Friends of Fort Rucker understands that Army readiness must remain a high priority during these challenging times. Our goal is to assist Fort Rucker - the Army's Aviation Center of Excellence - in exceeding the needs of training and support forces.
Information is key to having a positive and direct impact on operational readiness and effectiveness for the Home of Army Aviation. That is why Friends of Fort Rucker is committed to providing information to our congressional delegation in an effort to show how they can best support the Soldiers of Fort Rucker and the surrounding communities.
Alabama's congressional delegation has been a champion in the endeavor to keep Fort Rucker a strong and viable force. As the defense department works to streamline its operations, it is important that decision makers understand Fort Rucker's role in national defense as the Army's Aviation Center of Excellence.
Economic development pursuits play an invaluable role in strengthening the economy, and make Fort Rucker even more attractive for future basing. Because of this we strive to take all necessary and prudent actions to seek expansion of existing operations and develop new opportunities for growth at Fort Rucker.
The Defense Department's budget for next fiscal year requests $4 million to begin planning a round of base closures to begin in 2019 - and the department is threatening unilateral action if Congress once again denies the request.
The department for several years now has asked Congress to authorize another round of Base Realignment and Closure but has been blocked by lawmakers worried that military installations in their states and congressional districts could be on the chopping block.
"The need to reduce excess facilities is so critical that, in the absence of authorization of a new round of BRAC, the administration will pursue new options to reduce wasteful spending on surplus infrastructure within existing authorities," the White House Office of Management and Budget says in its fiscal 2017 budget blueprint.
The US Army says it has divested all but two of its Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warrior squadrons under its sweeping aviation restructure initiative, which handed the armed aerial scout role to unmanned RQ-7 Shadow UAVs.
The service is also “on track” to divest its Bell TH-67 Creek training helicopters, with Airbus Helicopters UH-72As supporting initial-entry rotary wing training at army aviation center in Fort Rucker, Alabama, for the first time this week.
“The OH-58, it breaks my heart but we’ve got to do it,” says major general Michael Lundy, who heads the aviation centre of excellence at Fort Rucker, at conference in Washington DC today. “It’s the right thing to do and we will finish divestiture here during 2016.”
The mission of the independent organization known as “Friends of Fort Rucker” is to maintain and enhance the viability of Fort Rucker as the primary helicopter training facility, preserve the current tenant activities on post and seek out additional missions for the installation.
We remain dedicated to protecting the Department of Defense investments in Fort Rucker, which is the lifeblood of the Wiregrass community.