U.S. ARMY AVIATION SUSPENDERS

Because of its origins as observation platforms for Field Artillery units, Army aviation units were trained at Fort Sill in Oklahoma from 1942 until 1954, when the need for greater space led to the establishment of the Army Aviation School at Fort Rucker in Alabama. In 2008, Fort Rucker was redesignated the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence, and is now home to all Army Aviation training programs.

Three Aviation brigades—the 1st, the 110th, and the 128th—are responsible for the training of enlisted personnel, officers, and warrant officers in the 30-plus Aviation careers in the Army. The 1st Aviation Brigade traces its origins to Vietnam, when it was activated as a provisional brigade with four battalions under its command. At the height of the war, the brigade comprised more than 4,000 aircraft (fixed- and rotary-wing) and nearly 25,000 Soldiers. Today, the 1st is responsible for the educating officers and enlisted personnel across a wide swath of Military Occupational Specialties, with a special emphasis on developing future leaders in the Aviation branch.

The 110th Aviation Brigade was activated on June 30, 1965 as the 10th Aviation Group and for a brief period during the Vietnam War supported the 11th Air Assault Division. Following that unit’s disestablishment, the 10th Aviation Group was sent to Fort Benning, Georgia to train Army aviation companies preparing for deployment to Vietnam. It was given its current designation on March 1, 2005, with the Aviation Training Brigade at Fort Rucker assumed the unit designation on the very same day. Today, the 110th trains pilots on all the fixed- and rotary-wing assets employed by Army Aviation and also conducts basic combat training.

Originally activated as a provisional unit in 1989 during Operation Just Cause, the 128th was activated on a permanent basis in February, 2012. Two of its three battalions specialize in training technicians and officers in nearly a dozen Aviation MOS, while the 1st Battalion, 222nd Aviation Regiment guides Aviation Branch personnel learning Aviation Safety, Warrior Tasks, Army Values, and Battle Drills.
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