Army Aviation Hall of Fame 2008 Induction
Retired MG Clyde A. "Lou" Hennies served his nation for over 40 years, making major contributions to both Army and special operations aviation. He commanded four company and troop-sized units in combat during three tours in Vietnam; followed later by another air cavalry troop and then command of the 1st Sqdn., 17th Cav. Regt., stateside. From Feb. 1985 to Nov. 1986, he commanded Task Force 160 through its transformation to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Group (Airborne), forerunner of today's elite 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR). During this command, he led the Night Stalkers through their most formative and challenging re-organization, developing unprecedented capabilities, tactics, techniques and procedures, which became the baseline of today's Regiment, as well as capability infusions to the rest of Army aviation.
He recruited and hand-picked a superb team of self starting, creative commanders, staff officers and NCOs; challenging them to train hard worldwide, fly 50 percent of their time at night, and stay on the leading edge of rotary wing aviation technology and material, and operational concepts. The results of these efforts were high mission readiness with zero fatalities, in-house development of the first aerial refueling capability for the CH-47, accelerated deliveries of a new generation night vision goggles and forward looking infrared systems; development of an airborne capability and the establishment of Systems Integration and Management Office - thus establishing a solid foundation for the rapid expansion of Night Stalker capabilities that followed.
Later, after successful command of the Army Safety Center and as the Director of Army Safety, where he aggressively introduced risk management throughout the Army and at all levels of responsibility, he retired in 1991. But always the soldier, he donned his uniform again to serve as the Adjutant General of Alabama's Army and Air National Guard Forces from 1995 to 1999, where he used his active duty and Pentagon experiences to increase Alabama's relevance in the total force. Lou Hennies service to the nation, the Army, and to the Aviation branch more than qualifies him for induction into the Army Aviation Hall of Fame.