Thursday, June 18, 2009
Don't panic - its just a Spectre Gunship
Press Release - LOCALS MAY NOTICE DIFFERENCES IN TRAINING AS NEW CANNON AIRCRAFT ARRIVE
from 27th Special Operations Wing
Public Affairs Office
6/18/2009 - CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- People living in the communities surrounding Cannon may notice some differences in night-flying operations since two AC-130H Spectre gunships arrived permanently for duty May 19.
According to 16th Special Operations Squadron Commander Lt. Col. Sean Farrell, the nature of the gunship mission calls for much of the training to be conducted in urban areas.
"When we deploy, we will often be flying over cities and tracking targets within those cities under the cover of night," he said. "So when we train at Cannon, it is imperative that some of our operations be done over cities at night as well."
Local residents may notice the low rumbling of gunships flying in circles overhead as aircrew perform training, flying at an altitude in which the oxygen is sufficient because the aircraft is not pressurized.
"Much of what we'll be doing is adjusting our sensors as we practice acquiring targets," said Colonel Farrell. "That will require us to fly in circles around the target. The communities we're flying over will hear us, but we will do our best to fly at altitudes that will limit the amount of noise. We want to be good neighbors, too."
Current Cannon Airfield operating hours are 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The AC-130H Spectre generally flies at night.
For more information about the AC-130H Spectre gunship and its mission, look at the fact sheet on www.cannon.af.mil or call the Cannon Public Affairs office at (575) 784-4131.