Earlier this month AUSA held its annual Institute of Land Warfare Aviation Symposium and Exposition.
The event showcased Army and industry speakers and panels on a variety of issues facing Army Aviation today and those it will likely face in the coming years.
Army Aviation must remain agile as it looks towards future conflicts. As MG Tony Crutchfield, CG Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker, pointed out, it is unlikely that tomorrow’s conflicts will resemble the conflicts that Army aviators are training for today. Adaptability will be key if Army Aviation is to maintain its position as the world’s most capable aviation community across the full spectrum of ground support operations. The emergence of Unmanned Aircraft Systems have greatly added to Army Aviation’s versatility, and as this technology matures, the greater integration of UAS with manned aircraft and Soldiers on the ground will help ensure Army Aviation is not caught flat-footed in future conflicts.
Looking towards 2020, Army Aviation will face the difficult task of balancing budgetary uncertainty with the need to field modern aircraft piloted by skilled aviators. While the branch feels confident in its efficacy over the next two to three years, potential reductions in flying hours for training and adequate funding for modernization and procurement threaten to reduce the capability of the branch over time. At some point, all of the Army’s rotary wing aircraft will be obsolete, regardless of how many times they are upgraded, and it will require significant investment in emerging technologies and future vertical lift if Army Aviation is to maintain its capabilities.
Below are two videos of ILW Aviation Symposium and Exposition sessions featuring MG Tony Crutchfield, CG Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker, and GEN Robert W. Cone, CG Training and Doctrine Command. Over the next couple weeks we’ll be rolling out a few more videos of the symposium panels covering Army and industry views on the path ahead for Army Aviation.