Redstone Report: Industry day provides insight

Army leaders know what they want and aircraft industry leaders know they can deliver. That's why both got together in early June for an "Industry Day" on Redstone Arsenal. It was hosted by Army Fixed Wing Aircraft. The program falls under PEO Aviation. The goal for the day was for both Army and industry to get a feel for of what the other organization is going through.

One of the key issues the Army is dealing with right now is older aircrafts. Lyn Roberts with Beechcraft Corporations says, "They've got some aging hardware. They've got a lot of requirements, unfortunately not much money, so smart things are going to have to be done by everybody."

Colonel Brian Tachias says the same thing, "...we're taking a look at a lot of aircrafts that are expensive to sustain. So we're looking at more cost effective ways to better support."

One specific case is UH60L. It's an aircraft with an analog cockpit. The Army is looking at upgrading the cockpit and turning it digital. Colonel Brian Diaz the upgrade is needed, "it gives more capabilities to the crew. It's much more efficient for the crew and it's much more expandable in terms of technology."

When it comes to procuring planes for the Army, it's kind of like a triangle. There are 3 points that have to work together to make everything go smoothly. First there are the industry leaders, like Lyn Roberts, who advocate for their company. Then there's Col. Brian Tachias. He's the project manager for Army Fixed Wing Aircraft. He works directly with the industry to make sure the right piece of equipment is being ordered. And then there is Col. Brian Diaz. He is the warfighter representative that relays to Col. Tachias what the soldiers in the field want and need out of equipment.

Col. Diaz says, " It's important we convey to industry on what that requirement needs to look like, taste like, feel like, so the user gets the right product."

Even though all 3 have different assignments, their mission is one in the serve the soldier.

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