FORT BRAGG, NC – The U.S. Army Special Operations Command officially activated its newest unit, Army Special Operations Aviation Command (Provisional) during an activation ceremony at Meadows Field here, March 25.
Lt. Gen. John Mulholland Jr., USASOC Commanding General, presided over the ceremony activating the unit commanded by Brig. Gen. Kevin W. Mangum.
The ARSOAC will be responsible for organizing, manning, training, resourcing and equipping Army Special Operation Aviation units to provide responsive, special operations aviation support to Special Operations Forces and is USASOC’s aviation staff proponent.
“Today, Special Operations Aviation Command embarks on our journey to build upon a magnificent legacy of those who went before us,” Mangum said. “On that foundation, we are committed to develop and oversee a USASOC aviation enterprise to represent, orchestrate and advocate.”
During the past decade of persistent engagement by Special Operations Forces, U.S. Army Special Operations Command aviation experts recognized a need for separating the combat role of Army Special Operations Aviation from the resourcing responsibilities.
ARSOAC, a one-star subordinate command to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, will provide the appropriate command and control, manning and visibility for the complex and sensitive tasks required of ARSOF aviation units and organizations.
“This provides the enabling entity to allow us to do even better then we’re doing today,” Mulholland said. “Managing, leading and equipping this incredible force so we can continue to be the absolute leading edge, not just within our country but for around the world for what we ask Army Special Operations Aviation to do.”
ARSOAC is comprised of the Headquarters and four subordinate units: 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), headquartered at Fort Campbell, Ky.; U.S. Army Special Operations Command Flight Detachment, Fort Bragg; Systems Integration Management Office, Fort Campbell; and Special Operations Aviation Training Battalion, Fort Campbell.
The Army SOF Aviation is a complex enterprise that continues to grow in size, scope and expense. Under this new structure, ARSOAC is a non-deployable, resourcing headquarters charged with:
Providing command and control, manning and visibility for the complex and sensitive tasks required of Army SOF aviation units and organizations.
Enhancing the 160th SOAR (A) war-fighting role of providing rotary-wing aircraft to support SOF missions in all geographic combatant commands.
Providing aviation oversight as well as service and component interface to ensure system integration, fleet modernization, material readiness, training, and doctrine development.
Facilitating greater integration between its headquarters at USASOC and U.S. Special Operations Command, and improve connectivity with Army staff as well as aviation staffs of sister services.
“We are keenly focused on our task, purpose and reason for being,” Mangum said. “To organize, man, resource train and equip the world’s premiere aviation force, enabling them to support the most elite warriors on the planet. That is our mission, our commitment and our vow.”