SPECIAL OPERATIONS: Buying Tools of the Trade

November 23, 2012 at 12:29 am Leave a comment

Air, Sea and Land

An MH-60M Special Ops-variant of the U-60 Black Hawk helicopter being tested a Fort Knox, Kentucky.
(U.S. Army photo)

At a time when all of the armed services face cuts in personnel, U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is one of the few Defense Department entities expecting to increase rather than decrease its force size. USSOCOM leaders also anticipate little or no reduction in funding for Fiscal Year 2013.

In the meantime, USSOCOM is looking for some special equipment to help preform its global mission.

SOCOM is a combatant command with Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps elements. So it needs aircraft, boats and ground vehicles tailored to its unique missions: providing a fully capable force to defend the United States and its interests, while synchronizing the planning of global operations against terrorist networks.

SOCOM’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget request of $10.4 billion includes — for the first time — overseas contingency operations funding: $2.5 billion for the upcoming fiscal year. Previously, OCO funding was listed off the baseline budget for years. The Fiscal 2013 request is down slightly from the $10.5 billion sought in Fiscal 2012.

The Fiscal 2013 baseline budget for Special Ops procurement dropped slightly from $1.9 billion in Fiscal 2012 to this year’s $1.8 billion request. Of that, $760.8 million is going for aircraft acquisition and upgrades of existing helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. For example, SOCOM seeks $126.8 million to complete the conversion of Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters into the SOF-configured MH-60M. These upgraded helicopters come in two versions: a troop transport configuration and a Defensive Armed Penetrator (DAP) configuration.

To read the rest of my article on Special Operations Forces, please visit the IDGA website by clicking here.


Entry filed under: Counter Insurgency, Counter Terrorism, National Security and Defense, Skills and Training, Special Operations, Technology, Unconventional Warfare, Weaponry and Equipment. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

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