Legislative Alert #11-21
October 4, 2011
The Issue: Army National Guard Black Hawk Modernization – Appropriations Conference
Immediate Action Required: Contact your Senators and Representative and urge them to support the six additional UH-60Ms funded in the Senate FY2012 Defense Appropriation and add language directing these aircraft be fielded to Army National Guard units.
The Army National Guard operations tempo is the highest it has ever been in support of the full spectrum of state missions including search and rescue, utility/lift, disaster relief, fire fighting, medical evacuation, all while sustaining combat deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans. The result of these sustained operations is wearing out the National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopter fleet much faster than planned.
Currently, the Army National Guard Black Hawk fleet contains more than 40% of the Total Army Black Hawk requirement, but out of necessity, many units are using the older UH-60A models while the new “M” models are not fielded to the Guard at a proportional rate. The UH-60A model is more expensive to operate, cannot operate at higher altitudes, and has a 1,000 lb. lower payload capability than the newer “UH-60L” and “UH/HH-60M” models.
The President’s FY2012 Defense Budget Request funds a total of 75 UH-60M and HH-60M Black Hawk helicopters. However, only four of the UH-60Ms requested are programmed for Army National Guard units.
The Army National Guard is in desperate need of modernized UH-60M helicopters to enable the accelerated retirement and/or replacement of older UH-60A models.
The House version of the FY2012 Defense Appropriations bill funds a total of 75 UH-60Ms. However, the Senate version funds a total of 81 UH-60Ms, six more UH-60M helicopters than the President’s request. These six additional UH-60M helicopters are needed to replace lost/obsolete UH-60A helicopters in Army National Guard units.
Please contact your Senators and Representatives and ask them to support the six additional UH-60Ms funded in the Senate version of the bill, and ask them to add language to the final version of the FY2012 Defense Appropriation directing that these aircraft are to be fielded to Army National Guard units.
TAKE THE FOLLOWING ACTION:
By using the “Write to Congress” feature on the NGAUS Web site at www.ngaus.org, you can immediately e-mail your Senators or Representative. A sample letter is included in our “Write to Congress” feature. You can e-mail the pre-written message or edit the sample letter as you desire. This is the quickest and most effective method of expressing your views to Congress. Also, contact your friends and family and urge them to “Write to Congress” as well. For more in-depth information and background visit our web site at: www.ngaus.org. Please direct any questions concerning this issue to Kevin McColaugh, NGAUS Army Programs Manager at 202-408-5899 or via email: email@example.com.