Defense

April 5, 2013

Army chief talks aviation, sequestration at Fort Rucker

Tags:
Sara E. Martin
Fort Rucker, Ala.

army-aviation1
Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno got a first-hand look at the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and spoke about the effects of sequestration on the community, during a visit to Fort Rucker, April 1-2.

The chief’s visit included tours of different training facilities, briefings, a flight tour of the installation, meetings with students from the U.S. Army Warrant Officer Career College and flight school, and a town hall meeting that was open to Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians, contractors and family members.

Odierno told town hall attendees that aviation is an important part of the Army’s future, and because of Fort Rucker’s unique role in Army aviation, it too was significant. One of the advantages of Army aviation, Odierno said, is the ability to conduct air-ground operations with “the best rotor wing capability in the world.”

“Nobody has been able to move around the world, move forces or have significant mobility like we do,” he said. “You play a key role in sustaining these asymmetrical advantages that we already have. In my mind, that is what makes Fort Rucker so important.”

During a press conference at the installation, Odierno said one of the reasons for his visit was to discuss budget difficulties and how the base is going to move forward in light of the Army’s new fiscal constraints. He also spoke about the “Soldiers for Life” program, the Pacific threat, how the Army will move into the future without damaging its readiness, and sequestration.

“I am proud of the people [who work at Fort Rucker] who continue to improve the capacity we have here,” Odierno said. “They do it in such a way where they understand the importance of doing it with [fewer] dollars and still get a lot of capability out of it, that is impressive.”
army-aviation2
The general added that the Army has to sustain its ability to train aviators in order to create an Army that is regionally engaged and globally responsive.

“If we don’t sustain Fort Rucker, we will lose our readiness for our aviation capabilities,” he said. “If we have to reduce it, we will try to mitigate that as much as we can.”

Maintaining economic strength means reducing debt and investing in things that are important to the country, Odierno said. He told members of the Fort Rucker community that as the Army is asked to reduce its budget, it is his duty and that of others like him to ensure any reductions are done the right way.

“We have to make reductions in a way that does not hinder our [ability] to deliver Army capabilities where they are needed,” Odierno said. “We are given the responsibility to save lives, but when necessary, to take lives. So we have to work through short-term budget problems and we have to develop the Army of the future while still engaged in combat.”

Though the Army’s aviation branch must adjust and change as it looks to the future, how the Army trains its aviators and how it responds to some of the most difficult conditions will “never change,” Odierno said.

“Our aviation school will be here for a very long time; this is something that is important to us,” Odierno said. “It is in a great place to train and allows us a lot of flexibility in our ability to train because of the number of airfields, [as well as] the population and what the population provides us in terms of skills. One thing I can assure you is that in one year, two years, [or] three years from now, we will have the best Army in the world.”

At the town hall meeting, the floor was opened up for questions. Among other things, question topics included the Defense of Marriage Act, the budget beyond 2014, physical fitness uniforms, and slots for special schools.

Odierno finished his visit with an Association of the United States Army breakfast, where he again took questions and spoke about budget cuts.

“My goal has and will always be that those forward-deployed and those getting ready to deploy have what is necessary to ensure that they will be able to do their jobs, that they will have the right training, the best equipment and leaders that will allow them to move forward,” he said. “But, no matter what, we will lead you through this uncertainty.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines August 28, 2015

Business: Rafale, Mistral on agenda for Le Drian in Malaysia, India¬†– French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is due to visit Malaysia Aug. 30, with talks expected to cover the Rafale fighter jet and Mistral helicopter carrier, website La Tribune reported. U.S. Army to choose new landing craft next year¬†– In line with the Pentagon’s...
 
 

News Briefs August 28, 2015

Boeing plans to lay off some Southern California workers Boeing has announced that it plans to lay off employees at its Southern California-based satellite division. The Los Angeles Times reports that the aerospace giant said Aug. 25 that it will lay off as many as several hundred employees at the El Segundo factory. Boeing says...
 
 

Special tactics Airmen killed in hostile incident

Two special tactics airmen, who were deployed in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, were killed near Camp Antonik, Afghanistan, Aug. 26. Capt. Matthew D. Roland, 27, and SSgt. Forrest B. Sibley, 31, were at a vehicle checkpoint when two individuals wearing Afghan National Defense and Security Forces uniforms opened fire on them. NATO service members...
 

 

Hurricane Hunters to fly Tropical Storm Erika

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters are operating out of Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., flying their state-of-the-art WC-130J Super Hercules into Tropical Storm Erika in support of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew four missions into the tropical storm from their deployed location at St. Croix in the...
 
 
LM-MUOS

U.S. Navy, Lockheed Martin ready to launch MUOS-4 Aug. 31

The U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin are ready to launch the fourth Mobile User Objective System secure communications satellite, MUOS-4, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Aug. 31 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V...
 
 

Pentagon probing alleged distorting of war intelligence

The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating an allegation that the military command overseeing the anti-Islamic State campaign distorted or altered intelligence assessments to exaggerate progress against the militant group, a defense official said Aug. 26. The official was not authorized to discuss the probe publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity. The investigation was...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>