Aviation Branch History

Topics: United States Army, Attack helicopter, United States Air Force Pages: 13 (4555 words) Published: June 24, 2013


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Aviation History

(Each Aviation Regiment has its own regimental insignia and coat of arms)

Branch Insignia

Branch Plaque

Branch Type: Combat Arms Birthday: The Army first used light aircraft for artillery forward observation and reconnaissance in June 1942. Following the establishment of the US Air Force as a separate service in 1947, the Army began to further develop its own aviation assets (light planes and rotary wing aircraft) in support of ground operations. The Korean War gave this drive impetus, and the war in Vietnam saw its fruition, as Army aviation units performed a variety of missions, including reconnaissance, transport, and fire support. After the war in Vietnam, the role of armed helicopters as tank destroyers received new emphasis. In recognition of the grown importance of aviation in Army doctrine and operations, Aviation became a separate branch on 12 April 1983. Mission Statement: The mission of Army Aviation is to find, fix, and destroy the enemy through fire and maneuver; and to provide combat, combat service and combat service support in coordinated operations as an integral member of the combined arms team. Career Management Field: Aviation (15) AIT Locations: Fort Rucker, Alabama, Fort Eustis, Virginia. Sheppard AFB, Texas, Fort Huachuca, Arizona Additional Resources: Army Aviation Units

US Army Aviation History
Modern Army aviation was born on 6 June 1942; a few months after the United States entered World War II. Throughout the war, and for several years afterwards, Army aviation was called organic Army aviation. This was done to distinguish it from the Army Air Force and because its aircraft and personnel were organic to battalions, brigades, and divisions of the Army Ground Forces. The original function of organic Army aviation during World War II was to assist in the adjustment of artillery fire. During the course of the war, however, organic aviation's small fixed-wing aircraft, commonly known as Grasshoppers, came to be used for command and control (C2), medical evacuation (MEDEVAC), wire laying, courier service, aerial photography, reconnaissance, and other purposes. The principal reason for the expanding mission of organic Army aviation was that its aircraft were accessible to ground commanders and able to operate in close coordination with ground forces. The aircraft of the Army Air Forces often were not. Both the original creation of organic Army aviation and its assumption of additional functions during World War II provoked friction and rivalry between the Army Ground Forces and the Army Air Forces. When the Army Air Forces became the US Air Force in 1947 and organic Army aviation remained part of the Army, the friction continued and lasted until the 1970s. To avoid the expense of having two aviation organizations with overlapping functions, the War Department and later the Department of Defense (DOD) established restrictions on the roles and missions of Army aviation and on the size and type of Army aircraft. For essentially the same reason, Army aviation's primary training and the development and procurement of its aircraft were controlled by the Army Air Forces/US Air Force for many years. These restrictions were specified in a series of War Department and DOD memoranda and by agreements between the Army and the Air Force that began in 1942 and continued until 1975. Notwithstanding the continuing restrictions on the roles and missions of Army aviation, its actual functions in combat situations continued to expand during the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, for essentially the same reasons as during World War II. Concurrently, Army aviation progressively became independent of the Air Force in matters of training, procurement, and logistics. Army aviation thereby evolved from a small organization with a limited combat support mission...
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