NGAUS: Guard Apache Battalions Need Six More Aircraft

WASHINGTON (Jan. 9, 2018) — Retired Brig. Gen. Roy Robinson, the NGAUS president, issued the following statement after the recent release of the Army basing decision for the four AH-64 Apache attack-helicopter battalions to remain in the Army National Guard. The battalions will be in North Carolina, South Carolina and Utah with a battalion split between Texas and Mississippi:    

“The recent announcement that the Army will retain four AH-64 Apache attack-helicopter battalions of 18 aircraft each in the Army National Guard follows to the letter the recommendation of the National Commission on the Future of Army.

“Unfortunately, that recommendation was made two years ago—in a very different environment.

“Today’s quickly emerging threats make readiness paramount, and 18 aircraft are six fewer than an Apache battalion needs to deploy. This means Guard Apache battalions will never have enough aircraft to train the way they are supposed to fight. And each would have to borrow six aircraft to go to war.

“In addition, as the House of Representatives noted in the fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, the active-component Army has a serious Apache pilot shortage that wasn’t foreseen two years ago. The Guard currently has six Apache battalions. The decision to keep just four effectively cuts two battalions of Apache pilots when the Army and the nation urgently need them.

“We know this largely was a dollar-driven action. NGAUS stands ready to work with Army leaders and Congress to find the money to build the attack-helicopter force the Army and the nation need in an increasingly troubled world.”

Reporters, Editors & Producers: Retired Brig. Gen. Roy Robinson is available for interviews or to appear as a subject matter expert on defense issues related to the National Guard. Contact John Goheen at 202-408-5882 to schedule an interview or appearance.

About NGAUS: The association was created in 1878 to provide unified Guard representation in Washington. In their first productive meeting after Reconstruction, militia officers from the North and South formed the association with the goal of obtaining better equipment and training by educating Congress on militia requirements. Today, 140 years later with nearly 45,000 members nationwide, NGAUS has the same mission.