U.S. Force Drawdown May Indirectly Affect Special Operations Forces

January 25, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman
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U.S. Navy special operations forces may serve a greater role in future military operations, but this role may be hindered by overall force reductions, said the head of Navy special warfare. Rear Adm. Sean A. Pybus, USN, commander, Naval Special Warfare Command (NSW), allowed that special operations forces (SOFs) are likely to constitute a higher percentage of deployed U.S. forces as other units are called home. However, the drawdown in other U.S. deployed forces will affect SOFs in vital areas such as communications and medical support. Speaking in the Wednesday plenary address at West 2012 in San Diego, Adm. Pybus said his command must strengthen its traditional ties with the Navy and Marine Corps. "I know the Navy will be out there, along with the Marine Corps," he said, so the NSW will need to rely on them more than on theater joint forces. Another area of improvement will be regional. The admiral allowed that the NSW has not done enough do prepare for a crisis in the South China Sea, the Persian Gulf or Korea. He added that support for the NSW may not suffer as much in the Persian Gulf and in the Asia-Pacific region because those areas will not see as much of an overall force drawdown.

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