Thanks to Camp for the link!
via Fox News.
One month into the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, the U.S. military conducted the longest combat air assault in history, with roughly 4,000 soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division going deep into enemy territory at night in Mosul. Three years later, the division would carry out its last brigade-size air assault in combat during Operation Swarmer, also in Iraq.Wow.
Today, many are questioning whether operations of that magnitude could be conducted after budget cuts have stripped the nation’s premier air assault division of its helicopters.
Fox News traveled to Kentucky’s Fort Campbell, home to the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, for exclusive interviews and to see first-hand how cuts have hurt military readiness. Officials described how the storied division is painfully overstretched.
“We used to have two aviation brigades here, over 200 aircraft, and now we are down to just one aviation brigade and slightly over 100 aircraft,” said Col. Craig Alia, commander of the division’s combat aviation brigade and a veteran of three deployments to Afghanistan.
Asked if he could quickly deploy and conduct a brigade-sized air assault similar to the ones in Iraq, Alia admitted, “We could not. We don’t have the crews to do it.”
In an earlier post I said the the 101st was the forgotten Army division but I didn't know it was this bad.
Are they just keeping the Air Assault School House fully staffed?
You do know the implications of this don't you? The US Army has two of the three options for forcible entry. The Marine Corps covers amphibious assault, the Army does airborne assault via its 82nd Airborne and air assault with the 101st.
In essence the Army bean counters have taken away one of those options. It either amphibious assault or airborne assault or bust. The Pentagon has talked about taking on risk during the years of sequestration but never did I think they would hazard the country in this way. This is stunning.