In a repeat of history, the US Navy is poised to re-learn hard lessons from the past. The Department of the Navy has recently ordered the only two naval helicopter squadrons dedicated to Special Warfare support, HSC-84 and HSC-85, to prepare for decommissioning by the end of FY-15 (September 30, 2015).
The author presents a well reasoned argument for keeping the SOF tasked squadrons in the fleet.
On the other hand, there’s no money. The Navy only has so much money to support squadrons, and these aren’t event their squadrons, really.
Special Operations Command might consist of people who are legally members of one service or another, but as a practical matter, since SOCOM has its own budget, it is virtually a separate service, from an operational point of view.
And SOCOM does pony up a lot of money for its own helicopters, specifically the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. But that unit is already heavily overtasked.
But SOCOM wasn’t willing to pony up the money to pay for the two HSC squadrons. They too have money issues.
And so, dedicated rotary wing support for Naval Special Warfare will go away. Again.