AFSOC officials proposing new squadron at Cannon

Courtesy photo The MQ-1 Predator is currently assigned to Cannon Air Force Base.

Air Force Special Operations Command officials are proposing to create a new intelligence squadron at Cannon Air Force Base later this year, according to AFSOC officials.

Plans are developing to stand up a new squadron at Cannon similar to the 11th Intelligence Squadron at Hurlburt Air Force Base, according to AFSOC spokesman Matt Durham.

Among the proposed squadron’s tasks is analyzing battlefield information from unmanned aerial vehicles, such as the MQ-1 Predator.

The Cannon proposal is part of Air Force plans to open up more than 2,000 slots from 2010 to 2015 for airmen to either cross-train or get reassigned into the Air Force Special Operations Command, according to an Air Force Times Article.

There is an urgent need to add imagery analysts, Brig. Gen. Bradley Heithold, AFSOC’s director of plans, programs, requirements and assessments, said in the Air Force Times article.

AFSOC officials said the size of the proposed squadron was unknown.

“We’re still examining what its mission is going to be, how it’s going to accomplish that, that kind of thing,” Durham said. “Everything would be tailored to fit the mission.”

The 3rd Special Operations Squadron, which controls UAVs, was activated at Cannon in the summer. Personnel from the squadron were previously assigned to Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas.

The proposed squadron would be the first AFSOC squadron created at Cannon, according to Durham. So far the base has received existing squadrons from other bases, according to Cannon spokesman Staff Sgt. Brandon Seals.

The 11th Intelligence Squadron at Hurlburt has grown to 400 airmen since it stood up in 2006 to analyze Predator feeds, according to the Air Force Times article.