(NASHVILLE, TN), March 28, 2013 – State Senator Doug Overbey (R-Maryville) has filed a resolution in the Tennessee General Assembly in strong opposition to the U.S. Army’s aviation restructuring proposal to eliminate all Kiowa Warrior helicopters from the 1/2030th Air Calvary Squadron. Tennessee is the only state in which the National Guard operates the Kiowa Warrior, which is primarily operated in an armed reconnaissance role in support of ground troops.
“This move could possibly shut down two of the three Army flight facilities in the Volunteer State when Tennessee has continually been a ready force for the U.S. Department of Defense in times of crisis,” said Overbey. “This will have an extremely negative impact on our state’s National Guard efforts.”
The proposal would eliminate thirty Kiowas authorized for the 1/230th Air Calvary Squadron. This includes twenty based at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in Alcoa and ten aircraft authorized for the squadron’s Jackson location. It would also mean the loss of 692 soldiers in Tennessee who support the helicopters, including elimination of 113 full-time jobs.
“This nation must be very cautious in reducing the National Guard’s expertise and resources, as time and time again, it has proven to be indispensable to our defense forces,” Overbey added. “Scraping these helicopters at a time when there is not a suitable replacement would impair our national defense capabilities and be a serious blow to Tennessee’s National Guard.”
A copy of the resolution, if approved by lawmakers, will be sent to the U.S. Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the U.S. Army.