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Air Force Special Operations Command will receive its first of 10 M-28 Skytrucks a light cargo and passenger plane in June.
The Skytruck will shuttle small groups of special operators to areas with unimproved landing strips, said Col. JD Clem, deputy director of plans, programs, requirements and assessments for AFSOC. It will be based at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., like AFSOC's other non-standard aviation assets including the PC-12 Pilatus, he said.
"If I need to carry six guys some place, I don't want to have to send a C-130," Clem said. "But, if I want six guys to land on an unimproved strip the PC-12 is not the plane to use."
AFSOC plans to receive the Skytrucks over the next couple years, he said. A twin engine high-wing strutted monoplane, the Skytruck can carry 19 people in the back with a maximum take-off and landing weight on 16,534 pounds and a maximum cruise speed of 223 knots, according to Skytruck Company's Web site.
What it won't carry is any intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensors, Clem said.
"The non-standard aviation is simply to haul people around. There is nothing really cosmic about it at all," he said.