Special Operations Expands Posted: 10:01 AM Aug 23, 2007 http://www.wjhg.com/home/headlines/9324722.html Hurlburt Field Special Ops The gates of Hurlburt are busy and constantly getting busier as more and more growth takes place, especially within the Special Operations Command. Starting in November, Hurlburt Field will begin transferring the first of 1,000 special ops positions to Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico. Matt Durham with Air Force Special Operations public affairs, said, "This is because the ramp at Hurlburt is full and this will help us grow as a command, so we're actually taking a second base." Cannon, a slightly smaller Air Force Base, is ideal because of its geography. Matt Durham said, "Well, Cannon Air Force Base has Melrose Range, which affords us to use mountains like the environment we're fighting in in the Middle East." And that fight in the Middle East is what makes the expansion of the Air Force Special Operations Command so important. Matt Durham said, "Well, because of the threats to the U.S. and our allies right now, special ops brings something to the fight some other units can't. So the fact that special ops is growing helps keep America safe." At first glance the transferring of 1,000 positions to Cannon Air Force Base seems like it would create an impact on surrounding communities like Navarre and Fort Walton Beach, but Durham assures the change won't be noticeable. Matt Durham said, "The population of the base will remain approximately consistent. As people leave, people will come in and you won't see much of a change." In six years officials expect the size of Cannon to have grown from 4,400 people to around 6,000.