Want to express your opinion about the future of Cannon Air Force Base? Write to Donald Rumsfeld at:
Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1000
Department of Defense Web site: www.defenselink.mil/
To send an e-mail: www.defenselink.mil/faq/comment.html
Editor’s note: The Base Closure and Realignment Commission voted Friday to move planes and personnel away from Cannon, as recommended by the Department of Defense. But commissioners ordered Cannon “enclaved,” or open in limited fashion, until Dec. 31, 2009, in hopes DoD will find it another mission.
Here are excerpts from some of the e-mailed letters received Friday and Saturday.
Unfortunately, in an apparent effort to lessen the blow to eastern New Mexico, the BRAC Commission’s proposal to make the base an essentially unmanned enclave for the next five years is worse than outright closure.
What will Portales/Clovis do with the empty 801 housing area? How can we attempt to utilize the excellent base facilities for a retirement area, airplane facility for major business or any other possible economic use over the next five years?
I commend all that worked so hard to keep the base open, especially Gov. Bill Richardson. He was the only state-elected person present in Washington to support our request to keep the base open.
What happened to our nationally elected officials?
It’s time to go to plan two, to move forward and not look back. Leaving us in a perpertual limbo for five years, with no ability to attempt to overcome the economic loss, is just insanity.
I hope to heaven someone explains this to the appropriate body so that we can pick up the pieces and move forward.
My wife and I now live in the Orlando, Fla., area, but our hearts are always with you in spirit since we both grew up in New Mexico, her in Carlsbad and myself in Portales, graduating from high school in Fort Sumner in 1962. We became acquainted at Eastern New Mexico University.
Many times over the years, Dad, Mom and our family would be in the back yard and one or two of those spectacular Cannon jets would fly over, piloted by America’s finest. The discussion would quickly turn to how fast they were flying, or where the training mission was taking them.
It is very difficult for the average citizen to comprehend even the possibility of closing such a vital military facility as Cannon Air Force Base.
One has to wonder how the “planners” have become so sure that this geographic part of the USA would never need defending or why the certain need for such a fine training facility has now arbitrarily become so significantly diminished.
We can hope the “planners” will decide to use Cannon for the new F-35s and keep it open, but in the meantime we will continue to add your readers to our prayers, and hope those responsible for making this base decision will urgently come to their senses.
I was stationed at Cannon AFB for five years in the weather station. I remember clearly the base as it was — the crisp mornings and brilliant sunsets, the high school football games, all the motorcycle rides and my friends.
The day I left was cloudy and wet, gas was $1.13 at the Allsups behind my place on Connelly (in Clovis), and I didn’t want to go.
I was very happy to hear on the radio that Cannon had been “saved.” The AP account I found on-line was much less assuring. What you have is not a save, it is a reprieve — a stay of execution.
Don’t let up now. The Committee of Fifty needs to be Five Thousand. Find your base a mission.
It is true that as the planes and associated troops leave there will be an impact on our economy even if another mission is found for Cannon. What we have the opportunity to do about it now is support our representatives as they begin their work with DoD so that any down time between now and then will be minimized.
The sooner a new misison is identified, the shorter the economic impact will be.
We can also start deluging Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s office with letters asking him to personally come tour this base and see for himself the many possibilities that exist here.
The BRAC commissioners have already questioned him about the flawed data used in this equation but he needs to see why that data is flawed with his own eyes.
Jonathan La Vine