At the end of last week, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., applauded U.S. Air Force Sec. Barbara Barrett for signing two basing decisions directly impacting military installations in Northwest Florida, acknowledging that the region is best equipped to accommodate a rapidly-developing military mission.
The first basing decision designates Duke Field as the preferred location to grow the 6th Special Operation Squadron (6 SOS) Aviation Foreign Internal Defense mission. The second basing decision designates Hurlburt Field as the preferred location for the addition of three to five A-29 aircraft.
The proposed growth at Duke Field would add five Light ISRs (Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance) aircrafts, as well as 123 additional personnel (45 Officers/ 78 Enlisted) to support five more Combat Aviation Advisor (CAA) engagement sets. The five new ISR aircrafts will allow the unit to better to assess, train, advise and assist foreign aviation forces in airpower employment, sustainment and force integration. The proposed augmentation at Hurlburt Field would add three to five A-29 aircraft supporting both the 6th Special Operation Squadron (6 SOS) Aviation Foreign Internal Defense mission, and the 711th Special Operations Squadron (711 SOS).
“I applaud Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett for taking this major step towards growing the military mission in Florida’s First District,” said Gaetz. “These decisions position our district to contribute even further to the readiness of the Air Force and will also bring hundreds of military personnel and family members to our community. Under President Trump’s administration, our military has attained a measure of strength unrivaled by any other nation in the world. I’m proud the First District of Florida plays a pivotal role in maintaining our competitive edge among other nations, and I am confident these expanded mission proposals will soon come to fruition and thrive at Duke and Hurlburt Field.”