Forces: June 30, 2004


The U.S. Army has created the modular Aviation Brigades as part of the current reorganization. There will be three types of these units, and they are very similar to the old Aviation Brigades assigned to each division. There will be one type brigade for the six active and two reserve Heavy Divisions, another for the three Light Divisions, and a third for the remaining National Guard Units. These brigades are to be more standardized than the current aviation brigades.

Heavy Division Aviation UAs have a Headquarters Company, two attack helicopter battalions with three (eight helicopters each) companies of AH-64s. A medium lift battalion of three (ten helicopters each) companies of UH-60s, and General Support Aviation Battalion with eight UH-60, and 24 CH-47s, an aviation support battalion, and a UAV Company.

The three light divisions will be similar, except the attack helicopter companies will be composed of 10 AH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters.

The Six remaining Aviation Brigades for the National Guard will have a single Attack helicopter battalion of initially two companies with eight Apaches each, building to three companies. Another battalion will have three (eight helicopters each) companies with OH-58Ds, later being replaced with a new light utility helicopter, and a General Support Aviation Company. These units also have the aviation support battalion and the UAV Company.

Each Aviation Brigade will be able to support up to five Heavy or Infantry Brigade Combat Teams.

It is expected that there will be more aviation brigades formed at the corps level to further supplement these divisional brigades.

The new division will have a large number of UAVs, with 8 12 in each Heavy BCT and probably 4 to 8 in the UAV Companies that will provide 44 68 UAVs for the division. Some of these will undoubtedly be Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles as well. Both the Hunter and Predator have been armed with either Hellfire or Brilliant Anti-Tank Munitions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and in other tests. --Michael K. Robel


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