President’s Cockpit / MG Jeff Schloesser, U.S. Army Retired: It is hard to believe it’s already February! We at AAAA National Headquarters and your National Executive Group are hard at work to make our Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit this April a REALITY.
A UH-60 Black Hawk belonging to 5th Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, awaits take-off during Agile Combat Employment training at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Dec. 18, 2020./ U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO BY SSGT. RYAN LACKEY
As a reminder, it is 21-23 April at the Gaylord Opryland, in Nashville, TN. I wrote last month that we are taking every means possible to actually hold the 2021 Summit in person and will be announcing enhanced measures we plan to utilize in the near future. Warning order: they could include taking a COVID test at or prior to the Summit, and clearly coming back negative, or showing proof of a completed vaccination series. Please consider receiving the vaccination when it is made available to you. Our Army senior leadership is leading the way, and in fact, many if not most of Army Aviation senior leaders have already received at least their first shot.
Congratulations to America’s new Secretary of Defense, Secretary Lloyd Austin. A former Army Vice Chief of Staff and CENTCOM Combatant Commander, he is no stranger to Army Aviation and our contribution to deterrence, warfighting, and homeland support. All of us at AAAA wish him the very best as he undertakes his duties!
For our February issue, PEO Aviation BG Rob Barrie sets the stage for a continued conversation from last month on the challenges and real progress made in PEO Aviation’s Objectives: build a FVL ecosystem; ensure the readiness and relevance of the enduring fleet; and building partner nation capacity. Articles from Future Long Range Assault Aircraft and Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft project managers as well as enduring fleet Army Aviation program managers update the status of their programs and processes to build our future capabilities while continuing to keep our current fleets relevant on a complex, multi domain battlefield.
In this issue we also dive into the Army requirements process setting the stage for our aviation project managers. As many know, there is considerable movement to determine the requirements of our future capabilities more rapidly, while ensuring the seamless integration of those documented requirements into actual programs that result in capability to our warfighting units. The articles from the Capability Development and Integration Directorate and Aviation Platforms and Aviation Enablers Requirements Determination Directorates are a MUST READ if you want to understand how this once astonishingly long process is being enhanced and significantly shortened.
Our Branch Chief, MG Dave Francis, takes us into space – literally. His lead in article on D3SOE – Denied, Degraded, and Disrupted Space Operational Environment – is an important reminder of the Army’s major investment in space and a continued deep interest in maintaining the resulting capabilities. He notes that the U.S. Army is the largest consumer of space enhanced capabilities within DOD. Many of us fought “our” wars with the complete assurance that our “systems” were reliable and accurate and were never jammed or spoofed. That is no longer the case. Our current peer competitors possess significant capabilities to do both. He offers several valuable points for all of us to consider as we deal with this threat to our aviation operations.
In keeping with our monthly “People” highlights, we congratulate SGM “Woody” Sullivan, the first PEO Aviation SGM, as he departs his position. As BG Barrie says, he made “significant and positive lasting impacts!” Best wishes SGM!
We at AAAA are always working to remain relevant to our membership and our branch despite the COVID pandemic restrictions. We continue to work on a virtual Army Aviation Congressional Caucus meeting with the Army Aviation senior leadership, as well as a virtual Army Aviation senior leader update to our AAAA Senior Executive Associates.
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