Special Boat Operators Reach Milestone MCADS Drop

Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Special Warfare Boat Operators (SB) from Special Boat Team 20 (SBT-20) reached a milestone on March 28 when they successfully completed the 100th and 101st insertion of the Maritime Craft Aerial Deployment System (MCADS) off the coast of North Carolina. Serving as a true force multiplier, the MCADS capability enables Naval Special Warfare Sailors to rapidly deploy anywhere in the world in a maritime environment. The system deploys an 11-meter RIB (rigid inflatable boat) rigged with four large parachutes from the back of a C-130 or C-17 at approximately 3,500-feet.

Approximately four Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC) immediately follow the boat out of the plane and parachute to the immediate proximity of where the boat lands. Within 20 minutes the SWCCs have the boat unpacked and rigged to get underway to deliver an element of SOF (special operation force) operators to any potential target of interest, or to conduct their own mission. SBT-20 Command Master Chief Richard Evans pointed out that this capability didn’t just miraculously evolve.

“This capability is a direct result of countless hours of hard work and commitment from several Sailors in the command’s Air Operations department over the past decade," Evans said. "In particular, the Air Department head, (Chief Parachute Rigger) Steve Perry, the MCADS Program Manager for SBT-20, Shane Hollar, and all the members of the Air Department, have been the backbone for the success of the program for the past several years.” Although the MCADS capability hasn’t been operationally required yet, ensuring the proficiency of the SBs and reliability of the equipment is essential for regional combatant commanders to know it’s ready when needed. Following the MCADS drops, Marines from near-by units practiced their water insertion techniques from a Marine CH-46. The SBT-20 boats immediately recovered the Marines and continued on with scheduled joint exercises in the area.

As U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) celebrates its 20th anniversary, this capability demonstrates how the various service component special operations force elements continue to evolve in their interoperability. SBT-20’s Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Kent Paro, cites this as a great example of the qualities essential to Naval Special Warfare Sailors being successful. “The experience of conducting an evolution as dynamic as an MCADS drop and having the mental agility to put that behind you, refocus, link-up with sister-service operators and conduct a SOF mission is invaluable," said Paro. "Time and again it’s the professionalism, focused dedication, and intellect that enables our NSW Sailors to succeed every day on the battlefield and while conducting operations around the world.”

By Naval Special Warfare East Public Affairs

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