SOUTHCOM Could Benefit from MC-12 Presence

US Southern Command is hoping to gain access to the Air Force’s MC-12 Liberty intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance fleet when operations in Afghanistan wind down, said SOUTHCOM Commander Gen. Douglas Fraser Wednesday. During a meeting with reporters in Washington, D.C., Fraser said he has already spoken with the Air Force about the MC-12s, but it’s too early to say what type of support the command would receive. He said the MC-12 is similar to some aircraft already used for ISR in the region, such as the C-26. “Some of the countries have detained and captured drug aircraft that are very similar, such as a Beechcraft King Air, and are converting [them] to a platform similar to an MC-12,” said Fraser. “I think it’s a very, very useful capability for the region.” Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told House lawmakers in late February that MC-12s could help boost the Air National Guard’s counter drug-smuggling mission. The service has proposed transferring the 42-aircraft MC-12 fleet from the active duty to the Air Guard in Fiscal 2014.