Congress Should Avert Delays in the Army’s Aviation Restructuring Plans
The Army’s decision to transfer AH-64 Apache helicopters from the National Guard to the active force has sparked a debate that concerns the roles, missions, and contributions of these ground components. The past decade of conventional combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which relied heavily on National Guard units, has led to a renewed recognition of the contributions made by Guard (and Army reserve) units to the security interests of the nation. It has also fostered a conviction that Guard units are primarily conventional combat units that should mirror active Army units in mission, equipment, and employment. Congress should support the Army’s efforts to rebalance its assets in a way that benefits both active and Guard components. It should resist attempts to slow the plan from being executed as quickly as possible and strive to fund the requirements of the Army and other services more robustly.