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.


 
 

 
Air Force photo by Ken LaRock

First aviation mechanic display added to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

Air Force photo by Ken LaRock A bronze bust honoring the first aviation mechanic, Charles E. Taylor, is now on permanent display in the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force’s Early Years Gallery. The museum is located ne...
 
 
United Kingdom Ministry of Defense photograph

Army researchers develop Cargo Pocket ISR

United Kingdom Ministry of Defense photograph A British soldier holds Prox Dynamics’ PD-100 Black Hornet, a palm-sized miniature helicopter weighing only 16 grams. Researchers with the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, D...
 
 
Army photograph by Charles Kennedy

New CT scanner finds diverse, important uses for researchers

Army photograph by Charles Kennedy Turning a now-standard tool for medical diagnostics and therapeutics to a host of new applications, the U. S. Army Research Laboratory’s Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate rece...
 

 
Army photograph by David Kamm

Chow from a 3-D printer? Natick researchers are working on it

Army photograph by David Kamm Natick food technologists already believe they serve up the best food science can offer. Now they are working to incorporate 3-D printing technology into foods for the war fighter. Army researchers...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Alexander Guerrero

Weapons School students get first look at upgraded B-1s

Air Force photograph by A1C Alexander Guerrero Maj. Brad Weber checks a screen that displays diagnostic information May 7, 2014, at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. The IBS is a combination of three different upgrades, which includ...
 
 
arnold-a10

A-10 ‘Warthog’ tested in 16-T

Air Force photograph A model of an A-10 Thunderbolt II, more commonly known as “The Warthog” due to its unique shape, recently underwent a pressure-sensitive paint (PSP) test in Arnold Engineering Development Complex’s 16...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>