WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-47), Chairwoman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats, and Capabilities, today held a hearing on the need for additional helicopters and tilt-wing aircraft for U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF). In Iraq and Afghanistan, where rotary-wing aircraft play a vital role in counterterrorism operations and the transfer of supplies, aircraft shortages have a significant effect.
“Helicopters and other rotary-wing aircraft are instrumental to our ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Rep. Sanchez. “Special Operations Forces in particular need these aircraft to carry out their counterterrorism and counterinsurgency missions, as well as provide troops in remote locations with crucial supplies. But we have to fix ongoing helicopter shortages that are depriving our men and women in uniform of a key combat and logistical resource. Our troops, and the success of our SOF military operations, depend on it.”
At the hearing, Rep. Sanchez questioned Garry Reid, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Combating Terrorism, and U.S. Army Colonel Vincent Reap, the Director of Rotary Lift Assessments at U.S. Special Operations Command, about the military’s current rotary-wing requirements and the impact of aircraft shortages in Iraq and Afghanistan.