It’s Official: Beale Gets MC-12

Beale AFB, Calif., will be the stateside home of USAF’s MC-12W Liberty fleet, Air Force officials announced. “We have a long history of operating intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance weapon systems and we are ready to add MC-12W to our Beale fleet,” said Brig. Gen. Paul McGillicuddy, Beale’s 9th Reconnaissance Wing commander. Already the California base is host to U-2s and RQ-4 Global Hawks. USAF operates a total of 37 MC-12s for overhead ISR support of ground forces. The first of them will begin arriving at Beale early this summer. Initially, airmen will use seven aircraft there for mission-qualification training, while the bulk of the fleet remains deployed overseas. The Air Force identified Beale last July as the preferred beddown location, but had to complete the environmental impact studies before the decision became final. Heretofore, MC-12 training has taken place at Key Field ANGB, Miss. (Beale release) (For more on the MC-12, read Lifesaving Liberty from Air Force Magazine’s April issue.)