SOCOM Wants Four ‘Armed Overwatch’ Squadrons

SOCOM Wants Four ‘Armed Overwatch’ Squadrons
(Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

U.S. Special Operations Command expects a future armed overwatch fleet to quickly reach full utilization, including one squadron deployed at all times, to meet a growing global need for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

SOCOM wants to buy 75 of the aircraft, and Air Force Special Operations Command has said it wants procurement to start in fiscal 2022. SOCOM boss Army Gen. Richard D. Clarke, in testimony to the House Armed Services subcommittee on intelligence and special operations, said the armed overwatch program is coming on as existing systems are aging out, showing the requirement for the aircraft procurement to continue.

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