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Topic #2 CDR Crowe COMBAT SEARCH AND RESCUE “The armed service and the coast guard jointly maintain an almost worldwide SAR organization that uses existing commands, bases, and facilities to search for and rescue people involved in air, surface, and subsurface accidents.” (2, pg 82) This is a general definition of Search and Rescue. The focus of this paper will be that of Combat Search and Rescue, but more importantly that of Navy CSAR. The new age of Navy Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) (1, pg 66) includes the previous requirements of SAR but increased emphasis is placed on a combination of integrated rescue planning and execution of strike operations. The assets given to CSAR units are determined by the threat level and operation theater. The assets that can be given to the Officer in Tactical command are as follows: Helicopters, Special Operations Forces, Surface and Subsurface, and Support Forces. The Platforms used in direct recovery for the carrier battle group (CVBG) (1, pg 66) include many helicopters of various sizes and capabilities, but only specific groups are trained and equipped to perform operations in hostile overland environments. Squadrons that are equipped with the HH-60H (1, pg 66) are trained to conduct night and day CSAR operations as well as Naval Special Warfare (NSW) (1, pg 66) missions in hostile territory against small arms fire. These crews are trained for terrain flight, flying in hostile territory, and night flying. Other than the HH-60H “most Navy Helicopters lack most of the survivability features essential to battlefield operations (i.e. radar warning receivers, defensive countermeasures, airframe armor or ballistic tolerance, and internal geonavigational systems)”. (1, pg 66) 1
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Topic #2 CDR Crowe Due to the inherent danger related to Special Operations Forces, planners need to carefully analyze the danger to recovery forces so they are not unduly exposed to enemy fire. For the most part Naval Special Warfare strike and recovery forces (NSW) (1, pg 67) use SEAL team’s assets. These assets include; fast attack vehicles, specialized surface craft, including the patrol boat MK III and IV, high speed boats, and rigid hull inflatable boats. (1, pg 67) All of these can be pre-positioned on board a carrier, amphibious ready group, submarine, or in other locations near the area of operations. All
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