The Defense Department‘s inspector general has called on the U.S. Army’s vice chief of staff to provide new equipment training to pilots that operate Sikorsky-built H-60 Black Hawk helicopters.
The Army Aviation and Missile Command should collaborate with the Army Forces Command to facilitate compliance with guidelines on airframe condition evaluation among H-60 unit commanders and identify helicopters that did not undergo review during the evaluation period, DoD IG said in a report published June 27.
The IG made the recommendations after it found that the Army failed to offer adequate funds and training to helicopter pilots on the new equipment.
The report said the service needs $152.9 million in additional funds to support equipment training of 1,390 Black Hawk pilots from fiscal 2018 through fiscal 2035.
The Army National Guard could face a shortage of 160 trained aviators by fiscal 2026 if the military branch fails to initiate actions on new equipment training.
The service branch also failed to evaluate the airframe condition of 460 H-60 helicopters between March 1, 2016 and Feb. 28, 2017.
The IG also urged the Project Management Utility Helicopters to appoint a manager to oversee training on H-60M and H-60V equipment.