With its expansion to Cannon AFB, N.M., Air Force Special Operations Command may want to move its two forward-based units—the 352nd Special Operations Group at RAF Mildenhall, Britain, and 353rd SOG at Kadena AB, Japan—to Cannon. AFSOC takes over ownership of Cannon on Oct. 1, a move that will give it much needed room to grow and a significant new training space. Stars and Stripes reports that Defense Secretary Robert Gates directed AFSOC through US Special Operations Command “to flesh out” a plan that would include moving the Mildenhall and Kadena units to Cannon. Such an unanticipated addition would probably suit the Cannon locals, who had feared that Cannon might have to close.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.