Cannon funding legislation introduced

Freedom Newspapers

Sens. Pete Domenici, R.-N.M., and Jeff Bingaman, D.-N.M., Monday introduced legislation to promote funding for two military construction projects at Cannon Air Force Base, according to a press release.

The legislation to authorize $9.2 million for work at Cannon was offered in advance of FY2008 defense authorization and appropriations bills to highlight the importance of the military construction projects at the eastern New Mexico base.

The lawmakers hope to obtain further commitment from Air Force and Defense Department officials for an estimated $72.5 million in construction funding needed to advance Cannon’s transition to a Special Operations Command base.

“Our intent is to bring continuous attention to the needs at Cannon to ensure that the base is ready to accept its new mission,” Domenici said.

“This bill will help ensure we have the funding we need to get started on much-needed upgrades,” Bingaman said.

The bill introduced Monday would authorize $7.5 million to construct an MC-130 flight simulator facility at Cannon and $1.7 million to alter an existing hangar to accommodate C-130s.

Both projects, also included in the administration’s FY2008 budget plan, would make the base more accommodating to handling C-130 and other large frame military aircraft, according to the release.

There are no hangars or other facilities to support MC-130 aircraft or a simulator for such aircraft at Cannon, the release reads.

Earlier this month, the New Mexico congressional delegation formally requested a supplemental spending measure pending in Congress include $72.5 million for military construction projects required to support Cannon’s new mission.

This proposed supplemental funding, beyond the $9.2 million outlined in the Domenici-Bingaman bill, would be used to contruct:

• a fuel cell hanger and C-130 corrosion hanger ($31.5 million)

• CV-22 simulator facility ($7.5 million)

• UAV squadron operations/ground control station ($17.5 million)

• MC-130 squadron operations facility ($12 million)

The proposal also includes $4 million for planning and design.

All projects have been previously identified by the Department of Defense as requirements for the transformation of Cannon to a Special Operations base.
AFSOC will still take ownership of Cannon in October 2007.