Special Ops at Spangdahlem?

Air Force Special Operations Command’s 352nd Special Operations Group will likely move to Spangdahlem AB, Germany, with the planned closure of RAF Mildenhall, Britain, according to AFSOC boss Lt. Gen. Bradley Heithold. “[US] European Command will ultimately decide, but the leaning today” is somewhere in Germany, and preferably Spangdahlem to be close to Army special operations forces that will likely be based nearby, he told reporters on Thursday at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla. Since the 352nd SOG recently grew to include CV-22 tiltrotor aircraft as well as MC-130Js and now exceeds 1,000 combined personnel, AFSOC is redesignating it a wing, said Heithold. “It’s a special operations wing, provisional, right now… and we’re in the process” of making it a full-fledged wing, he said. Heithold said he didn’t anticipate that Germany’s more restrictive airspace and limited low-altitude flying opportunities would damage the unit’s readiness, due to the frequency of training and operational deployments across Europe and Africa that the wing will have.