CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
The 27th Special Operations Maintenance Group’s combat support capabilities took a step into the future as the 27th Special Operations Munitions Squadron was activated during a ceremony here July 27, 2021.
The activation upgrades what was previously the 27th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron’s munitions and armament flights into a combined, higher-level unit. The new squadron is the first of its kind at Cannon since the base’s designation as an Air Force Special Operations Command base. The realignment comes as AFSOC and the 27th Special Operations Wing transforms into the command the nation will need in future operating environments.
Col. Bernabe Whitfield, 27th Special Operations Maintenance Group commander, officially established the 27 SOMUNS and installed Maj. Joshua Isom as the first commander of the new squadron during the ceremony.
“Today was a great day,” said Whitfield. “This reorganization will allow the leadership of both the new 27 SOMUNS and the 27 SOMXS to focus on the issues, challenges and future growth relevant to their missions as the 27 SOW and 27 SOMXG continue to enhance their mission capabilities.”
Isom made history as only the second munitions squadron commander in AFSOC and the first standalone munitions squadron commander at Cannon since the 27th Munitions Maintenance Squadron was deactivated in 1978.
“I cannot wait to begin this new legacy with you (members of the 27 SOMUNS) as we establish a new identity while simultaneously preparing (to become) the AFSOC unit we will need,” Isom said during the ceremony.
While the squadron itself is new, it will inherit the same capability to support Cannon’s aircraft and their weapons systems its predecessors brought to the table, said Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Williams, 27 SOMUNS Armament Flight Section Chief.
“We will continue providing chaff and flare missile decoys, bombs, and ammunition,” said Williams. “We will also continue to be responsible for maintenance on the equipment used to employ weapons on aircraft such as bomb racks and machine guns.”
Both the skills and needs of the munitions and armament fields are especially unique compared to other areas of the 27 SOMXG. Williams said the status and distinction the new squadron provides in those areas will allow for a more focused approach to their missions.
“Any future changes to how the armament and ammo career fields conduct their missions will be more effectively implemented because we now have our own squadron,” said Williams. “So, both now and in the future, a marked increase in efficiency both at the home station and deployment execution will result from the creation of our new unit.”
The 27 SOMUNS joins the 27th and 727th Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadrons and the 27 SOMXS in executing the 27 SOMXG’s responsibilities to provide flight line and back shop maintenance in support of assigned AC-130J Ghostrider, AC-130W Stinger II, MC-130J Commando II, MQ-9 Reaper, and CV-22 Ospreys.