Letter to the Editor: A Response to “Make US Army Aviation More Lethal”

Submitted by Tadpole, Daedalian Member Number 13548

Excellent article, 

By way of introduction I am a former ground special pperations (Force Recon, OGA) member, DUSTOFF pilot, EMS helicopter pilot (I’m in the Guard; that’s my day job) recently switched over to the AH-64E. 

Quite simply, until we field future vertical lift, we need well armed Black Hawks in the recon/scout role, well armed Chinooks (think “Guns a Go Go” during Vietnam) for real world air assault and self protection, as well as supplementing the AH-64Es with either AT-6 or Longsword type platforms. Big fan of the A-10 by the way. 

The USAF does a phenomenal job in all areas but they are a strategic force and require expensive equipment. I want them to have expensive high tech gear but I also want them concentrating on the high tech, high-end fight like SEAD or contested area infiltration and air dominance.  

Far from wanting that particular job, I want the Army to take ownership of its own CAS requirements. This can be easily done with the before mentioned platforms. This can also be done more cheaply by the Army National Guard aviation units. We represent over 50% of Army aviation, cost on average 55 cents on the dollar compared to our active counterparts, fly more hours with a better safety record and contain the majority of the nation’s combat veterans (compared to the active component). Add to this that most Guard pilots are commercial pilots in their day job in both fixed wing or rotary wing aircraft, and the answer seems obvious. 

More lethality for less money and already have most of the assets readily available. Win win situation if I’ve ever seen one. Just my two cents.