Interesting little note that proves again actions speak louder than words. An asset that supported the drug interdiction effort and helped in the Hurricane Katrina disaster relief is going away.
“…the Navy proposes to decommission a squadron at the air station in Belle Chasse, a move that would eliminate the only naval aviation unit dedicated to stemming the flow of illegal narcotics into the United States. Under the 2013 spending plan released Monday, the Navy Reserve’s Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 77 would cease to exist Sept. 30…. the Navy ‘remains committed’ to countering narcotics trafficking.”
“VAW-77…played an instrumental role in the massive rescue operation following Hurricane Katrina. With their electronics and radar…the aircrews helped control airspace crowded with rescue helicopters. The squadron takes credit for rescuing 1,840 people in the New Orleans area.”
I suppose the surface surveillance capability may be replace by the BAMS program, still too frequently, it seems, a capability is removed with the promise that it will be replaced by a wonderful new system, only to see the new system become unaffordable and never come to fruition.
DoD photo by: MC3 (SW) JOHN HYDE, USN Date Shot: 13 Jul 2006
(Thanks to Lee for the info)