Army Aviation

Communication, Synchronization and Readiness

Director of Army Aviation / By BG(P) Frank W. Tate: I am excited to assume the responsibilities as the new Director of the Department of the Army, Military Operations – Aviation Directorate (HQDA G-3/5/7, DAMO-AV).

A U.S. Army AH-64E Apache helicopter crew chief assigned to Task Force Tigershark, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, 7th Infantry Division directs pilots during departure for a mission in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel at Jalalabad Airfield, Afghanistan, June 12, 2017./ U.S. ARMY PHOTO BY CPT BRIAN HARRIS

As one of only two branch specific offices within the Army Headquarters, I am humbled by this opportunity and look forward to working within the Aviation Enterprise to tackle the complex challenges facing our team. Empowering our Soldiers and Civilians with the best opportunities to synchronize, communicate, and build/sustain optimal readiness is the principal objective. Our Soldiers on the ground deserve the best!

I want to personally thank MG Erik Peterson for his leadership and dedication over the past year as the Director of DAMO-AV. His vision and hard work was critical to the success of the branch during a dynamic period of change and will undoubtedly have a lasting impact. Bev and I wish the Petersons much happiness and success in their next endeavor as the Division West command team.

If the past is any indication of the future, the operating environment of tomorrow will be a complex mixture of state and non-state actors competing for power and influence across the globe. Our military has spent the past decade and a half focused on conflicts within the Middle East, while our adversaries have watched, recorded, and innovated. Since its inception, Army Aviation has provided an asymmetric advantage to our joint force. This unequal advantage will not prove infallible if we as an enterprise do not synchronize our efforts, communicate our message, and build effective readiness across the force.

Army Aviation’s ability to enable the Army Operating Concept’s imperatives and crosscut all Warfighting challenges is directly linked to our ability to synchronize. Leaders across the branch must synchronize their thoughts, ideas, and efforts to clearly define the way forward. As a branch, we will only attain improvement in our programs, processes, and doctrine if we come together as one voice. Processes such as the Quarterly Aviation Synchronization Meeting, the Aviation Senior Leaders Forum, the Worldwide Aviation Logistics Conference, the FORSCOM Monthly Aviation Readiness Review, and the annual AAAA Mission Solutions Summit are just a few from which such synchronization is garnered.

To gain traction and continue progress in the path to success for Army Aviation, the branch needs to communicate its synchronized message clearly and concisely. DAMO-AV plays a critical role in this effort, carrying the voice across the Army staff, Joint staff, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Congress, industry and the media. In strategically communicating our capabilities, vulnerabilities, resource requirements, and ongoing efforts, the branch will continue to gain the necessary support and funding required, while simultaneously maintaining the confidence that has been instilled since its inception. The same message must be spread across the full breadth of the Aviation Enterprise to ensure that those manning our aircraft and turning wrenches on the front lines understand where the branch is heading and how they can contribute to the efforts of readiness.

The resultant product of our energies across the branch must be a ready force, capable of fighting and winning our nation’s wars. Readiness is generated throughout all levels of our enterprise. If both leaders and Soldiers understand the priorities and direction of the branch, they can better formulate efforts to both train and sustain under the most realistic conditions. It is incumbent upon all of us to ensure we prioritize actions and make the best use of our limited resources as stewards of our profession. Readiness must be at the forefront of all of our efforts.

With the commitment and focus I have seen from Soldiers and Civilians throughout my career I know we can enhance our synchronization, communicate effectively, and build/maintain the readiness this nation demands.

Thank you for your dedicated service and sacrifice to our nation. I am privileged to serve with each and every one of you.
Above The Best!
BG Frank Tate

BG(P) Frank W. Tate is the director of aviation in the office of the deputy chief of staff G-3/5/7 of the U.S. Army in Washington, D.C.