Tue, May 10, 2005
MG James D. Thurman, 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort
The Army Aviation Association of
America (AAAA) has announced its Calendar Year 2004 National Award
Winners. Winning units and individuals are being recognized at the
AAAA Annual Convention, being held this week, May 9-11, 2005, in
Orlando, Fla. The AAAA Annual Convention provides an opportunity
for its members to gather with government and industry
representatives concerned with Army Aviation and participate in the
professional program and exhibits.
The first AAAA Annual Convention was held in June 1959 and has
taken place every year since then. In recent years, the sites of
the AAAA Annual Convention have included Atlanta, Ga.; Fort Worth,
Texas and Nashville, Tenn.
In late 2003, the Army Chief of Staff, GEN Schoomaker stated
that Army aviation needed to be fixed. To achieve this goal, the
CSA appointed MG Thurman, an Army aviator with
broad combat arms experience and a former commanding general of the
National Training Center, to stand up the Aviation Task Force. His
mission was to make Aviation more combined arms capable with a
shortened logistics tail and to optimize it for the joint fight.
Thurman quickly assembled a team of experts representing Army
aviation across the active, Guard and Reserve components.
After two intense months of detailed work, the Aviation TF
addressed all aspects of aviation functionality across the total
Army force. The end product was the Aviation Transformation
Restructure Initiatives, which recommended sweeping changes within
the Branch and across the force. GEN Schaomaker approved the most
significant changes to the Aviation force structure, which
reorganized 11 active component multi-functional aviation brigades
(MFAB), and eight-reserve component MFABs to support full spectrum
operations and homeland security. In addition, as a result of the
TF's recommendations, the Comanche Program was terminated, which
caused the reprogramming of 13 billion dollars back into Army
Aviation to procure over 900 new armed reconnaissance, light
utility, cargo, Black Hawk helicopters, and Fixed Wing aircraft.
Thurman's exceptional management of the Aviation Task Force and
recommended solutions continue to correct decades of neglect. Now
commanding the 4th Infantry Division, Thurman's efforts will have a
monumental and lasting impact on the future of Army Aviation.
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