Under New Management: Will America's Dedicated CSAR Forces Finally Thrive in AFSOC?
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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On 1 October 2003 the USAF transferred control of its CONUS-based combat search and rescue CSAR assets from Air Combat Command to Air Force Special Operations Command AFSOC. Transfer to AFSOC was CSARs fourth major reorganization in twenty years, and was the latest in a turbulent procession of attempts to improve the combat effectiveness of CSAR forces. Despite possessing an abundance of brave, motivated, and extremely capable personnel yearning to accomplish their mission, dysfunctional organizational arrays and nagging organizational constraints have prevented USAF dedicated CSAR forces from getting to the fight for the onset of hostilities in three of this nations past four major armed conflicts. Special operations forces had to fill the void. This analysis evaluates CSARs position within AFSOCs organizational array to determine if this latest reorganization is likely to produce durable improvements in CSAR combat effectiveness. My conclusion is that CSAR friendly organizational culture and effective organizational constructs within AFSOC Headquarters, combined with highly receptive attitudes among CSAR crewmembers, form a historically unique organizational mix that favors the long term success of CSAR forces in AFSOC. To ensure AFSOCs favorable organizational posture is translated to improved combat capability, leadership must immediately increase CSAR representation on HHQ staffs.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics