Updated On: 3/6/2013 10:07:08 AM
Your new home—Cannon Air Force Base, home of the 27th Special Operations Wing—sits 4,295 feet above sea level in the high plains of eastern New Mexico, near the Texas Panhandle. The base is eight miles west of Clovis, and boasts more than 60 years of unwavering service.
In the late 1920s, Portair Field, a terminal for early commercial transcontinental flights, flew passengers in the Ford Trimotor "Tin Goose" by day, and used Pullman trains for night travel. In the 1930s, the field became Clovis Municipal Airport.
When heavy bomber training commenced on the nearby Llano Estacado (Staked Plains), the Army renamed the airport Clovis Army Air Field in 1942. After WWII, operations nearly ceased, except for the rare refueling of transient aircraft. By May 1947, the Army had placed the field on the inactive list. Though closed, the base remained in the hands of Air Training Command until July 1951, when Tactical Air Command took over and activated the 140th Fighter-Bomber Wing, an Air National Guard unit.
In June 1957, Air Force officials renamed the 3,800-acre facility in honor of the late Gen. John K. Cannon, former commander of the Tactical Air Command. A half year later, the 27th Fighter Wing moved in and stayed for the next 50 years until October 2007, when the base transitioned from Air Combat Command to Air Force Special Operations Command and redesignated the wing as the 27 SOW.
These days the variety of special operations aircraft on the base includes the MC-130J Commando II, AC-130W, AC-130H Spectre, MQ-1B Predator, MQ-9 Reaper, CV-22 Osprey and several versions of light and medium transport aviation aircraft. The Air Commandos who fly these aircraft train 25 miles to the west at the Melrose Air Force Range—more than 60,000 acres and 2,500 square miles of airspace—in air-to-ground, small arms and electronic combat.
Indeed, Cannon’s workforce includes about 4,400 active duty personnel and 670 civilians with an annual payroll of $262.3 million and an overall regional effect of $688 million in 2011.
Base personnel also volunteer thousands of hours each year to Clovis and Portales organizations, including mentoring and tutoring school children, participating in city chamber activities, helping scouting groups, churches and veterans’ organizations.
So welcome to Cannon and the 27th Special Operations Wing and to New Mexico—the Land of Enchantment. Use this guide to get acquainted with all the educational, recreational and service facilities on base and throughout the surrounding area. read more...