August 21, 2007
AFSOC TO STAND UP WING AT CANNON AFB OCT. 1
HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. — Air Force Special Operations Command got a green light to press forward with its plans to stand up a special operations wing at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M.
Mr. William C. Anderson, assistant secretary for the Air Force Directorate of Installations, Environment and Logistics, signed the record of decision, finalizing the National Environmental Policy Act process that started in August 2006. His signature marks the approval of AFSOC’s environmental impact statement.
Col. Tim Leahy, former vice commander of the 1st Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field, will be the first commander of the New Mexico special operations wing when it stands up at Cannon Oct. 1.
The first AFSOC aircraft to move to Cannon will be the 73rd Special Operations Squadron’s MC-130W Combat Spear currently located at Hurlburt Field. The MC-130W conducts infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces and also provides refueling capability for special operations vertical-lift assets like the CV-22 Osprey.
The total number of aircraft, manned and unmanned, to be stationed at Cannon is expected to be around 100. The final active-duty population at Cannon is expected to be between 4,400 to 5,600 people. It will take approximately three years to complete the build-up of the new special operations wing at Cannon.