Portales rolls out the red carpet for AFSOC

Freedom Newspapers

Air Force Special Operations Command personnel and their spouses arrived in Clovis on Thursday in the first day of a two-day visit to eastern New Mexico. The visit was designed to familiarize them with the region and Cannon Air Force Base, which will become the newest Special Operations base in 2007, according to a news release from U.S. Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Pete Domenici (R-N.M.)

The group of 46 officers, airmen and their spouses from Hurlfield Field, Fla., spent the majority of the day touring Cannon Air Force Base, the future home of the AFSOC 16th Wing.

According to Cannon Advocate Randy Harris, today’s events include a tour of Clovis and Portales’ infrastructure, medical facilities, schools and housing.

A Q&A this morning at Clovis Community College will provide AFSOC personnel opportunity to make inquiries to Clovis Mayor David Lansford, local law enforcement officials and Clovis Municipal School representatives.

By noon, the group’s bus is expected to arrive at the Campus Union Building at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales for a luncheon with community and ENMU representatives. After presentations by Portales City Manager Debi Lee and Steven Gamble, ENMU president, the AFSOC group will tour the campus.

Roosevelt General Hospital Administrator James D’Agostino will then host a visit to the hospital. The afternoon’s agenda includes a drive to Cannon Meadows housing, and tour of Portales Junior High School with a presentation by Superintendent Randy Fowler.

Shortly before 4 p.m. — 3:55 p.m. to be exact — the AFSOC visitors will make a final stop at the Do Drop In in downtown Portales in a public meet-and-greet opportunity.

By 4:40 p.m. the Hurlburt delegration will board the bus to return to Cannon Air Force Base ending their visit to eastern New Mexico.
Sens. Domenici and Bingaman said in the news release they joined in welcoming AFSOC members and their spouses to the Clovis-Portales area.

“Throughout the BRAC process, one of the best things Cannon had going for it was the strong support for the base by the entire community,” Domenici said. “I know that the members and families of the new wing will receive a warm welcome from eastern New Mexicans.”

“When this delegation gets to know the community and becomes better acquainted with eastern New Mexico, there is no doubt in my mind that they will feel very much at home,” Bingaman said.