During the past ten years, the Navy's active-duty helicopter antisubmarine (HS) community has directed a large portion of training time and effort into developing and maintaining an organic combat-searchand-rescue (CSAR) capability within the carrier battle group. This effort has come at the expense of other primary mission areas within the helicopter forces and the carrier air wing. The Navy presently maintains both an active and reserve CSAR capability, leading one to ask whether present force structure provides any benefits or whether it should be altered. In light of the increased emphasis on jointness and the existence of CSAR capabilities within the other services, should the Navy be in the CSAR business at all?
The frequency of our involvement in low-intensity conflicts has risen dramatically. Given a national military strategy of engagement, logic dictates that the Department of Defense (DoD) would make a concerted effort to maintain CSAR capabilities; but this has not been the case.