Army to add combat aviation brigade by 2011

(MILITARY TIMES)   The Army will build a new combat aviation brigade as early as next year by pulling together equipment and people from existing active duty units.

“This is all coming from existing force structure,” said Maj. Gen. James Barclay, commanding general of Fort Rucker, Ala., and the Army Aviation Center of Excellence, who said the brigade will be up and running within 12 to 18 months.

Barclay said he had no details on where the brigade will be stationed, explaining that it is “up to the big Army” to make that decision, and said it was unclear what units will be gathered under the new structure.

The units that will come under the new combat aviation brigade, he said, will be units that will deploy to Iraq. When they come back, they’ll be part of the new brigade.

“We had some individual Black Hawk companies and some squadrons that were out separate, and we’re putting those together under brigade structure,” he said. “They’re separate organizations that we found and we could put them under a brigade headquarters.”

The Army created 11 combat aviation brigades under its modular transformation plan, and most of those have rotated in and out of Iraq.

Now there is greater demand for aviation assets in Afghanistan with the increase in the number of troops there in the past year and the possible addition of more in the future.

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