U.S. ARMY: New Aviation Office
All in One Basket
The Army’s program executive office for aviation announced recently that it was creating a new project office to oversee Army airplanes, or fixed wing aircraft.
Most people don’t think of airplanes when they think ‘Army,’ and if they do, it’s usually helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles they envision.
But the Army has a fleet of some 350 fixed wing aircraft — mostly smaller airplanes for light transport and non-combat roles. Until recently, a third of those aircraft have been operated by individual organizations and major commands across the Army. Only about 250 were under the control of the Fixed Wing Product Office.
But now, as part of a 2010 portfolio review, Army leadership has decided to manage all fixed wing aircraft under one project office — Army Aviation’s eighth — based at the Redstone Arsenal in Alabama. The change is expected to cut down on duplication — and hopefully, costs, too.
Col. Brian Tachias, the new Project Manager for Fixed Wing Aircraft, says the consolidation is a chance to “implement cost avoidance and cost savings.”
The new office is working on several aircraft acquisitions including modification of six new C-12 intelligence and reconnaissance aircraft to upgrade communications, navigation and surveillance equipment along with improved aircraft survivability technology. Another project for the new office is acquiring three new Twin Otter 400 aircraft for the Golden Knights, the Army’s precision parachute demonstration team. The Army uses public performances by the Golden Knights at air shows and other public events to enhahnce recruitment efforts — much like the Navy’s Blue Angels fighter jet acrobatic demonstration team.
The Army is also looking for a new fixed wing utility aircraft for bigger transportation jobs. urrently, most Army troops are transported in Air Force cargo planes like the C-130 Hercules.
Entry filed under: Aircraft, National Security and Defense, Skills and Training, Special Operations, Unmanned Aircraft, Weaponry and Equipment. Tags: aerospace, Air Force, Army, C-12, military aviation, Navy, Topics, U.S. Army Golden Knights, unmanned aircraft.