Air Force confirms Cannon to get Predator squadron

Freedom New Mexico

The Air Force Special Operations Command confirmed Thursday the 3rd Special Operations Squadron will move to Cannon Air Force Base from its current home at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

The squadron flies MQ-1 Predators, which are unmanned aerial vehicles. The move will bring an additional 84 officers and 155 enlisted personnel to Clovis, according to a news release from New Mexico’s congressional delegation.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., said the assignment will take effect in June and a readiness date for when Cannon can accept the squadron is set for June 2009.

AFSOC officials announced in August the squadron would be assigned to Cannon.

AFSOC spokeswoman Lt. Amy Cooper said the MQ-1s will not be moving to Cannon with the personnel.

“There won’t be any aircraft coming with it because all of our MQ-1s are in theater. So what we’ll be doing is move in the equipment that they operate the predators with and people from Nellis to Cannon,” she said.

This is the second announcement this month about a new squadron being assigned to Cannon. The Air Force confirmed May 13 that the 16th Special Operations Squadron was also moving to Clovis, bringing an estimated 600 military personnel and 300 contractors to the state.