WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 (UPI) — U.S. Army Europe plans to formally request additional aviation support from regionally-aligned forces, citing limited capabilities due to budget cuts.
U.S. Army Europe, also known as USAREUR, says the cuts part of the Army’s Aviation Restructure Initiative have scaled back sufficient aviation resources. Col. Chris Waters, commander of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade says the biggest deficit is USAREUR’s ability to sustain maintenance, movement, logistics, and communications abilities.
“We’re going to ask for an additional attack battalion, a full assault battalion, portions of a general support aviation battalion, and an aviation support battalion,” Waters said.
The Aviation Restructure Initiative was approved by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno in December 2014, and aimed to reduce the costs of the Army’s operations. However, many Army officials are saying the cuts have been too steep, and may threaten operation readiness.
“USAREUR has kind of validated it in our minds – we need a whole lot more than that, and so we are going to ask for it,” Waters added.