May rains pushing average

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PNT Staff Report Rain showers sprinkled over Roosevelt County on Wednesday, bringing much-needed rain for area farmers as well as for people with allergies. The KENW-TV Broadcast Center at Eastern New Mexico University recorded a little over half an inch of rain by mid-afternoon Wednesday, according to Operations Manager Shannon Hearn. With the month only […]

Cannon to begin flights in June

By Gabriel Monte, Freedom New Mexico The 318th Special Operations Squadron will begin flying combat missions out of Cannon Air Force Base in June, according to 27th Special Operations Wing Commander Tim Leahy. The expansion at the air base’s main runway is nearly completed and more aircraft are expected Leahy said during Tuesday’s joint luncheon […]

Cannon clinic closes for training day

The Cannon Air Force Base clinic will be closed April 10 for a wing training day. Questions regarding the clinic closure can be directed to the 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs office at 784-4131.

UAVs give military constant presence over battlefield

By Karl Terry, PNT Managing Editor They’ve been called the U.S. military’s “unblinking eye,” and the ability to provide a near constant presence overhead is the attraction of unmanned aerial vehicles. High-tech military systems such as the MQ-1 Predator, which the Air Force eventually plans to bring to Cannon Air Force Base, have changed the […]

Predator crews will call Cannon home

By Karl Terry, PNT Managing Editor Pilots at Cannon Air Force Base eventually may fly missions in faraway lands without ever leaving eastern New Mexico. The main tool that will allow them to do so is the MQ-1 Predator, an unmanned drone that provides interdiction and reconnaissance against enemy targets as its primary mission. Several […]

New AFSOC commander visits Cannon

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Karl Terry, Portales News-Tribune Managing Editor This week Lt. Gen. Donald C. Wurster, recently appointed commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Fla., paid his first official visit to Cannon Air Force Base since taking command in November. He talked with Freedom New Mexico Wednesday in his first press interview since assuming that […]

Air Force representatives talk transition

Air Force Special Operations Command spokeswoman Lt. Amy Cooper and 73rd Special Operations Squadron Commander Lt. Col. Tom Markland answered some questions last week about how Cannon Air Force Base’s transition from a fighter wing to a special operations wing is going. Q: How many MC-130Ws are currently at Cannon? A: There are four MC-130Ws […]

Cannon welcomes new plane

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By Freedom New Mexico CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — Cannon Air Force Base reached another milestone Tuesday in its transition to its special operations mission with the arrival of a new aircraft. The PC-12 was delivered to the 27th Special Operations Wing and will be flown by the 318th Special Operations Squadron when it activates […]

One last landing

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By Tonya Fennell A single jet made two sweeping passes Friday afternoon over Cannon Air Force Base. As the F-16 roared overhead, spectators craned their necks to witness the final F-16 flight at the base. The aerial display marked the end of an era for the 522nd Fighter Squadron, also known as the Fireballs, as […]

Invading Iraq may haunt world for years to come

The bombings last week in Algiers, at a United Nations compound and the Algerian Supreme Court, have prompted news reports suggesting the group that claimed responsibility, Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), has “matured in its ability to conduct terror attacks that could destabilize the Algerian government.” The bombings killed at least 34 people, and […]

Bush approves Cannon funds

Staff and wire reports President Bush on Tuesday signed an increase in the Pentagon’s non-war budget that includes funding for the purchase of five CV-22 Ospreys destined for Cannon Air Force Base, according to Air Force Special Operations officials. Authorized was $453.7 million for the Air Force purchase of V-22 Ospreys, and $238 million for […]

Special operations gets funding in Pentagon non-war budget

Staff and wire reports WASHINGTON — Congress approved a big boost in the Pentagon’s non-war budget late Thursday. The budget includes money for Air Force Special Operations to modify CV-22 Ospreys and other funding that will boost several programs in eastern New Mexico, according to a press release from U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M. Cannon […]

Thanks to past as we welcome a new mission

Editorial For a few moments near dusk on Sunday night, Mother Nature signed off on the old and new missions of Cannon Air Force Base. Just above the eastern horizon, the soft orange glow of a jagged, nearly full rising moon shimmered above a semi-circle of C-130s that surrounded two F-16 jets and the tilt-rotor […]

New aircraft specialize in stealth

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By Gabriel Monte: Freedom New Mexico Capt. Mike Holding stood before an aircraft that looked as if it came out of a science fiction movie. The aircraft has the best of both worlds, he explained, because it can hover like a helicopter but can fly twice as fast. “This is the neatest thing, nothing else […]

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? […]

Special Operations Wing takes charge

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By Gabriel Monte and Tonya Fennell: Freedom New Mexico CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — More than one hundred airmen stood at attention Monday to witness the change of command at Cannon Air Force Base as Air Force Special Operations Command assumed ownership of the base. During the short ceremony, Col. Scott West, 27th Fighter Wing […]

Cannon change of command official

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By Tonya Fennell: Freedom New Mexico Hand over hand, four white gloves methodically traveled over a wooden flag pole, exchanging the old 27th Fighter Wing colors for the new 27th Special Operations Wing flag. Performed by the 27th Fighter Wing Honor Guard, the flag ceremony signified the official change of command Monday at Cannon Air […]

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, […]

Special Operations: MC-130W Combat Spear, AC-130 Gunship

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MC-130W Combat Spear The MC-130W Combat Spear flies in “direct support of unified and theater special operations commands and USSOCOM contingencies,” according to the Armed Forces Special Operations Web site. The aircraft participates in “infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of U.S and allied special operations forces,” according the the AFSOC Web site. Flying primarily at night […]

Special Operations: CV-22 Osprey, MQ-1 Predator

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MQ-1 Predator In operation since 1995, the Predator has been used in Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Iraq and Yemen. While the Predator will remain in the desert, the unmanned aerial vehicle’s crew is expected to arrive at Cannon Air Force Base in June according to Col. J.D. Clem, director of plans and programs for the 3rd […]