’s Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) mission. As an enduring operational force, the 11th TAC remains a highly professional, value-added partner in the Army Aviation Enterprise. Leveraging geographic dispersion, unity of command, and Title 10 status positions USAR Aviation as the “go to” life saving and life sustaining force needed to support the Total Force.

18 Aviation Support Facilities (Miltech Civilians & Contractors)

8-229th Assault Helicopter Battalion
8th Battalion, 229th Aviation Regiment is currently the only assault helicopter battalion in the U.S. Army Reserve. Operating at Fort Knox, Kentucky, 8-229th is the first AH-64 Apache Battalion in the U.S. Army to convert to a UH-60 Blackhawk equipped assault battalion under the Aviation Restructuring Initiative (ARI). Over the past 12 months, 8-229th has led the way for U.S. Army Reserve aviation not only in the conversion process, but also in individual and collective training. This year alone, 8-229th created 10 new combat crews and has begun supporting countless training missions for the Army Reserve, Army National Guard as well as the Active Component. Meanwhile, the battalion also coordinated and led 21 aircraft transfers in support of the conversion, transferred or received over 150 line identification numbers (LIN) of equipment and completed aggressive battalion led mission essential task list (METL)-focused training in Mission Command, Sustainment Operations, Air Movement and Air Assault. In this last year, the battalion has safely and successfully completed Air Assaults with the Indiana Army National Guard, Kentucky National Guard and the 101st Airborne Division. Additionally, during its Extended Combat Training (ECT), the battalion successfully executed its first UH-60 aerial gunnery in accordance with the newly published 3-04.45 (Combat Aviation Gunnery) and completed numerous command post exercises, Forward Area Refueling Point (FARP) and Downed Aircraft Recovery Team (DART) exercises.

The professionalism and dedication of the 8-229th soldiers has been the most important ingredient in the battalion’s successful conversion. Since the battalion entered its conversion process, nearly every soldier’s duties and responsibilities have changed in some manner. 8-229th’s agile, adaptive and innovative leaders and soldiers have overcome every obstacle they encountered as they become the first fully converted assault battalion in the Army.

1-158th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion
1st Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, is the remaining Army Reserve Attack Reconnaissance Battalion (ARB) and headquartered in Conroe, Texas. One of the unique advantages of 1-158th is that all six subordinate companies are co-located at the Conroe Army Reserve Center. 1-158th Avn. Regt. will convert from an ARB to an assault helicopter battalion not later than September 2018. The unit will turn in 24 AH-64D Apache helicopters and all associated equipment and receive 24 UH-60L Blackhawk helicopters. The battalion has received four Blackhawks to date and began turn in of Apaches in February 2016. Eventually the battalion will field a full complement of 30 Blackhawks. Through this conversion, Reserve Aviation’s utility capability increases to better support combatant commanders, homeland defense, and emergency response. The unit conversion also brings numerous opportunities for anyone interested in becoming UH-60 Crewchiefs (MOS 15T) or UH-60 pilots.

6-52nd Theater Aviation Battalion
The 6th Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment is one of two fixed wing battalions in the U.S. Army Reserve. It operates a fixed-wing fleet consisting of C-12 King Air and UC-35 Citation aircraft. The battalion headquarters is currently in Los Alamitos, California and operates out of four geographically dispersed locations: Fort Worth and Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Knox, Kentucky; and Los Alamitos. The 6-52nd provides daily operational airlift as part of the Joint Operational Support Airlift Center (JOSAC) and habitually supports the Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-S). In addition to this stateside mission, the battalion has maintained a continuous footprint of aircraft and aviation professionals forward deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation New Dawn (OND), Operation Spartan Shield (OSS), the Multi-National Force & Observers (MFO), Sinai and other operations. The immediate future of the battalion involves change, opportunity and promise. The HHC and Company C will consolidate from Los Alamitos and Fort Hood to Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado in 2017 while Company B consolidates at Fort Knox. The battalion is supporting many significant international exercises such as Pacific Pathways and Beyond the Horizon while also establishing routine mission support to the geographical combatant commanders in U.S. European Command (EUCOM), U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) and U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). The next several years are an exciting time to be a member of the Flying Dragons battalion.

2-58th Airfield Operations Battalion
The 2nd Battalion, 58th Aviation Regiment is the U.S. Army Reserve’s Airfield Operations Battalion. Located at the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence (USAACE), Fort Rucker, Alabama, the battalion provides air traffic services (ATS) and airfield management capability. Since a battalion deployment in 2012, the unit has continuously provided individual and small team augmentees to the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). The battalion retires its proud colors in September 2016 and reorganizes as two general support aviation battalion (GSAB) ATS companies. F/7-158th Aviation Regiment remains at Fort Rucker while F/5-159th Aviation Regiment activates at Fort Knox. These additions to the GSABs will dramatically improve their expeditionary capability and brings an unprecedented level of efficiency and safety to aviation operations regardless of operating environment.

244th Theater Aviation Brigade
Based at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, the 244th Theater Aviation Brigade (TAB) is the only aviation brigade in the U.S. Army Reserve. Current configuration includes an HHC, two GSABs, an aviation support battalion (ASB), and an FW Theater Aviation Battalion. Mission support for fiscal year 2016 includes fixed and rotary wing support to the CENTCOM, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), SOUTHCOM and JIATF-S. The brigade will execute in excess of 10,000 flying hours during the FY while supporting two combat training center (CTC) rotations, seven training exercises and a joint homeland defense exercise. The culminating event of 2016 is reorganization to the 244th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade (ECAB) in support of ARI. Its units are:

2-228th Theater Aviation Battalion
2nd Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment is one of two operational lift FW aviation battalions in the U.S. Army Reserve conducting VIP and mission support transport operations in both CONUS and OCONUS. Headquartered at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JBMDL), New Jersey, it operates C-12V/C-12U King Air and UC-35A/UC- 35B Citation aircraft. Geographically dispersed locations include JBMDL; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Rucker; and Dobbins Air Reserve Base. The battalion also supports the U.S. Army Jet Training Detachment, providing aircraft, logistical, and flight operations support. Participating in Operation Angel Thunder, Tucson, Arizona provided an opportunity to support the largest personnel recovery exercise in the world. The battalion also supported missions to Iceland and Germany.

5-159th General Support Aviation Battalion
Located at Joint Base Langley-Eustis (JBLE), Virginia, 5th Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment consists of an HHC and a heavy lift company at JBLEVA; command aviation company (CAC), Fort Bragg; heavy lift company, Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), Washington; and CAC and MEDEVAC companies, Clearwater, Florida. The battalion continues to make significant contributions to overseas contingency operations supporting both CENTCOM and EUCOM. In CONUS the battalion supports SOCOM, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Energy (DoE), U.S. Navy SEAL Teams and the 82nd Airborne Division. The battalion also has a standing mission providing search and rescue (SAR) to Mount Rainer, Washington.

Modernization is ongoing with both CH-47 companies completing transformation to the CH-47F model. The ARI significantly changes the battalion by adding a second MEDEVAC company and ATS company at Fort Knox.

7-158th General Support Aviation Battalion
7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, is headquartered at Fort Hood, with units geographically dispersed across six states. In FY15, the battalion supported efforts that included Global Medic, Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX), WAREX, and River Assault. Mission execution also supported units and agencies such as the Corps of Engineers, 35th Engineer Battalion, Navy Special Warfare Group, U.S. Army Sapper School and others. OCONUS support included contingency operations in both Kosovo and Afghanistan. ARI changes the configuration of the battalion by adding a second MEDEVAC company located at Los Alamitos and an ATS company at Fort Rucker.

90th Aviation Support Battalion
The 90th ASB is headquartered at Fort Worth, Texas. The main effort of the unit is to reset after returning from deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Building on the success of this deployment has enabled each company to maximize its capabilities in CONUS. Gaining experience refueling numerous aircraft to include AH-64, UH-60, MV-22, MH-60, CH-53 and others, Company A has proven their mission capability within the Army and other services as well. Company B’s ability to provide intermediate maintenance support is a tribute to the experience gained during deployment to Kuwait. The battalion is always improving and ARI provides a means to become a complete unit. In September 2016 the unit will activate an organic Signal company completing the final piece of its authorized structure and providing opportunities for signal MOS Soldiers to join the battalion.

The Future of U.S. Army Reserve Aviation
Under the Aviation Restructure Initiative (ARI), Army Reserve Aviation carries out significant efficiencies to better posture as an operational force. Conversion of both USAR AH-64 Attack Reconnaissance Battalions (ARB) to UH-60 Assault Helicopter Battalions (AHB) is 50% complete with 1-158th having begun in February 2016.

The 11th Theater Aviation Command will convert to the Army Reserve Aviation Command while the 11th ECAB activates at Fort Carson, Colorado. This expanded command structure provides a better balance of command and control across the army reserve aviation force. The existing aviation battalions within the USAR are then balanced between the two ECABs based on geographical location, creating an Eastern and Western aligned brigade.
Significant among the restructuring actions includes the conversion of one command aviation company in Los Alamitos to an air ambulance company and the activation of two ATS companies which will round out both GSABs. Finally the ASB will activate an organic Signal company.

Overall ARI provides the means for Reserve Aviation to achieve balance, responsiveness and capability and sets the conditions to continue to provide ready and trained aviation units in support of Army and combatant command (COCOM) requirements.

With current geographical dispersion, high operational tempo and ARI efficiencies, U.S. Army Reserve Aviation will remain a go-to force for our nation. Whether providing support to overseas contingency operations or serving our nation in the homeland, my highest confidence remains in our people. Our Soldiers, civilians and their families maintain the highest standard in the world in both the military and civilian sectors. It is my humble honor to have the opportunity to lead them in service to our country.

Interested in joining Army Reserve Aviation? Our recruiting and retention personnel are always ready to assist. For more information please contact MSG Larry Magana at (502) 626-4996, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website at

BG Scott R. Morcomb is the commanding general of 11th Theater Aviation Command, headquartered at Fort Knox, KY.