Army Defends Move to Strip Guard of Apaches

Army Defends Move to Strip Guard of Apaches

The U.S. Army’s top leaders defended their proposal to strip the Army National Guard of its AH-64 Apaches attack helicopters as part of a cost-saving move.

Army Secretary John McHugh and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno said the proposal would help the service avoid some $12 billion in costs — a significant level of savings in an era of automatic budget cuts known as sequestration.

“It’s about the budget,” Odierno said on Thursday during a hearing of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee. “The issue is, we can no longer afford to sustain the amount of aircraft that we have.”


McHugh agreed, saying, “The money’s gone.”

Under the plan, the Army would retire the OH-58 Kiowas and use Apaches for the armed scout and reconnaissance mission instead. Because the service lacks money to buy enough of the attack helicopters to do both missions, it would transfer the Guard’s entire fleet of 192 Apaches to the active component. In return, the Guard would receive 111 UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopters from the active component.

In addition to Apaches, the Guard would also lose 30 OH-58D Kiowa Warriors and as many as 104 UH-72 Lakotas.

The proposed aviation overhaul has stirred controversy among Guard leaders and lawmakers, including Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., a retired colonel in the Arkansas Army National Guard.

Besides creating a “contentious debate” between the active and reserve components, “I just think it’s flawed from a sense that we have taken some of our strategic depth out of the Reserve Component that we believe is a very important component in our ability to prosecute missions around the world,” Womack said of the idea.

Odierno acknowledged it was a difficult decision. He noted that the active component is losing three aviation brigades, while the reserve component isn’t losing any. He also pointed out that Black Hawks flew more than any other combat aircraft during the last decade of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“It is the centerpiece of everything we do,” he said. “I need that capability in the Guard.”

Womack agreed that the utility helicopter will better serve governors and adjutants general during emergencies and natural disasters, but questioned the wisdom of using the Apache for the scout mission and suggested there was a better way to restructure the aviation fleets.

McHugh said the Army will follow the will of Congress, but warned that maintaining the status quo will force the service to find the $12 billion elsewhere in the budget.

“That’s a lot of money,” he said. “That’s a lot of end-strength. That’s a lot of readiness.”

Associate Editor Brendan McGarry can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@monster.com.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Join the Conversation

Tell those idiots like McHugh to find it elsewhere starting with his salary and staff. This is a lame idea by brass who is throwing a fit that AAS program had to be cancelled. The OH-58 can still scout better than the Apache and both were made into a hunter killer pair not to replace each other in there roles.
Like the retirement of the A-10 this shows military narrow mindedness and greed as they want AAS no matter what. Hope this Budget fails to pass BIG TIME.

Agreed. As things are heating up again in Europe, now is not the time to be making any military cuts.

They can keep their blackhawks. The guard will not need them when its pilots choose not to re-enlist.

Whether or not the budget passes as requested is moot. The money still has to come from somewhere.

Any suggestions?

Curious about the long term costs of flying AH-64’s in lieu of OH-58’s. You eliminate an supply chain for an aircraft and associated equipment but replace it with theoretically more expensive aircraft in terms of flight hours?

Guard is losing its Kiowas just like the AC, and I guess the Lakotas are going too since only the Guard has them. Won’t flying more expensive helicopters like the Blackhawk instead of the Lakota add flight costs to the guard? Isn’t that why they wanted a smaller helicopter in the first place?

Of course, we are still upgrading the last of the –A’s to –D and probably going to procure the –E version of the Apache…and that’s what the retirement of the OH-58 is going to pay for.

An old post from earlier in the year that may provide more specifics.
http://​www​.nationaldefensemagazine​.org/​b​l​o​g​/​l​i​sts

What’s not mentioned is the plan to use drones to augment Apaches. Who and what is paying for the drones?

I don’t think even the most optimistic members of the HASC think they can find $12b in cuts from Secretary McHugh’s staff. Sorry. Congressional Republicans and Democrats looking for a less expensive military that is equally capable will not be having their cake and eating it too.

I flew with C Troop 7/17 Air Cav in Nam
. I found the OH58 under powered and not nearly as good a scout aircraft as the Hughes 500 LOH! I don’t understand the replacement! The LOH had plenty of power and was very survival in a crash! It could carry lots of firepower. All told, a superior helicopter for the task. The OH 58 was better suited for VIP flights!

The Lakotas are being sent to replace the TH-67s at Rucker. This year’s budget requests 100 Lakotas to give back to the Guard to backfill those losses. I’ll have to look up the O&M, but I imagine the Guard will get some flight hour money from the active component losing three brigades. The Blackhawk costs more to fly than the Lakota, but a better comparison would be between the Apache and the Blackhawk since the latter is replacing the former in greater numbers.

Well, let’s see, how to save 12 billion. Considering that a National Guard Attack Recon Battalion can save 1 billion a year, and that the Active Component plans on having the equivalent of 20 ARBs of Apaches…transfer 12 of them to the National Guard! You keep aircraft while SAVING defense capability AND money. Seems like a no brainer.

Back up that 1B dollar savings comment on an NGB ARB with something other that conjecture and fairy dust.. Please.….….

Not upgrading and A’s to D’s.… Not building anymore D’s at all for that matter… The only thing coming out of the plant in Mesa is E Models.

Pilots are not enlisted.. They do not “re-enlist”

They are putting them in the CABs so the same flying hour program dollars that pay for every other blade hour will pay for the operation of them.

“The OH-58 can still scout better than the Apache and both were made into a hunter killer pair not to replace each other in there roles.”

There you go again Lance…

How so? The AH64 is faster, has a longer range, equal or better sensors and has better performance at altitude.

The Kiowa is a sound helo though underpowered and at the limit of what can be expected of it. The Apache can do all the Kiowa does and a a little more. The only downside is it’s more expensive to operate but that will be more than made up for by removing it from the fleet. The Army does need a scout because it typically has greater responsibilities when it comes to terrain but note that the Marines with smaller responsibilities make do without a scout helo…

The Army needs a scout but can make do in a pinch. Short more money this is the best of bad options.

Agreed but unless Congress doubles* the amount that is necessary there’s no way to fix this.

*Keep in mind the left requires any raising of the defense budget be matched on the entitlement side. That’s how sequestration was supposed to work and the recent budget that increased defense spending had to match the funds on the entitlement side. The big secret is the left beats up the right for not resourcing defense but then blackmails for more food stamps and welfare to raise defense spending. The left never pays a price for using defense as a club AND a smokescreen.

“the active component is losing three aviation brigades, while the reserve component isn’t losing any.”

Yet there will still be claims of unfairness in 3…2…1…

(and I’ll get a bunch of negatives for telling the uncomfortable truth)

How do you come up with 20 ARB’s?

Assuming you’re right, transferring 12 ARB’s (60% of Army Attack aviation strength) only saves you $8 bil (Guard units are generally a third cheaper). To save $12 bil you have to move 18 of the 20 (90% of Army attack aviation strength) to the the Guard. The price of that move that you didn’t discuss was in employment. Guard units require 30–90 days of predeployment training to be combat ready.

The real brainer is getting the enemy to wait up to three months before we can deploy our attack aviation assets who often supply needed firepower for our light infantry units or make up for armor until it can be shipped from stateside if predeployment stocks aren’t available. Not a plan unless a lot of dead Infantry to buy time for the Guard to arrive works for you.

Not too hard. Do the research. Less than 1/3 of the guard is full time, (including technicians with no 20 year retirements until age 60, no tricare, no housing allowance), no contract maintenance support. The list goes on and on. An NGB ARB literally costs 1/3 of what an AD one does when at home station.

On the other hand, fairy dust is what’s being smoked if anyone thinking Active Duty assimilating 8 battalions of “scout apaches” will SAVE 12 billion. Thanks for the input, tho! ;)

You all should know this was a proposal that the Army Aviation Center of Excellence put together under the leadership of MG Magnum and his team, it was not designed at the Pentagon or within the Sec Army. Comments on here that you can find the money some where else are characteristic of the issues across America and our government. “Don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax that fellow behind the tree.” There is no money anywhere else, this plan offers the best chance to retire the Kiowa while still preserving combat power across active, reserve and guard. I’ve seen enough pilots burn it it trying to make the Kiowa do something it can’t which is armed recce against an armed enemy; any counter proposals that include the Kiowa as part of the future force would be a disservice to those who put their lives in that airframe. Times change, stop clinging to the past and either move forward with the plan or do something else.

How many Kiowa shoot down sites have you secured lately? Check out DoDs focus on A2/AD, stop living in the past with the Kiowa, you are placing future aviators at risk if we keep that under armed, under armored, under powered, technologically dated pos in the fleet

With the current plan, each of the proposed 10 Active CABs would have 2 ARB’s. 2 x 10 = 20, no?

And do you truly think that Active Duty could move all 20 of those ARBs in 3 months? Truly “optimistic scaling” if I’ve ever heard it. Pass me some more fairy dust…

Yes, I resent your comment regarding dead troops simply to support the need to keep Apaches in the NG, when quite the opposite is true. The Guard allows us to keep MORE of the force on tap than Active Duty can in the current fiscally restrained climate. I’m certainly not advocating an “all guard” force. A 50–50 mix would provide “instant (Ha!) deployability” via Active Component as well as quick access to a large, highly trained and experienced reserve force.

That’s kind of why we have a National Guard. (I’m pretty sure I read that somewhere.)

Agree on the 20. Thanks.

Don’t be upset with me because your math was off. You proposed a plan to save $12 bil and only saved $8 bil. $4 bil, especially in this environment, is significant.

12 bn’s is 60% not 50%. BTW, if we deploy the 50% of the active attack battalions who helps the other 50% of the attack BN’s train and get ready to deploy?

While you may resent the comment about dead troops that’s the currency that these types of decisions demand. That comment wasn’t made to keep Apaches in the Guartd. That’s your argument. I just laid out how those attack BN’s support the force and how we use them when we have to deploy.

Yes the Guard provides a large reserve force with a significant experience base. We could debate highly trained because we shouldn’t need predeployment training if units were highly trained. More importantly there is no requirement to have the same forces in the Guard that we have in the active component especially the most deployable units. We don’t have half of the 82nd Airborne in the Guard. Heck, we don’t have a BDE there. The same goes for Ranger BN’s.

Sure the Guard has a purpose. So does the active component. You can read about that mission also.

Even better! We will sabe more money

Ok, so he saves $2M from cutting his staff, so where do we get the other $12B. Everyone whines but come up with no solutions.

No one except the Pentagon and indebted-to-China-and-Japan adminsistration is asking them to the same job with less money. Sequestration is all about the government doing less, period. The Pentagon is being asked to DO less, WITH less; not the same with less. Let the Europeans, Japan, South Korean, Taiwan defend themselves. THEY are the international version of Mitt Romney’s “takers,” sucking us dumb Americans dry.

The real solution is to lay out an balanced force at 80% of the current force structure. Then make 1/3rd of that Guard units. Change the two weeks a year, one weekend a month training regimen to 3 months active (that includes that 90-day workup for deployment), with a paid for backfill to the employer, and you have an Active/Reserve force more like what the Founding Fathers envisioned. Applied across ALL services would save more like $30 to $50 billion a year 9Including equipment changes). Within that plan, pay well (meaning freezing officer pay and bumping junior and mid-grade enlisted by 20%), modernize (buy the better helos), and train hard. Still saves at least twice the sequestration targets.

Yeah, you noticed that too. The Marines are always making do with less.

But they do need the enlisted to maintain them. How do the pilots fly them, if they have no enlisted to do all of the other work?

That is why we have MEUs to buy us that 30–90 days time. They JUMP when someone says “GO”.

Our forces are undersized as against the Chinese, or the Russians. I am against any plan that that cuts that size of our forces. Cut the money from the illegal immigrants and you save a whopper.

Majr0d — as a proponent of the status quo, please answer a few questions. You say a trained unit should not need a predeployment period. How exactly do you think any Army unit prepares to go overseas with out a predeployment train up and how many actual training days does that train up require? For that matter, how do you think the Marines, Navy or Air Force prepares for deployment with out a predeployment train up? How many active Army brigades do you think are ready to deploy right now in 18 hours from alert? My guess is zero. 30 days? I guess 1 or 2. 60 days? Maybe 6. 90 days? I will be generous and guess 10 BDE would meet Army readiness standards 90 days after alert. Which is fine because there is not enough lift available to move more than 7–8 BDE anywhere we might fight in 90 days anyway. There are not enough ranges or training areas or operational equipment to train up faster either. So the question is, why have so much force structure on active duty when no more than 1/3 at best could be brought to bear with in this mythical 90 day window the Active Army clings to? For that matter, why does it take Guard units 30–90 days to prepare? Isn’t that because that is how the Army has programmed resources for the Guard and that is the standard the active Army has asked the Guard to meet? If the Army wants more highly trained units available on a more timely basis why not resource the guard more and change the ARFORGEN cycle to 4 or 3 years for Guard BCT? If we need to reinvest in our equipment and technology why don’t we reduce our personnel costs by moving more personnel to part time status? Makes sense especially given the vast majority of those full timers are not actually ready to deploy anyway.

Rethink it all! Break it down to active, ready reserve and inactive reserve. Active to be on location within 1 week, ready reserve on location within four weeks, inactive reserve on location within eight weeks. Keep each ready with training as needed.

You clearly have zero aviation experience. Ready reserve on location within 4 weeks? We’re talking about flying the world’s most advanced attack helicopter in a joint and contested environment. With the current sequester you could not even get 50% of your active aviation units anywhere on location within 4 weeks. Take a look at some doctrine and the training required to be proficient enough to fly an attack helicopter through the Hindu Kush, at night, under marginal weather conditions while trying to keep your sensor on a line of taliban so that you can put the aircraft in a position to kill them all without so much as a ricochet hitting a locals house and getting an international response from Karzai. Guard and reserve aviation units typically mobilize more than 3 months prior to their deployment date making for a very lengthy deployment and separation for them. You sir have no commonsense or you just don’t understand the subject enough to make a comment

The founding fathers did not envision ANY active force, please read the constitution if you are going to try to cite it. Why do you think we have a biannual defense appropriations limit??

Don’t you think these questions have been asked already? This was an Army Aviation plan that was pushed up to Gen O and the Sec of the Army. Do you know what it took to sell this plan among all the other proposed options. The defense of the logic for this plan was so clear that within a few months Sec Hagel and OSD checked off on the plan after a full vetting and accounting review and began to show support for it. As such it was published in the recent defense budget request. Additionally, this plan was defended on its merits at the AAAA winter consortium.

Did you just state that there is no contract maintenance support in NGB aviation units? I would disagree. So would NGB.

This is a crasy decision, Mr. Putin from Rusia, is laughing at our stupidity, we look as a bunch of idiots.

Yes, MEUs are part of the equation, emphasis on “part”. They can deliver significant firepower once they sail to the region in question.

The Army has several brigades besides the 82nd who also “JUMP” when the order comes. Units are typically on an hour recall or less from their homes and start moving within 18 hours of notification and be deployed in 96. The Airborne BDE is limited by a drop zone and the others need an airfield. Then there’s considering the numerous BDE’s already deployed and prepositioned stocks the Army can fall in on.

In WWII, Korea, Grenada, Panama, Gulf I & II and Afghanistan soldiers were on the ground often before or at least with or within hours of the Marines. The Army does a horrible job of informing others of their expeditionary capabilities and there are some that don’t want it to be known.

You can do that when you have less ground to cover or be responsible for.

Putin took the Crimea with what? 30,000 probably special ops troops in less than two weeks. We couldn’t take and hold either Iraq or Afghanistan with the “most powerful military the world has ever seen” in 10 years!

Our military is OVERSIZED for the task its assigned. It doens’t need to be EVERYWHERE! Its only job is to defend the homeland, which is set between two ocean barriers. How tough is that? We need a military to what? Invade China? Leave China to itself. It’s army can’t cross the ocean without us sending it to the bottom of the Pacific. That should have been our strategy in Vietnam.

The Russian troops face no armed resistance; in Iraq and Afghanistan, US troops faced large, capable insurgencies.

As a cost cutting measure, all land based combat troops should be only outfitted with pitchforks and machetes. Air squadrons should fly remote controlled model P-51 Mustangs, and our naval service can sail a fleet of Sunfish with solar powered water cannons for our maritime defense.

What has happened to our once great nation? Oh yes, Owebama was elected twice — that says it all. Enjoy it while your can Vlad.

Hardly an equal comparison. Ukraine didn’t even put up a fight. And words have meaning. We “took” and “held” both Iraq and Afghanistan. Not being able to hold a country implies there is danger of being forcibly removed. We couldn’t make the Iraqi and Afghan governments competent nor keep their populations from disliking us enough to lay down their arms. Those aren’t exactly cut and dry military tasks.

Amen

I understood what he meant..when they choose to retire after their commitment is fulfilled

This is just an example of the Active Army exploiting The National Guard when it’s convenient (like when there’s a war to be fought and bodies needed). NG is supposed to be as well trained as the rgular Army. That means the same equipment, tools, tactics, etc. That cannot be the case if the NG does not have the same equipment.. This is a simple matter of inequality in the minds of certain Regular Army leaders. NG is always good enough where casualties are being incurred but not good enough in a “peace” period..

Simply cut the Army’s Officer corps, cut the West Point graduate levels, tell the other services like the Air Force and the Navy to cut back some of their large projects, AF Academy and Annapolis. After all Wars cannot be won unless boots are on the ground and only the Army does that. All the rest of the services are primarily support.

Joint Services need to realize that austerity needs to be shared equally. Not cutting ot a combat ability of the Reserve and Natinal Guard

The active Army is dropping three of its aviation brigades because it hates the Guard? The Air Force is trying to shut down whole Air Guard units in order to preserve active strength. The Army is just changing out the airframe and taking a few dozen out of the total. Everyone is taking losses from budget cuts and relatively speaking the Army National Guard is just getting a scratch.

If you want to save 12 Billion, just stop the senseless SRM spraying program (aka Chem Trails). No such thing as global warming people, only those making money by crying Chicken Little and duping the idiot brass into paying for it.

Since when do Warrant officers re-enlist? Certainly officer pilots don’t. Since you don’t understand Army aviation you’d better hope those birds don’t end up in your local police inventory.

Since the Air Force wants to retire the A-10s because they never like to do CAS then give them to the Army and Marines, who can really use them.

Absolutely our military has losing baked into its culture right to the core. Even the lowest level private knows the excuses — Fight to survive not to win.

Really the guard should be abandoned. Its an historical anachronism. We need a professional military not part timers who don’t want to commit.

Ret E-7 What do they do on the week ends they get paid for? Sit around drinking beer and telling war stories? I thought those where for training. How about 2 weeks of training twice a year. Maybe they will get more training accomplished>

Here is a thought, cut the food stamp program and the welfare programs hunger makes people work and welfare pays them to sit at home, take that money and increase the military. With the way things are going in Europe we are going to need every trigger puller and trigger we will be able to find.

I retired as a SGM and still hit the range every week along with keeping up to date on military issues, they aren’t going to catch me lacking when they execute a recall, I would advise all retirees to be ready.

The historic role of the Regular Army was to keep everything ready until the NG and Reserves needed the equipment. Other than timing constraints, what has changed?

How about we start by cutting out trips to China by non-elected people in the White House. Then cut all the tax sponsored seminars the IRS and other governmental agencies enjoy on the tax payer’s dime. We need our National Guard training done here in the states while they are in Garrison status, not on the front lines of the next war.

You couldn’t be more correct in your comment.

Our military normally loses battles because of the civilian command factor, political correctness and rules of engagement which are imposed on our military. So, it doesn’t matter how well trained our men and women are when civilians are making the all the decisions. Judging from your screen name, you don’t like spending money on our military. How about all those druggies and misfits who live off of the social programs and contribute nothing? Why don’t we save some money there by cutting those out?

:“Army Defends Move to Strip Guard of Apaches“_____________________________________I’am sure theres a massage in there for Congress somewhere, but I can see it. Congress is the ones that cut the budget.

With way things are going, they’ll need separate the Guards from the Army just keep them from disarming them to save on their own budget. They’ll end up flying civilian biplane with hunting rifles.

Apache is the wrong platform to replace the Kiowa. It’s like going squirrel hunting with a howitzer!

Think many of you mistaken the role of a scout to a Attack helicopter the Kiowa is not made to attack and out run enemy defenses like a Apache. Kiowas don’t need to be as fast and overpowered that’s not the scouts job. Think many of you don’t get the rip off they are pulling over your eyes.

Perhaps, but until we can figure out how to build a new scout this doesn’t cost us anything.

Seriously bad comment. Good luck finding money in any service

So how much will be spent retraining all the pilots and maintenance crews? Was that factored into the $12B saving? Also, if the –60s are used to the extend indicated in the post, how does the Army expect the Guard to mobilize all over the globe like the AD has? What am I missing with this picture?

Do not worry if there no enlisted personal to work on helicopter. They will hire civilian personal.

I believe nearly everyone here is missing the real reasons why we find ourselves in such a situation; socio-economically and militarily.

First is monetization. Since Nixon repudiated the Bretton Woods Agreement, we have been wending down a road toward worthless currency. As our currency becomes worth less and less, it requires more $$$‘s to accomplish anything not even taking into account ordinary inflation. Add to this the Fed feeding the Wall Street denizens money machine, where money is invested in more and more useless and worthless investments only compounds the problem further. On top of all of this is the tax code/structure.

I’ll take tax year 1956. I could use 1946, 52, 59, 63, 69 up to about 1982. In 1956, 24% of all federal revenue was derived from corporations, in 2012, it was 8%. Go ahead, look up the data. From about 1982 there has been a steady erosion of revenue via corporate taxation. As the amount became smaller and smaller on a percentage basis, the government had to invent ways to come up with more and more revenue. This was accomplished in two ways; 1. Look at your tax return for 2013, how many deductions does the average, hard working, joe-lunch-bucket have? Not many, as the feds have slowly implemented thresholds to deduct $1.00 on your tax return. Example: You now have to exceed 10% (7.5% if over 65/disabled) of your adjusted gross income to deduct Dollar one. So, if your adjusted gross is $70K, you have to have in excess of $7K in medical expenses before you can have a deduction for medical expenses, and it’s only every Dollar above the $7K in this example. Ditto for nearly every other deduction, some have even been eliminated over the years. And the so called offset in the Standard Deduction; it bears no resemblance whatsoever to the amount it truly should be based upon inflation, never mind the monetization part of the equation. 2. To make up the shortfall, we borrow more and more money. How do people think and believe we’ve reached a national debt exceeding $15 trillion Dollars along with the associated interest paid that drains away more and more productive Dollars from our economy? It would be one thing if the money was plowed back into the economy, but it’s not. The money resides in off shore accounts, which at one time were illegal and isn’t taxed. The money is spun around into speculative investments that produce no goods, no jobs, especially for the US or it’s utilized to build and support production in slave like nations like China, Nam, nearly all of the Pacific Rim nations. One need only look to Japan in the latter 70’s into the early 80’s to recognize the destructive socio-economic, and in our case military devastation that occurs when you allow monetization to take hold within a system that’s supposed to be predicated upon capitalism. Don’t anybody here believe it exists in America, we have a bastardized, faux capitalism and Wall Street is running the show and abeted by the Fed.

If people think and believe it’s bad now, wait until we reach $18, $20, in excess of $20 trillion Dollars of national debt. You think and believe we’re seeing devastating cuts to our military now, it’s just a prelude to coming attractions. If we don’t smarten up, we’re going to end up like Japan and the old Soviet Union, maybe worse. So everybody can save the rhetoric about what should and should not be saved within all branches of our military…they’re just getting warmed up. The sad truth is, there are very few and rare individuals in Congress, running for Congress, who grasp what’s truly happened the past 3+ decades. Certainly none of the presidents, presidential hopefulls since 1980 and until this very day understand the problem, or seem to care to understand it and that includes our current president…they have all been monetarists and statists, Republican and Democrat alike

There already exists a wedge of funding that was added when they were going to reduce the OH-58 BN from 30 aircraft to 21 and add two Shadow platoons under the Full Spectrum Cab FDU.

Yeah hunting rifles with a big expensive license to hunt taxes

Some of you complaining and playing “politics” need to read the report — Gen O supports this—AND WE LIVE IN A DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC THAT PLACES CIVILIAN LEADERSHIP IN CHARGE! The issue is building and sustaining a military that meets future threats, and balancing the realities of tighter budgets for some time to come. That also includes balancing roles and missions between the guard and the active component. We all knew this would get ugly by fighting 2 wars and NOT PAYING FOR THEM. Those of you wishing for the resurgence of the Big Bear in Russia will be sorely surprised. Asia is the focus now as the region rises economically and competition for limited resources intensifies. The closer we become to being a purple military (operationally), the better cost savings to be realized (e.g. the integration and cross service use of national recon assets). When one considers the capability of all the combined services, we have more than enough to deal with contingencies. Time to consider a larger transformation and integration of service training and operational capabilities. The situation will drive us to rational solutions.…we have no choice! Climate change will produce more natural disasters, so the Guard won’t be going away anytime soon.…what missions they perform will change and the types of equipment they will need.

Change is a given fact and continuous–the situation often dictates what reality is…living in the past and playing political blame game like some posting here just shows that those individuals never move forward nor learn from their ignorance!

That’s part of the problem: the ongoing outsourcing to private contractors to handle more and more tasks that traditionally have always been performed as Servicemembers’ primary skills and additional duties has been costing the government more and more since they started going more “mainstream” with it post Desert Storm.

They use excuses like overhead and other costs are absorbed out of the contractors’ own pockets.…BS call on that one: if there was not suitable profit to be had, contractors wouldn’t be so eager to offer those services.

Just curious who was being the least honest when they compared such budgets (military-supported personnel and equipment vs contractor-supported personnel and equipment).
I’m curious how many civilians are really willing to work for the wages junior, even mid-grade, enlisted do (the brunt workforce) under the conditions warfare forces them to endure…?

Maybe we can just privatise war all together, then governments are under no liability: let the contractors absorb any and all negative fallout from IED victims, excess collateral damage, civilian deaths, poorly maintained and badly-designed equipment, etc.…

His own military isn’t in the best shape, either?
His own numbers have, just like the US, fallen considerably from Cold War heights.
Ships and subs rusting in ports due to neglect, whole vehicle parks sitting idle and becoming unserviceable despite notions of russian manufacturing robustness.
Remember, Putin’s latest “Crimea river” incursion only shows the Western world his fittest military components.
My guess is he would be just as hard-pressed to mobilize dozens of brigades/flotillas/air squadrons of Russian might for a large conflict as would the US or any of its allies.

This is a stupid conversation. If we really wanted to test the hypothesis out, waging unconventional warfare in the Ukraine is always a possibility. Insurgencies do not emerge overnight. You have the Tatar minority in Crimea and the Catholics in the rest of Ukraine upon which to build an insurgency. We’ve seen how “good” the Russians are at counterinsurgency in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Syria. Tell me — oh great TMB, how the terrain is any worse for the insurgents in Ukraine than it was in Iraq. Strategic lesson: You have a 100% probability of failure when you don’t even try. Anything else you do is higher than that.

So if I am doing the math right here, we are cutting 3 combat aviation brigades from the total force, and transferring 3 brigades worth of utility helicopters to the reserve components. Wow. From a force projection point of view, who dreamed this one up ? Whether the OH-58 is up to its task or no, (I vote no), in this wild and wooly world, we need more combat aviators, not fewer.

I’ll bet there’s a bit of regret now for many of the base closures in Europe that have occurred over the past 25 years.

ALL THE BRASS NEEDS TO CUT THEIR STAFF.. why does a Sgtmaj have 3 assistant’s or a major have 5 ? Give all CO’S ONE assistant and it will pay for a lot in all branches. ..

While everyone talks like they are still in a staff meeting, I wonder if the real purpose is to send these birds to the militarized police just as we have sent armored vehicles, automatic weapons and combat gear to DHS chosen police forces. Keep your eye on the ball, folks. I realty don’t think this is about cost cutting at all. I think it is about inventory transfer for purposes I don’t want to think about.

Many of you are just being selfish. Think of all the democrats that we need to feed. I’d give up my rifle to ensure some democrat and her 10 kids are fed

I have an idea ! Let’s just get rid of all the deadwood, top heavy brass that do nothing but “consult” and bean count. The armed forces are loaded with them. Career, DC sycophants, that never served a day with their troops, but rubbed a lot of elbows with the dirtbag politicians,are not needed anymore. At least in the numbers that we have them now.

it is clear the Federal Gov. wants to strip all states from the ability to resist any Federal incursions upon State Sovereignty

What’s not covered in these calls to strip the Guard of aircraft is how much less expensive it is to maintain and crew those aircraft in the guard.

Active duty you get kids turning wrenches, with huge turnover rates. You pay full time salaries and benefits to pilots whose mission will soon change to targeting dump trucks and armored hulks on ranges, from full time combat. Nothing worse than being on in an attack BN during peacetime. Excruciating comes to mind and turn over rates get very high.

The reality is in the guard you get mechanics who live and breath their individual aircraft. I flew cobras in the guard and you couldn’t find a speck of stray grease or dirt on our aircraft, they were pristine. The payroll and benefits paid to Guardsmen is about 1/5 that if their active duty counterpart. Guardsmen only get paid when they are actually flying. Crewmembers in Guard units utilize their equipment like they paid for it themselves.

Oh yes, give them all to the active duty come tents, you’ll save billions.…right.…

I was a pilot for 42 years (1966–2008) in the Army. I flew in the Guard, Reserves and Active Army. I served in both Vietnam and Iraq.Most of the really experienced pilots were in the Reserves and National Guard. To take away Apaches from the Guard would be a huge mistake. They would lose a great deal of experience. It is a stupid move, just like when the Army replaced the OH-6 with the Jet Ranger. The OH-6 could fly circles around the Ranger. I flew both and the OH6 was far superior. The Army is just following the orders from a President who hates the military.

Take the monies from welfare and food stamp recipients who live high off the hog scamming the federal gvt. Please don’t challenge this statement. As you may or may not know. If the gvt has enough cash to advertise these welfare programs in Mexico then they have too much cash period.

As an ex Army Helopilot, Gunships in Viet Nam, I deplore the Army’s move to cut the Guard of Apaches and Lakotas. If that is the case put all BS and politics aside and DO NOT ASK THE National Guard to active duty to a Combat Zone. It is a known fact that the Regular Army does not hold the Guard in a Good Light. The regular ARMY + Ordinero can KMA

Well said! What more is there to say! Amen!

It is no wonder the ARNG are concerned about this move. The Apaches are the guard’s cash cow after all.

First, they came for the gunships, and I did not speak out.
Then, they came for the tanks, and I did not speak out.
Finally, when they came for me, and there was nobody left to speak out for me.

Put them up in bungalows in Guantanamo Bay, out of sight, out of mind.

Interesting choice of photos for this article. It shows two AH-64Ds from the South Carolina Army National Guard’s 1-151st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion (ARB) with an H-60H from the US Navy’s Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron 11 participating in Strike Coordination and Reconnaissance (SCAR) training last month in Florida. The 1–151 ARB is one of the few Army units that has the expertise to do this type of mission. Good move on the Army’s part taking their aircraft.

You might need to take a look at the amount of guard units that have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan with sucess rates much higher then their active duty counterparts, the guard does the job better with less, this is why when it comes to cuts, the regular Army always wants to cut the Guard, they hate being out done by weekend warriors at every turn. Spoken from someone who has served as both.…Do some research.….

As far as the A-10 give them to the ARMY the only reason the Air Force has them is because it has A Jet Eng, an they think the ARMY can’t fly them the Army call in Air Support, in come all the Gun Ship well they should have the A-10 also as we have Pilets that are fix wing pilots let them do the job they probly can do the job better,then the Air Forse,We are all Military an all get paied there respected pay graid’s so quite the Cut throught, an let the ARMY have them.

Reducing the fighting force of either the Active or the Guard are poor decisions. But the larger issue in this increasingly dangerous world are the NATIONAL budget decisions as a whole. Is National Defense less important than say funding foreign gov’t or wasting money on the UN? Or perhaps we should be doing more to create “taxpayers” (Keystone, etc?) vs 1 in 5 on Foodstamps.???

Hey, maybe the ANG will turn their Blackhawks into Direct Action Penetrators.

The one aviation brach committed to protecting boots on the ground has been Marine aviation and the one service that has mad e hand me downs super stars has been the Marine Corps…sounds like there is a perfect match here , give the A-10 Warthog the home it deserves and the pilots and crews whom will appreciate it
T H E M A R I N E S.….……(by the way I’m Army) Let the high performance stealth fighters fligh support and protection for the aircraft protecting the boots on the ground not forget them the way “multi-mission aircraft seem to do.

How about cutting all the foreign aid and other bs that we give the countries that don’t care for the U.S. and we are always there taking care of their failures to plan.

We’re at war?

Very well said. The active Army is too busy making soldier do other tasks rather than the jobs that they were trained for. As a former person at NTC, I saw first hand how the Army tasks their soldiers to do other meaningless tasks and then expects the mission to be accomplished with less assets while working the poor soldier to the bone. This is why there are so many exiting the active force right now, and why the Guard is maintaining its force and even turning people away. The Guard is the backbone of the services and will constantly be ready for the deployment wherever and whenever they are needed. I would put just about any Guard unit up against any active unit and watch the Guard unit out perform the active unit. I just happen to be in a high speed Guard unit. I know as I help train soldiers in my unit and after seeing the disappointment of the active component, there is no doubt.

Obviously you do not have any facts about the Guard. The Guard has been involved in every war that the United States has been engaged in. Not wanting to commit? I don’t think you know your facts!!

Where is the next Ronald Reagan? Reducing the miliary in the middle of a war. Makes you wonder who’s side Obama is on. He sure isn’t on our side!

you could not be more right, Germany will be your next super power, they, want to take Africa for a foot hold, just watch Germany in the neat year or so. this is not the time to be cutting our military power.

Keep Michelle and the rest of her family at the whitehouse instead of spending millions on vacations each day and the military would not need to take any cuts.

That’s funny I am in the guard and have not seen my family in 3 mnths and wont until late summer. Hell I am only 10,000 miles from home and afraid to commit to something, guess I should be active duty. Since your such an idiot I guess I should clue you in that I am being sarcastic in some of my comment. PS: This is being typed from a war zone!

More crap to support home state guard/reserve units-must be tough serving those 32 days a year. We should cut both mirrored off active duty-giving 111 1st grade aircraft will only add additional budget problems-cut them and be done with it-Maybe we may produce a better budget-not a reserve/guard basher-they serve a purpose for politicians-at the call to move some governor across the state without driving-yet you look at the humanitarian work that’s performed and you can see the need-but put most on active duty and they cannot perform their basic job-way behind the power curve. Have seen firsthand what happens when a group is called on to stand up and produce. Bottom line reduce the equipment and do not replace it-just to appease some pork barrel politician sealing another term

I’m a one of those National Guard AH-64 pilots and want to correct you on your “32 days a year” comment. We fly the same flying hour minimums as active duty aviators. The typical Guard aviator does in excess of 100 days a year training. A lot of that training is done after working a full day at a civilian job. There are sorry units out there that can’t “stand up and produce” and those that can. I’ve seen them in both the reserve and active components. 40% of the Army’s combat power is in the Reserve and National Guard.

Remember dec 7 1941, yes obama is taking use down a slippery sloop and the congress both dems. and repb.with there heard up u know what

so much of the ARMY of ONE

WoW!!! Worried about the budget and stripping patches to save money, Really!!! If the Generals and jhigh ranking officials want to do something constructive in attempting to reduce the budges, how about they give back/return 1/3 of the yearly income, or give up the use of other fringe benefits that they receive?

Raw manpower counts are more expensive than individual generals and generals perks. A general is unlikely to get 250-300x the compensation of the lower worker as in the private sector. Many of the DoD’s costs come out of manpower and compensation for those persons. In the private sector there is tremendous drive to automate where possible and to use machines to augment human capital.

The armed forces are generally skewed towards support in terms of manpower, and that tail is where manpower elimination could free up bodies for other tasks or reduce costs entirely. Our cynical move to simply outsource instead of systematically improve efficiency may not have done us any favors.

Waiting for Boeing to modestly propose that most helicopter maintenance functions be taken over by contractor support.

“If you let us take over more of the maintenance closer to the front line, you can free up manpower!”

Of course, when the primary contractor goes bankrupt…who holds the bag?

When I was in the NG, the units with a high FAD were very well trained and required less train-up time because they had most of the equipment required for wartime. When you cut the Guard you cut the overall readiness of the entire force. Let’s face it, you cannot go to war with the Reserve components. Who do you think does all of the long hauling to get you there?

Retired SGM. Oooorah!

*required

NOTE: Comments are limited to 2500 characters and spaces.

By commenting on this topic you agree to the terms and conditions of our User Agreement

AdChoices | Like us on , follow us on and join us on Google+
© 2014 Military Advantage
A Monster Company.