Fox News- 101st Airborne Decimated by Budget Cuts
Fort Campbell, Kentucky – A Fox News Exclusive report out today reveals the unsettling news that if a large brigade-sized deployment were necessary right now, the 101st Airborne would not have enough helicopters or people to deploy quickly. All because of the budget cuts.
“We used to have two aviation brigades here, over 200 aircraft, and now we are down to just one aviation brigade and slightly over 100 aircraft.” Col. Craig Alia, Commander of the combat aviation brigade
The 159th Combat Aviation Brigade had to be disbanded due to the budget cuts.
Alia said, Army-wide, the service is short 700 pilots, roughly the same deficit as the Air Force. Known on the radio by his call sign, “Destiny 6,” Alia said the demands on their unit have not reduced, either. “So what you have is an inexperienced maintenance group that has to support a high tempo of flight hours, and it has a wear and tear on the force.”
Maj. Gen. Andrew Poppas, commanding general of the 101st Airborne, said, “When you … reduce the amount of brigades that you have to deploy, yet the demand on those [brigades] goes up, you are going to have to deploy those more often. That induces stress.”
Thanks to the Obama sequestration and his imposed troop limits, the Army had to leave about 1,000 Screaming Eagle helicopter mechanics at home during deployment. That required civilian contractors who had to be paid- which resulted in over a $100 Million expenditure.
It also left morale problems as the skills of the mechanics slowly fell apart. Some of them left the service for other jobs, leaving inexperienced personnel in their place.
“Our maintainers left back here did not have a fleet of aircraft to work on.” Col. Kenric Smith, the 101’s aviation support commander
The Fox News report is comprehensive and troubling. And knowing it’s not just the 101st Airborne, but the entire US Military, it makes me believe that Obama committed treason in more ways than one.
The 101st Airborne, known as the “Screaming Eagles,” have a long and storied history of massive air assaults. They were created in 1942, and began training until D-Day at Normandy on June 6, 1944. Their pathfinders were the first to set foot in occupied France.
From the battles from the beaches of Normandy to the Battle of the Bulge and on into the Vietnam War, the 101st Airborne has fought long and hard. They have been deactivated off and on through history. But they are not done fighting, and continue the battles in Afghanistan.
They will find a way to continue the mission, no matter what happens. Hopefully President Trump can find the money to fix our Military.
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- The Fight for a Military Budget That Works
Featured photo of 101st Airborne Apaches helicopters via Aero-news network