Full spectrum aviation: Resilient and adaptive for future security
What is it?
Full spectrum aviation is the ability to deliver maximum aviation capabilities in the most timely and flexible manner to the warfighter.
It provides the Army a balanced ability to deliver the combat, combat support, and combat service support, while maximizing efficiencies in training, maintenance and support across Army aviation.
What has the Army done?
Army aviation has been restructured to align it with the task and purpose of formations, improve readiness and enhance reserve component readiness by streamlining the mobilization process and increasing our investment in training.
The Army is using aviation as the combat multiplier to fill gaps from the withdrawal of ground forces by enabling the remaining forces to respond faster, by providing supporting fires, and through manned/unmanned teaming to provide better sensor operations.
What’s planned for the future?
The Army continues to develop and integrate manned and unmanned aviation – intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and maneuver – into a single, cohesive combat capability and into the same airspace.
Technology will continue to improve and demands from commanders in the field will continue to increase. Moreover, the Army is reviewing the design of the Full Spectrum Combat Aviation Brigade (FS CAB) to optimize the future aviation force in support of Army forces generation (ARFORGEN).
Ultimately, the Army is working hard to address capability gaps that will exist out past 2020 and exploring future vertical lift technologies to complement existing capabilities across the force.
Why is this important?
Army aviation, is a key enabler and critical to the overall success of the Army’s mission. It is the most sought after combat multiplier on the battlefield today.
As a force, Army aviation is stretched and stressed but able to sustain its current operations tempo (OPTEMPO.)
Full spectrum aviation responds to lessons learned thus giving the Army greater situational awareness for tactical commanders, enhancing their ability to rapidly assess and respond to threats and changing situations in operations across the spectrum of conflict.
The increased reliance on manned and unmanned aircraft systems continues to change the face of modern warfare and in doing so the Army will be more adaptive and ready in the future security environment.
Flying more than 4.2 million combat hours over the past nine years Operation Enduring Freedom /Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn (six times the normal mission load prior to 9/11) validates the demand of maintaining a significant deployed presence in combat while addressing the requirements to transform and modernize Army aviation.