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On the Winds of Change

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I hope everybody had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. It is amazing to think we are already in 2017. No doubt 2017 is going to be a year of changes in many ways.

We will have a new President and Administration by the time you read this. The Army’s end-strength drawdown appears to be over and possible increases are on the way. GEN Jack Keane, the Chairman of the AAAA Senior Executive Associates for the past several years handed the gavel over to GEN Scott Wallace this week during our meeting at the Army Navy Club in Washington DC. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut accepted the Democrat Co-Chair position for the AAAA sponsored Army Aviation Caucus. The Army Aviation Caucus also met this week focusing on the future of Army Aviation. Lastly, AAAA leadership will change at the end of April at our Summit in Nashville.

2017 is also the occasion to look back and celebrate the 75 years since the founding of Army Land Forces aviation on June 6, 1942 in the midst of WWII. The actual first aviation school class, the famed “Class Before One,” actually graduated earlier that year at Fort Sill, OK. They were completely separate and distinct from Army Air Forces and were trained as aerial Field Artillery observers flying Piper Cub L-4 aircraft.

We are honored that those great veterans who still remain from the WWII and Korean eras join us each year at the AAAA Annual Summit as “The Originals” or “Cub Club.” We all stand on their shoulders. As I mentioned last month each issue this year of ARMY AVIATION Magazine will feature some aspect of this history. Please see page 46 in this issue.