Udall requests aircraft for Cannon Air Force Base

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M., has requested five CV-22 Ospreys and four MC-130J be designated for Air Force Special Operations Command in order to speed up Cannon Air Force Base’s transition to a special operation’s wing.

Udall requested the funding be included in a supplemental funding bill currently being drafted by the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee. The bill is expected to come before the subcommittee sometime this month.

“Granting these aircraft would provide a jump start for the Special Operations Wing,” Udall said. “It would accelerate the timeline for standing-up Cannon and enable personnel to start training more quickly to prepare for their mission.”

AFSOC assumed command of Cannon and stood up the 27th Special Operations Wing on Oct. 1.

Cannon is slated to receive approximately 100 aircraft over the next six years, according to Marissa Padilla, a spokeswoman for Udall.

Cannon currently has four MC-130W and one PV-12 aircraft assigned to the base, Elliott Sprehe of Cannon public affairs said Monday.

C-130 aircraft are used primarily for infiltration and exfiltration of troops and resupply of special operations forces, according to the Air Force Web site.

Cannon is expecting about 42 aircraft by the end of the year, according to an AFSOC statement last year.

Udall, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, outlined the importance of his request in a letter to the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Defense.

“Chairman John Murtha is a distinguished military man who understands the critical new mission now underway at Cannon Air Force Base,” Udall said. “We discussed the importance of these aircraft in successfully standing-up the 27th at Cannon. We will continue working together to ensure CAFB receives the resources it needs to be fully prepared for the missions ahead.”