Cannon set for open house

Benna Sayyed

Cannon Air Force Base will open its doors to the public this Saturday to give residents a look at what a highly trained specialized military force does.

The open house will showcase Cannon’s 27th Special Operations Wing airpower capabilities and demonstrate the relationship that Cannon has with the community.

“The open house is a celebration of long-standing community partnership not only in the Clovis, Portales and West Texas area, but also Albuquerque and the greater New Mexico area,” said Lt. Raymond Gobberg of the base’s public affairs office.

“We’ll have people traveling from all over to attend the day’s events and we want to let the local community know that we’re a good neighbor, good steward of tax-payer dollars, and also what our wing does as part of today’s fight in protecting our national security interests across the world,” he said.

Twenty-three static aircrafts will be displayed on Cannon’s flight line, including:

• light tactical airlift aircraft

• the remotely piloted MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper

• MC-130W Combat Spear

• AC-130H gunship

• CV-22 Osprey

In an aerial view, aircrafts will make a pass at the airfield to give onlookers a sense of the 27 Special Operations Wing specialized aircrafts’ capabilities.

There will also be demonstrations from Cannon’s military working dogs, its explosive ordnance disposal teams and a performance from the Air Force country band “Wild Blue Country.”

“Cannon has been part of the community for several decades under Air Combat Command with fighter jets,” Gobberg said. “In 2007 it was remissioned under Air Force Special Operations Command. Many people in the area knew about that but they have not been able to crawl around the aircraft and get an up-close look and talk to our airmen who are part of the special operations mission.”

Gobberg said special operations is important to Clovis because at any point, 30 percent of Cannon’s aircrews and combat personnel can be deployed worldwide in support of special operations missions in national security objective support.

“This is basically an opportunity for the visitors to Cannon to experience our mission, our families and their airmen, and what they do on a daily basis in training here in the region,” said Lt. Gobberg.