Established on March 2, 1981, Seaspray was charged with the clandestine transport of elements of special operations units in the course of their operations. The management of the unit was entrusted to a joint CIA/US Army command. Seaspray may have been established in response to President Carter's 1978 Executive Order 12036, which generally prohibited the use of the United States Armed Forces in "special activities."
On one hand, the CIA became the only branch to run clandestine operations abroad, but lacked the resources to do so; on the other hand, the Army had the equipment but not the authority to carry out clandestine operations. A joint unit was created to bring these assets together. Seaspray operated many air assets, including various Cessna and Beechcraft light fixed-wing airplanes, and modified FLIR-equipped Hughes 500MD rotary-wing aircraft equipped to transport up to nine operators.
Seaspray operated under the cover of a private airline company associated with the CIA, Aviation Tech Services. The unit, which was later renamed First Rotary Wing Test Activity, had its principal base at Fort Eustis, Virginia. A detachment was based at the international airport of Tampa, Florida, for operations in Central America. Among these, the best known is probably Operation Queens Hunter, concerned with weapons traffic between Nicaragua and Honduras. The unit was given a new codename, Quasar Talent, at the beginning of the 1990s. The current status of this operation is unclear.