Special Operations Forces Aviation
October 26, 2007
The special operations forces (SOF) mission in 2007 is more diverse and demanding than at practically any time in history. Few anticipated the scope or pace of operations now considered common in the Global War on Terror (GWOT). SOF ground forces are expanding; but, what about the matching requirements for SOF aviation? The fleet of highly specialized fixed-wing assets, helicopters, and unmanned air systems (UAS) that represent a crucial part of SOF capability are central and, arguably, increasingly important in nearly every type of SOF mission.
From September 2006 to June 2007, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) convened a working group of subject matter experts with SOF operational experience and industry experience to evaluate SOF aviation issues facing the Department of Defense (DoD). This report integrates the overall findings.