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A Combat aviation brigade (CAB) is a multi-functional brigade-sized unit in the United States Army that fields military helicopters, offering a combination of attack helicopters (AH-64 Apache), reconnaissance helicopters (OH-58 Kiowa), medium-lift helicopters (UH-60 Black Hawk), heavy-lift helicopters (CH-47 Chinook), and MEDEVAC capability.

HistoryEdit

Combat Aviation Brigades (CABs) were introduced during the transformation of the United States Army to a modular force. There were three types of combat aviation brigades.

HCAB

Heavy Combat Aviation Brigade Organizational Table

Heavy combat aviation brigades

  • (2) Attack Reconnaissance Battalions or ARB (each with 24 x AH-64 Apache)
  • Assault Helicopter Battalion or AHB (30 x UH-60 Black Hawk)
  • General Support Aviation Battalion or GSAB (8 x UH-60 Command Aviation, 12 x CH-47 Chinook and 12x HH-60M)
  • Aviation Support Battalion or ASB

Medium combat aviation brigades

  • Attack reconnaissance battalion (24 x AH-64 Apache)
  • Attack Reconnaissance Squadron or ARS (30 x OH-58D Kiowa Warrior)
  • Assault helicopter battalion (30 x UH-60 Black Hawk)
  • General support aviation battalion (8 x UH-60 Command Aviation, 12 x CH-47 Chinook and 12 x HH-60M)
  • Aviation support battalion

Light combat aviation brigades

  • (2) Attack reconnaissance squadrons (each with 30 x OH-58D Kiowa Warrior)
  • Assault helicopter battalion (30 x UH-60 Black Hawk)
  • General support aviation battalion (8 x UH-60 Command Aviation, 12 x CH-47 Chinook and 12 x HH-60M)
  • Aviation support battalion
FSCAB

Full Spectrum Combat Aviation Brigade Organizational Table

Full Spectrum CapabilityEdit

Starting in 2010, the Army began to replace 3 types of CABs by multipurpose brigades called “Full spectrum CABs”. However for specific reasons some Heavy CABs will remain. The ultimate goal would be 9 Full spectrum CABs and 4 Heavy CABs in active service, and respectively 6 and 2 CABs in the Army National Guard. Four brigades must be deployment-ready on a permanent basis. Since then all Light CABs have been adapted into Full spectrum CABs and will soon disappear. The Army stated that they need the CAB to be modular designed to enable task organization and optimize aviation capability for specific mission of specified duration. Full spectrum CAB will standardize the CAB design across the branch to deliver maximum aviation capability in the most timely and flexible manner. The Army also said that the new CAB design is doctrinally sound which delivers the combat, combat support, and combat service support to “enable steady state” operations required in an era of persistent conflict, and this new CAB will be constructed to deliver combat power while maximizing efficiencies in training, maintenance and support across the Army.[1][2]

Full spectrum combat aviation brigades design includes:

  • Headquarters and Headquarters Company
  • Attack Reconnaissance Battalion or ARB (three companies with 8 AH-64 Apache each)
  • Attack Reconnaissance Squadron or ARS (three troops with 7 OH-58D Kiowa Warrior each, and a UAS company with two platoons with 4 RQ-7B Shadow UAV each)
  • Assault Helicopter Battalion or AHB (three companies with 10 UH-60 Black Hawk each, and a pathfinder company)
  • General Support Aviation Battalion or GSAB (a Command Aviation Company or CAC with 4 UH-60 Black Hawk and 4 EUH-60 equipped with AN/ASC-38 Army Airborne Command and Control System [A2C2S], a Heavy Helicopter Company or HvyHC with three platoons with 4 CH-47 Chinook each, an Air Ambulance Medical Company or AAMC with five platoons with 3 HH-60M each equipped with MEDEVAC mission equipment, and an Air Traffic Services or ATS company)
  • UAS company (three platoons with 4 MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAV each)
  • Aviation Support Battalion or ASB

US ArmyEdit

Divisional CABsEdit

Separate CABsEdit

US Army National GuardEdit

The Army National Guard (ARNG) fields eight combat aviation brigades within its eight divisions. The Army National Guard brigade is different from the Army's full spectrum combat aviation brigade as it replaces the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior of attack reconnaissance squadron with the UH-72 Lakota and organized into Support and Security Battalion or S&S BN. Thus all ARNG aviation brigades consist of attack reconnaissance battalion (24 AH-64 Apache), security and support battalion (three companies with 8 UH-72 Lakota each), assault helicopter battalion (30 UH-60 Black Hawk), general support aviation battalion (8 UH-60, 12 CH-47 Chinook and 15 HH-60M), UAV company (12 MQ-1C Gray Eagle), and aviation support battalion.

Divisional CABsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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