As important as it is in today's warfighting, the Navy doesn't have much of a footprint in special operations. An aviation component could change that.
As the Global War on Terrorism has shown, 21st-century warfare has changed from previous conflicts. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the Navy has shifted focus from preparation for Cold War battles on the open sea to littoral/brown water operations. This move from a carrier-centric battle stance to an expeditionary force will most likely be the Navy's focus throughout the early 21st century. The current state of world affairs should be proof enough that the Navy cannot afford to maintain the status quo. A review of professional naval literature from the late 1920s and early 1930s illustrates that many leaders defended the ship-of-the-line concept. Fortunately, there were those leaders who believed that the future was in aviation and its ability to project power ashore.