Army restoring full air assault capabilities to 101st Airborne Division

By Jaspreet Gill / October 17, 2019 at 1:53 PM

The Army is bringing back full air assault capabilities to the 101st Airborne Division, according to senior aviation officials.

Maj. Gen. David Francis, commander of the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Ft. Rucker, AL, told reporters Oct. 16 at the Association of the U.S. Army's annual meeting the service is currently equipping 12 Chinooks to the division and is planning on an additional 38 aircraft in the future.

He added the service was required to reduce the number of combat aviation brigades from 13 to 11 in the active component during sequestration in 2013. Last year, the service was grappling with the possibility of boosting CH-47 Chinook force structure with two companies in the 101st Airborne Division to support the unit’s requirements.

"One of the combat aviation brigades that was inactivated was the 159th CAB, one of two that resided at Ft. Campbell," Francis said. "The capacity that we lost was primarily on the lift side. So we're going to build additional lift capability into the 101st to enable that capability to reside back in that organization."

He added the service is planning to equip a total of 48 aircraft to the 101st Airborne Division by 2028.