Force Structure: Army's Analyses of Aviation Alternatives
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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In anticipation of budget and military end-strength reductions, the Army is undertaking an extensive effort to reduce the size of its force and rebalance its combat aviation capabilities. In October 2013, the Army Chief of Staff approved a force-structure proposal called the Army Aviation Restructuring Initiative that would cut approximately 10,700 military positions from the Army s end strength by eliminating active-component and reserve-component units from the Army s force structure.1 The proposal would enable the Army to divest nearly 800 older and less-capable helicopters from the force, and rebalance combat capabilities across the regular Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve. The Army would accomplish this by removing all AH-64 Apache helicopters from the reserve component and increasing the number of AH-64 Apaches in the active component. According to the Army, once implemented the aviation restructuring initiative would save roughly 1 billion annually.2 The National Guard Bureau Bureau, although agreeing with many aspects of the Army s proposal, has opposed the effort to remove the AH-64 Apache helicopters from the Army National Guard. Bureau officials said that in their view the removal of these helicopters will degrade the Army National Guard s role as a combat reserve establish a precedent for removing other combat capabilities from the Army National Guard and disrupt Army National Guard units and force structure across 20 states. In January 2014, the Bureau put forward an alternate force-structure proposal that, if implemented, would retain some AH-64 helicopters in the Army National Guard.
- Military Aircraft Operations