Military, Products, Regulatory

Rotorcraft Report: Gates Loves Helicopters

By By Richard Whittle | February 1, 2010

Military | Government Agencies

It’s nice to have friends in high places, and helicopters have one in the Pentagon, the chief of the Army Department’s aviation division assured the annual Association of the United States Army aviation symposium. Buying more helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles—aircraft playing pivotal roles in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq—are among the Army’s top priorities, several speakers noted at the Jan. 6–7 event. When a questioner asked if those priorities enjoy support at top levels of the Pentagon, aviation division chief Col. Randolph Rotte replied with a smile that, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, “there is a great champion of Army aviation and UAVs, and you might have heard of his name: Robert Gates.” Gates, of course, is the secretary of defense. “I don’t know how much higher you can get in OSD than that,” Rotte said. “He talks a whole lot about ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) and rotary wing aviation. Now, he doesn’t say Army. We all know his heart is with us, though.”


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