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new peacetime not going to affect aviation


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found this on the army website thought you all might like it. turns out that as the army transitions to peace time the aviation branch wont be affected... thats great news for those of us that are trying to get to rucker still...

 

 

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (June 28, 2012) -- Observing Aviation training firsthand and interacting with the Soldiers going through flight school were just a few of the reasons Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal said he visited Fort Rucker June 25-26.

 

"I think Aviation is such a critical element in terms of the development of the force of the future," the secretary said before his departure Tuesday afternoon. "We cannot reduce our support or compromise our ability to deliver that kind of support to our Soldiers around the world."

 

During the two-day visit, Westphal flew in several different aircraft; experienced simulation training at Warrior Hall in Daleville; observed Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape training; visited the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center; and spent time with Soldiers on post.

 

He praised the training at Fort Rucker, saying it "has been the stalwart of our efforts in the last 10 years of very significant combat operations in two theaters of war."

 

Westphal said his visit to Fort Rucker was an important part of understanding the role of Army Aviation and how to further investments in the branch as combat operations in Afghanistan come to a close and the Army braces for potential budget cuts.

 

Maj. Gen. Anthony G. Crutchfield, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, called Westphal's trip to the post a "critical visit."

 

"I think the important thing is it gives him insight into what's happening down here at Fort Rucker and how we conduct Aviation training," Crutchfield said, adding that he did not anticipate any cost-cutting measures that would degrade the training conducted on post.

 

"We are not facing any drastic resource cuts in this branch," he emphasized. "Army Aviation is the best-resourced branch in the Army and that's not going to change."

 

One of the highlights of Westphal's visit to Fort Rucker was a flight in a new Chinook model, a CH-47F.

 

The secretary said he wanted to learn about the differences between the Fox model and the more standard models the Army has used over the past 10 years.

 

Westphal spoke to the pilots of that aircraft to learn exactly what those differences meant for the Soldiers who would be using the equipment.

 

"Learning about that, seeing how it operated, feeling the ride, understanding the role of that aircraft and understanding a little bit about the training and what our Soldiers are going through to learn to operate it was very, very instructive," he said.

 

The best way to learn about Aviation training, he said, wasn't reading a briefing, but visiting the Soldiers where they are and talking to the people who actually fly the aircraft.

 

"Those are reasons I think it was important for me to come here," he explained.

 

During his time at Fort Rucker, Westphal said he was able to ask Soldiers pointed questions about the installation, training, redundancies, equipment and training schedules.

 

He also spoke with almost every level of Soldier, from junior enlisted to senior officers.

 

"I think their candidness and their willingness to share their experience is pretty valuable," Westphal said. "I think they feel that in their own way, this is another way they can contribute to the Army and their country because they realize that these types of conversations lead to decisions down the road."

 

Westphal maintained Army Aviation is an "absolutely critical and essential" piece of that plan for the future.

 

"The Army needs Aviation. The nation needs the Army to be mobile and needs the Army to have the kind of assets that it needs to get our Soldiers to places they need to get to," Westphal said, adding that Army Aviation is also an essential element of disaster relief and homeland defense.

 

"Coming here gave me a very good perspective on how we sustain that readiness in Army Aviation," he said.

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Currently I deliver coke where I am at. It's always been said no matter how bad the economy is everyone will still drink a Coke. And nothing can replace the need for drivers. I know this doesnt parallel perfectly but thats the way I look at it.

 

I stopped drinking soda about 9 months ago! :D

 

 

I've been wondering if those ever increasingly popular drones will one day replace military helicopters, and perhaps LE as well?

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It's naive to think that the drawdown and shrinking funding isn't going to affect every aviation branch. Aircraft may not go away but flight hours and funding sure will. There is already talk about what next year's budget is going to look like and the consensus is that it isn't going to be pretty.

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Is 20 hrs a month reasonable to expect now and/or in the future?

 

Depends on the unit and airframe but in most cases, no. I've averaged 16 hours/month since flight school as a Black Hawk pilot and other than not tracking IP, I've been in the best positions for accumulating hours.

 

An Apache pilot I know has followed the same career and averaged 23 hours/month, but I think it will be tough to get half of that without deployments. Black Hawk pilots won't be affected as much.

 

In either case I'd guess most pilots will average 10-15 hours/month over the next 5 years.

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BTW, the only thing this article is saying is that flight school training won't be slowing down. That's been the plan for the last few years and everything I've seen indicates it's true. To say there will be no changes in the branch isn't true though because there have already been changes. WO promotions have been pushed back and the promotion rates have gone down (which is a good change imo). Flight hours will go down, maybe not because of budget cuts, but because there's no reason for flying 500+ hours/year in garrison. Leaders all across the Army are going to be more conscious of saving resources. Bonuses for tracking have already disappeared.

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Honestly performing all required tasks and iterations requires 15 to 20 hours a month. Any tasking over and above that will hurt readiness without the extra hours allowed.

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I dont think we have the political and global situation to make it like the Clinton cutback days. Are we going to shrink the flight hours? I am sure, but I doubt we will fail to make at least our minimums. Who knows, maybe another war will kick off...

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Who knows, maybe another war will kick off...

 

It's America we're talking about, of course it will....

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15-20 hours is a lot more than minimums though. That's 90-120 hours per semiannual period. That's a lot more than anyone's ATP requirements, especially considering 48 or 70 hours isn't anyone's true minimum requirements after considering time spent not RL1 or FAC1 for whatever reason, plus credits for simulator hours. We are talking long term here right? I just don't see how Regular Joe Line Pilot will pull off 1200 hours in 5 years with no deployments, much less expect more.

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In a brief with MG Crutchfield at Ft. Rucker in late June, we got a detailed explanation of how he is making "cuts" to the aviation branch and how he is able to justify increases in funding for aviation. In actuality the cuts that are projected to be made are only notional and "on paper" and they dont translate to any less flight time or less people coming through the pipeline. Aviation is growing, if you didnt notice, the Army is building two new Brigades of aircraft and personnel. If anyone knows what is happening in the branch, I would say he is probably the dude in the know...seeing as how he is the main cheese and goes to DC to lobby for money and justify his branch budget to Congress.

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In a brief with MG Crutchfield at Ft. Rucker in late June, we got a detailed explanation of how he is making "cuts" to the aviation branch and how he is able to justify increases in funding for aviation. In actuality the cuts that are projected to be made are only notional and "on paper" and they dont translate to any less flight time or less people coming through the pipeline. Aviation is growing, if you didnt notice, the Army is building two new Brigades of aircraft and personnel. If anyone knows what is happening in the branch, I would say he is probably the dude in the know...seeing as how he is the main cheese and goes to DC to lobby for money and justify his branch budget to Congress.

 

It's going to be hard to justify the budget of a force that is going to be sitting idly by for the next decade or two. Short of WWIII happening we're not getting into another full blown war. Low intensity, limited warfare will be the future for the military for some time. Take his word for what you want, but I have yet to believe 100% of the word that comes out of any general's mouth. Not because what they say isn't true or a lie, but because they have have bosses too and they will be the ultimate authority on what will exactly happen. Not trying to be a negative nancy, but that's the reality of what will happen.

 

I don't think it will be as bad as the 90s but there are already rumors of squadrons getting canned as the war draws down.

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In a brief with MG Crutchfield at Ft. Rucker in late June, we got a detailed explanation of how he is making "cuts" to the aviation branch and how he is able to justify increases in funding for aviation. In actuality the cuts that are projected to be made are only notional and "on paper" and they dont translate to any less flight time or less people coming through the pipeline. Aviation is growing, if you didnt notice, the Army is building two new Brigades of aircraft and personnel. If anyone knows what is happening in the branch, I would say he is probably the dude in the know...seeing as how he is the main cheese and goes to DC to lobby for money and justify his branch budget to Congress.

 

The lack of deployments will severely cut the flight time you can expect. I don't understand where you guys are getting the idea you wont lose flight time.

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i merely posted this article to try and point out that even though we are transitioning to a peace time army, the amount of packets getting selected wont decrease and the aviation unit size might not either... didnt want to start a war in here. sorry everyone

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I still think that anyone joining the Army needs to join for more than just getting their wings and flight hours. Maybe I'm an idealist, but I think you have to look at it like the profession of arms and aviation. Along with a dose of service. It isn't all about sunshine, rainbows, and flight time. Just my 2 cents.

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