DAMO-AV / By CW5 Terry L. Horner: As I take the reins as the Army’s Aviation Directorate Standardization Officer, I am humbled to serve in a position that influences and solves complex challenges across the Aviation Enterprise.
A UH-60 Black Hawk of the New York Army National Guard’s 3rd Battalion, 142nd Aviation airlifts one of a dozen 105 mm howitzers to the 10th Mountain Division’s Alpha Battery, 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment during an exercise at Fort Drum, NY on May 4, 2017. / U.S. ARMY NATIONAL GUARD PHOTO BY MSG RAYMOND DRUMSTA, 42ND INFANTRY DIVISION
I am eager to continue the ongoing efforts of CW5 Dave Pauley and to break ground with the newly transitioned team comprising the Department of the Army, Military Operations – Aviation Directorate (HQDA G-3/5/7, DAMO-AV). An area of focus that will consume a majority of the Directorate’s energy is the readiness, communication, and synchronization of efforts across Army Commands (ACOM), Army Service Component Commands (ASCC), and Direct Reporting Units (DRU). We must ensure our ability to meet the unknown and unknowable challenges of today and into tomorrow.
Here at the Directorate we are coordinating and synchronizing with the Joint Staff, Army Staff, FORSCOM, and TRADOC to ensure aviation units have the necessary resources to meet the aviation training strategy objectives. Gone are the days of translating the logging of flight hours into an assumption of training readiness. Today we experience resource oversight and objective validation of reported training levels. Training with a focus on collective live-fire gates, and evaluations conducted at every echelon is paramount. These efforts will require us to synchronize across the aviation community and give us the best chance for meeting our Nation’s call.
For aviation to preserve near-term readiness and ensure that we are ready for future challenges, we must maintain a healthy dialog between the active component, Reserve, and National Guard. We must maintain an innovative approach to all tasks with a minimization of risk aversion and emphasis on engaged leadership, supporting new ideas and concepts. The National Commission on the Future of the Army recommendation number 34 – multi-component approach is one area DAMO-AV and all participating elements are generating creative solutions with an endstate of total force readiness. The last 16 years of working together to seize the initiative as we collectively pursue our noble cause of unwavering aviation support to our ground forces will provide said foundation.
At DAMO-AV we are deeply involved in addressing recommendations from recent studies, projects, and reports. While the recommendations span the entire branch, many pertain to strengthening the warrant officer cohort. We cannot afford to lose focus on why the warrant officer exists and the expertise required by them in aviation throughout one’s career. We should continue to broach these topics in our conferences, forums, and summits to ensure leaders understand the expectations of warrant officer service now and in the future.
At the Standardization and Safety desk, we are currently working on the re-write of Army Regulation (AR) 95-1 – Aviation Flight Regulation. The worldwide staffing is now complete. We are collaborating with the Directorate of Evaluations and Standardization to review recommendations to ensure the branch is not unintentionally disadvantaging our organizations. The most notable change in the regulation is the merger of AR 95-23 Unmanned Aerial Systems Flight Regulations and AR 95-1. There are numerous other updates based on policy changes since the last revision along with input from the field to improve clarity for users across the force. As ACOMs, ASCCs, and DRUs create authorized supplements to AR 95-1, we will work to resolve questions and action waivers as needed to support the field commander’s priorities. Know that if it makes sense, we will work to find a solution.
The readiness and the future force will remain the number one and two priorities for the directorate, and we cannot lose sight of the fact that the units we support often do not see our faces or names. What they see is the aviation branch, and they will forever remember the manner in which we conduct ourselves. They not only expect precision from our crews and staffs, they demand it! We must hold ourselves to the highest standards in all readiness areas, communicate effectively with each other, and ensure the branch message is clear and concise.
I extend a sincere thank you, in advance, as we tackle the daunting challenges of the future together. I welcome your input, ideas, and contributions. I am humbled by the outstanding Soldiers and civilians from across the aviation enterprise and our Army.
Here to serve.
CW5 Terry L. Horner
CW5 Terry L. Horner is the standardization officer of the Aviation Directorate of the office of the deputy chief of staff G-3/5/7, U.S. Army in Washington, D.C.