FORT BRAGG, N.C. — The Afghanistan conflict, marking its 10th anniversary, is in many ways a helicopter war.
Army aviators fly attack missions, ferry troops and supplies and evacuate the wounded. They are in ever-increasing demand even as America eyes the exits in Afghanistan.
The pilots are flying roughly 63 hours a month — nearly five times the peacetime average.
Wow. I knew Army aviation was in great demand, but 63 hours a month is incredible. That’s a great strain on the crews, and you’d better believe it is a great strain on the airframes as well.
And as soon as the Army gets out of Afghanistan, and the budget is slashed, you can bet the crews will be struggling to get four hours a month of flight time.