Plans for Cannon celebration in works

By Tonya Garner: Freedom Newspapers

Air Force and state dignitaries will take part in a July 1 celebration of Cannon Air Force Base landing a mission.
Tentative plans include a static display of the aircraft used by Special Operations from the 16th Special Ops Wing that will call Cannon home by October 2007, along with detailed descriptions of each aircraft’s capabilities, according to Clovis base supporter Randy Harris.

The aircraft tour is for the news media and dignitaries only at this point, but he is working closely with Cannon to open the event to the public if possible.

Harris said the Committee of 50 and the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce are working jointly to plan the event.

“There is a whole team of people working on this,” Harris said, “but it is still a work in progress.”

A public celebration will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Clovis Civic Center. Military and local officials will be in attendance.

A press conference will also take place at the Civic Center.
Lt. Gen. Michael Wooley of Air Force Special Operations Command is expected to release more details of the Special Ops Wing being shifted to Cannon. Gov. Bill Richardson and other members of the state’s congressional delegation will deliver speeches and answer questions regarding the new mission.

“There will be lots of people, lots of flags flying, and hot dogs and refreshments for everyone,” Harris said. “And dignitaries will have the chance to mingle with the public.”
Harris said every person who attends the celebration can sign up for a drawing with the winner awarded a ride in an F-16 fighter jet.

“It sounds like a lot of fun,” Harris said. “I know I’m going to sign up.”

Harris said the winner would have to meet age and health requirements.

“If a 10-year-old wins, he can certainly give it (winning ticket) to a family member,” Harris said.