The Role of Seabasing in SOF Operations
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV NORFOLK VA JOINT FORCES STAFF COLL
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One of the biggest challenges facing the Department of Defense DoD as it postures itself to meet future national security objectives is the fact that forward bases are becoming increasingly more difficult to obtain and maintain. Conflicts in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq provide evidence that many nations are finding it politically undesirable to host military bases or allow U.S. forces access through their territory. To overcome these strategic challenges, the DoD is focusing on developing power projection capabilities that are not reliant on overseas access. To this end, the Defense Science Board recommended a joint program authority lead an effort to develop a joint seabasing concept as a means to project U.S. power. Although the DoD elected to follow the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System JCIDS process in lieu of establishing the recommended Joint Program Office, the Navy took the lead in developing the Seabasing Joint Integrating Concept JIC. While this approach was intended to integrate and maximize the capabilities of each of the services to overcome future anti-access challenges, it has done nothing to address the access challenges faced by the inherently joint Special Operations Forces SOF. Therefore, the overall concept of Joint Seabasing was reviewed to determine if it is a viable option to project Joint Special Operations Task Force JSOTF assets into anti-access environments. A careful examination of the benefits of seabasing, a logistics supportability analysis, and a look at the historical application of seabasing in SOF operations will prove that the joint seabasing concept can indeed provide joint task force commanders with a range of flexible options needed to successfully conduct SOF operations to achieve national security objectives in spite of anti-access challenges.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
- Naval Surface Warfare