Family remembers father as fighter

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Benna Sayyed Kevin Gardels called on his spiritual strength to deal with his fierce battle against cancer, family members said. After being diagnosed with a rare cancer known as primary myelofibrosis in September 2002, the Portales musician’s battle lasted nearly a decade. He died Saturday in Portales from complications caused by his cancer. He was […]

Pain part of cowboy life

Baxter Black Joe Camacho is a cage fighter. Can you imagine his mother saying, as he goes off to fight the front line of the Oakland Raiders, “Be careful, Joey, and don’t get hurt.” I caught myself giving that same instruction to my son as he went off to his high school soccer game. As […]

October 21, 1988

• An F-111 D Fighter jet from the 524th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base, crashed approximately two miles north from the Roosevelt/Curry line and one and one-half miles west of the CAFB road. The crew ejected from the jet safely and were taken to the base for treatment. • ”Clean and Sober” […]

Cannon welcomes returning troops

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By Gabriel Monte: Freedom New Mexico More than a dozen vehicles with handwritten slogans on the windows lined Hangar 126 on Saturday welcomed home the last active fighter squadron of Cannon Air force Base. Inside the hangar, hundreds of families and friends of deployed airmen waited for their loved ones in the 522nd fighter squadron […]

Fighter jets staple of younger years

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor Like many who grew up on the eastern plains of New Mexico, I can’t remember a time when there weren’t fighter jets in the sky above me. Monday that chapter of history closed at Cannon Air Force Base and a new one opened. It’s bittersweet for some of us […]

Leahy: Honor to be given command

Freedom New Mexico Staff Col. Tim Leahy assumed command Monday of the 27th Special Operations Wing at Cannon Air Force Base. The 44-year-old Staten Island, N.Y., native is married with two children. He previously served as vice-commander of the 16th Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field, Fla. Q: Were you raised in a military family? […]

New neighbors up north

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The final step in a nerve-racking 2 1/2 year effort to keep Cannon Air Force Base from extinction will take place Monday when the base transitions from a fighter wing to a special operations wing. The Special Operations Command wing puts Cannon in the vanguard of the war on terrorism and will make it larger, […]

Retailers: Base means business

By Gabriel Monte: Freedom New Mexico For as long as the Foxy Drive-In has been in Clovis, airmen of the 27th Fighter Wing and their families have had a place to eat. “We did quite a bit with the air base as far as airmen coming and eating with us and everything. We still do, […]

Sky-high goodbye

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By Kevin Wilson: Freedom Newspapers CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — As the clock reached 5:24 p.m. Friday, the last flights of the 524th Fighter Squadron flew overhead in a final hurrah at Cannon Air Force Base. Two planes from the 524th, known as the “Hounds of Heaven,” touched down moments later to signal the end […]

Cannon airmen train in Guam

Freedom Newspapers Approximately 400 airmen deployed to Guam from Cannon Air Force Base will be participating in a joint training exercise, according to Cannon officials. The airmen, who arrived May 30 on the island, will be working with members of an F-2 squadron from the Japan Air Defense Force. The exercise will last from Monday […]

Final deployment for 27th Fighter Wing under way

By Tonya Fennell, Freedom Newspapers More than half a dozen Cannon Air Force Base pilots donned flight gear early Sunday morning in preparation for their final deployment from the 27th Fighter Wing. The pilots are members of the 522nd Fighter Squadron, which is also known as the Fireballs. The pilots are part of a large […]

Planning team stresses state’s future

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By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers New Mexico Military Base Planning Commission members said it’s critical to impress upon lawmakers the military’s importance to the future of the state. Randy Harris, Clovis businessman and committee vice chair, proposed during Tuesday’s quarterly meeting at Clovis Community College the committee sponsor a junket for key state legislators in […]

Cannon Crusaders take final flight

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By Tonya Fennell: Freedom Newspapers Like a well-choreographed dance, two F-16 jets soared side-by-side above Cannon Air Force Base Thursday afternoon. While fighter jets are a common sight in Clovis, this display of aerial artistry marked the end of the 27th Fighter Wing’s 523rd Fighter Squadron, known as the Crusaders. The squadron was the first […]

Cannon rewarded for safety record

Freedom Newspapers Cannon Air Force Base rose to the top of the Air Force in four award categories for the 2006 Air Force Safety Awards. Recognized for having the best flight safety program, Cannon received the Colombian Trophy last week. The award acknowledges the group with the lowest mishap rate, according to Cannon Public Affairs. […]

Fighter shot, killed in Tucumcari

By Chelle Delaney: Freedom Newspapers A Tucumcari martial-arts fighter was shot to death Thursday night. Police said Albert Jason Pacheco Jr., 31, was killed following a fight on the city’s Main Street, near a gym where fighters were weighing in for a martial-arts event slated for Friday night. The event, called the Desert Xtreme Blood […]

F-16 pilot still missing

By Tonya Fennell: Freedom Newspapers The pilot of a Cannon Air Force Base F-16 fighter jet that crashed Monday in Iraq is still missing, Air Force officials said. The pilot was not found at the crash site, the Air Force said. The Air Force has not identified the pilot nor said to which base or […]

Deactivation of 27th Wing tough pill for some

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By Tonya Fennell: Freedom Newspapers The sleeves of his stiffly starched camouflage uniform are adorned with two stripes. The navy blue double lines identify Coty Miller as an Airman first class in the U.S. Air Force. Miller, 20, who enlisted in the Air Force shortly after graduating from high school in Florida two years ago, […]

27th still has work to be done

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor The 27th Fighter Wing at Cannon Air Force Base will not sit idle waiting to be decommissioned, according to the base’s commander. Col. Scott West said the 27th Wing still must focus on training and missions as the base transitions in the next year from serving the 27th Fighter […]

Sept. 21 Veterans’ Profiles

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers M.C. Kelly Date of birth: Sept. 14, 1918 Dates of service: 1942-1969 served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam Hometown: Bellville, Kansas Theater and location of service: Europe, based out of England Branch: Army Air Force Rank: Lieutenant colonel Unit and Specialty: Fighter pilot, 376 Squadron in the 361st […]

Judge sides with Pennsylvania on base closing lawsuit

The Associated Press PHILADELPHIA — In a blow to the Pentagon’s plan to shake up National Guard units, a judge ruled Friday that the Defense Department does not have the authority to dissolve a Pennsylvania Air National Guard division without the governor’s approval. U.S. District Judge John R. Padova said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld should […]